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Pantone Colors Converted to Black Error

Community Expert ,
Oct 13, 2022 Oct 13, 2022

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This morning I opened a large group of files that have been seperated for multiple Pantone spot color and CMYK and recieved this error on each highliy refined image file: "This file has Pantone colors that have been removed and replaced with black due to changes in Pantone's licensing with Adobe.  To resolve, click "Learn More"   From there i Installed the Pantone Connect Extension and linked my purchased license for premium..... But the colors of the spot channels are still rendered as black.  Any swatches I create with the extension are rendered properly but Pantone Spot colors are not rendered correctly because the color information for those channels is not available to Adobe Photoshop.   

 

The work around for this issue is to double click the spot color channel in the channels pallet and click on thee color then enter the Lab values from the Pantone Connect Library.  Save the file and the channels will be rendered to the display properly.   

ICC programmer and developer, Photographer, artist and color management expert, Print standards and process expert.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Engaged , May 01, 2023 May 01, 2023

Amybeth, I see in your image it adds a channel named "9344" and not "Pantone 9344," which is what the swatch is named when added as a swatch in Illustrator and InDesign.

 

Does that create a conflict/duplicate swatch?

 

Also, what is the version number of this plug-in update?

(And does it still require Rosetta to run on an M-1 Mac? so many questions...)

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Community Expert ,
Oct 17, 2022 Oct 17, 2022

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quote

for what it's worth, most commerical printers still print with and support Hexachrom colors, if for no other reason just the volume of backlist reprints that still use them


By @David Cardillo, PRH

 

Thanks, that is news to me (I can't find the inks in-stock for sale), I would hazard a guess that "some" and not "most" commercial printers may be able to support this type of work, which would be dependent on many factors beyond ink availability :]

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Engaged ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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at the risk of appearing argumentative, we have a surprising number of front-list titles still being spec'd and produced with hexachrome colors. Again, because of the volume of backlist titles that have them, they still print with them.

 

I will note that the majority of these are not "true" 6-color hex conversions. (Wasn't there a conversion within Photoshop to 6-color hex? Or did I imagine that?) Mostly just ink substitution.

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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quote

at the risk of appearing argumentative, we have a surprising number of front-list titles still being spec'd and produced with hexachrome colors. Again, because of the volume of backlist titles that have them, they still print with them.

 

I will note that the majority of these are not "true" 6-color hex conversions. (Wasn't there a conversion within Photoshop to 6-color hex? Or did I imagine that?) Mostly just ink substitution.

 


By @David Cardillo, PRH

 

I am not taking this as argumentative, so thanks for sticking with me. Just seeking clarity and concise wording.

 

Call a spade a spade.

 

It is either Hexachrome (registered trademark) or it isn't and it is just an alternative expanded/extended colour gamut system.

 

It either uses Hexachrome CMYKOG inks, or it doesn't.

 

And if it does, I'm glad that you can get them, casual searching does not provide a vendor that does.

 

I don't want to derail the topic, I'm much more interested in a workaround for the train wreck of legacy files that reference Pantone colour books that are no longer available.

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Engaged ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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@Stephen_A_Marsh wrote:

I'm much more interested in a workaround for the train wreck of legacy files that reference Pantone colour books that are no longer available.




This part.

 

It appears the most viable solution is to make a backup of the ACB files in the Presets > Color Books folder in a current or older install of the application folder.  (Might be worthwhile to make a copy of the ACO files in the Presets > Color Swatches folder. Those only create swatches, which is what Pantone Connect can do.)

 

We still deploy the original, lowercase "solid coated/uncoated" (no +) ACB files specifically for the Hexachrome colors.

 

What I'd really hope for is that one day Photoshop would not require spot channels sourced from a color book file to have a live reference to that file, and allow them to exist alone, the way InDesign and Illustrator do.

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Engaged ,
Oct 17, 2022 Oct 17, 2022

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Bob, after (re-)reading your issue, I would guess that you're getting a normal "color books not installed" error, but Adobe changed the wording of the error dialog to reflect their licensing (dis-)agreement with Pantone.

 

Stephen is correct, that Pantone dropped support of Hexachrome colors when they introduced the Pantone+ series. (Which has now been dropped — it's back to just "Pantone" now.) We still print with them (yes, new titles, too). The only way to get them is to have the original, lowercase "pantone solid coated/uncoated" (no +) color book files loaded.

 

If you've got a recent upgrade to PS — new version, new application folder — it likely didn't come with these. (I just did an install of version 23.5, and it only contained the Pantone+ series.)

 

The good news is if you've still got the app folder for the older version, get the old, original Pantone ACB files out of the Color Books folder and copy them to the new version. (Just don't spec spot channels with this book for new art, as I believe the colors were still defined in CMYK. Use the Pantone+ books, or the updated Pantone V4 books.) The newest color book files are compatible with having the older ones also installed. 

 

(Just know that colors picked in one book are referenced to that book. Even if they're the same color in both books, they'll show up as "missing" if that book isnt' installed.)

 

Before recently (and I've mentioned this below, as well as in other forum posts) when you had a color referenced to a book you didn't have, you'd get the message: "this file uses colors referencing color books not installed." You'd either then get the referenced book (for newer colors, or in your case, the old ones for Hexachrome) or just reassign it to a book you had.

 

The only real change you have right now is the (re-)wording of the dialog.

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Advocate ,
Dec 19, 2022 Dec 19, 2022

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What is weird, is that they stated that Solids would be kept available?!?!

 

EDIT
sorry thats just the CMYK values. Well i made a script for illustrator which converts RGB and CMYK values to a Spot color. Im still running 2018 software due to my old OSX machine. Ive read and saved all Pantone colors with there LAB values. This will be handy over time as i can make a script which can fix the black rendering

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Engaged ,
Oct 17, 2022 Oct 17, 2022

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So it looks like Adobe went ahead and did what they said they were *not* going to do, and that's remove existing Pantone Color Book files from your system.

 

Yes, we all knew they were no longer going to give them out (let alone update them). But the presumption was that the existing ACB files you'd already downloaded wouldn't be pulled off in an update.

 

Here's something you can do: if you have a previous installation of Phototshop, in the application folder, in the Presets folder, find the old Color Books folder and get all the Pantone ACB files in there and copy them to your new installation.

 

We ran into this situation frequently (channels being converted to black) because we had been using the (now defunct) Pantone Color Manager app to update our ACB and ACE files to Pantone's latest versions. (Currently V4)

 

Spot color references in Photoshop are to a specific color book — not a color name. You could spec a color as Pantone 186 from the original Pantone ACB file, but that wouldn't be the same Pantone 186 from the 2010 Pantone+ ACB file. 

 

Our enterprise would use the most recent updated books, with the newest colors, which were often incompatible with the older books. We would spec a color with the V4 books (even a base ink, like Reflex Blue) and someone who did not have the V4 books installed would get the error "this channel references color books not installed" and the channel would be black. The fix was to just reassign the color to the same name from an installed book.

 

Pantone Connect is *NOT* a solution for not having _any_ books installed. Pantone Connect cannot create spot color channels (as you are clearly finding out). Pantone Connect can only create swatches — which are created in the color model of your art (RGB, CMYK).

 

If you don't have a previous install, find someone who still has them, or use the CC app to install a previous version that still has them. Unfortuately even saving out an ASE file out of Illustrator will not get you color book files. Those need to be ACB Color Book files. 

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Engaged ,
Oct 17, 2022 Oct 17, 2022

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on the plus side, all these PS files will still work when placed in InDesign. They'll work when sent to a printer. It will only appear when you open the files for editing.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 18, 2022 Oct 18, 2022

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One caveat to the files still work is that if those files must be converted to another color system or back to RGB for editing, then you must assign the correct CIELab values to each channel.   

ICC programmer and developer, Photographer, artist and color management expert, Print standards and process expert.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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Update: Photoshop versions released in August, September, and October 2022 will continue to render Pantone colors Gray/Black unavailable. Updating to the November 2022 version of Photoshop will fix this workflow.

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/pantone-color-books-photoshop.html

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Engaged ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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all one needs is the ACB files that were installed when the art was created. You can move those from any previously installed version of Photoshop.

 

They're in: [Photoshop application folder]/Presets/Color Books/

 

You'll get that error if the color book used to create the art is not installed.

 

You'll get that error if the *version* of the same color book is not the same one that was used. Spot color references in Photoshop are specific to the book version. You could spec a color as Reflex Blue, for example, using the ACB files that Adobe was previously distributing since 2012, then upgrade your color books to the most recently released version from Pantone (currently v4) and you would still get a "color book not found" error, even with the same-named color. The reference is to another book file.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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On another note, if you have the old Pantone Color Manager Application, which  Pantone doesnt advertise but it will still work untill December 22, 2022, with a valid serial number from a chip or fan book, you can still register the app and export all the current libraries to Indesign , Photoshop and Illustrator.

And as an added bit of information Pantone has currtently combined the Premium Metallica libraries witht the Metallic Libraries. So if you are wondering why you cannot find Premium metallic it is because they merged the libraries. GTK when your remapping!

Amybeth M
ACI G7 Certified Expert

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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Correct. But this update addresses the channel turning black for those who previously did not reinstall the acb files.

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Engaged ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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I assumed the previous update versions just simply _not_ include the ACB files, generating the "missing book" black channel errors. Did the latest update just re-include them?

I just checked my new 24.0.0 install (I'm on an enterprise deployment and it's locked down.) and it looks like they _did_ include the old Pantone+ series books, but did _not_ include the older, original Pantone (pre +) books. (they would be lower case: Pantone solid coated.) I can't check the different versions myself. That seems to be the simplest explanation.

 

(FWIW, we're using the v4 books here. We push those with every new PS version. We haven't run into this issue — except with legacy files that were built with older books, or from freelancers still using the Adobe default versions.)

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Community Expert ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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Installing the acb books outside of the Adobe updates is one of the workarounds that prevents this from happening. In the past few updates, if you didn't have the acb files loaded, PS would generate a black channel. With the lastest update it still honors the existing channel.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023

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Just a comment after running a Pantone color workflow Post Adobe support.  Opening and saving any file not has many warnings to clear before you can actually complete the process of editing and saving.  I do understand that at first these warnings are important, but let's give the user the ability to turn them off Please! 

ICC programmer and developer, Photographer, artist and color management expert, Print standards and process expert.

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Engaged ,
Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023

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I would disagree.

 

Any warning of "what you're about to do will cause bad things to happen" should pop up any time someone attempts it.

 

One of the problems we have in our environment is the checkbox for "do not show this warning again." People who checked this, for example, for the warning about PS Type 1 fonts going away, ceased to be warned that the files they were working in contained T1 fonts.

 

The warning in Bridge that the option to view a panel with "show items from subfolders" turned on can cause serious issue for larger directories has this checkbox! Someone who turns this warning off then navigates to the parent directory of a season's worth of titles on a server is in for a really bad time.

 

No. More warnings. More of the time.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023

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I agree, a yellow stop light reminds me to slow down... and look both ways– before I get side swiped 🙂

Amybeth M
ACI G7 Certified Expert

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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@David Cardillo, PRH @Stephen_A_Marsh @kevin stohlmeyer @schroef @Bob_Hallam  Pantone says the Connect will hopefully be working with channels by the end of FebruaryScreen Shot 2023-02-03 at 6.52.00 AM.png..

Still hostage, but at least the workflow will hopefully be fixed even as other alternatives surface.

Amybeth M
ACI G7 Certified Expert

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Engaged ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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ok, but at $5-8/head/month for around 200+ users, where everyone has to have their own unique login?

 

I'm guessing it's just a coincidence that the V4 books have become unstable in PS 2023

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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The current pricing according to pantone is $180/user/year PLUS $3000 for the licensing manager - which is expected at the end of February. The hold up is it is not working with Single Sign On.

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Advocate ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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3k $ for a license manager, what is that for ridiculous thing. So if your a single user, you pay 180 a month plus 4k a year?!?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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This is enterprise pricing? Which is rediculous for the licensing manager! 

Amybeth M
ACI G7 Certified Expert

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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@schroef that is for Enterprise clients not individuals. @Amybeth M. ACI G7 yes that is the enterprise pricing (with 100+ user discount mind you). I agree the annual fee for the license manager is a bit out of whack, but more so because they wanted us to purchase well before it is ready for usage!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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Thank you. The organization I work for has 100+ users as well. We will see what they decide,  stuck between a rock in a hard place for the moment. Should be interesting to see if the release works properly. 

 

Amybeth M
ACI G7 Certified Expert

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