How would I select a specific Pantone color in Photoshop, e.g. PMS 5625?

Also, how do you pick a Pantone colour that is similar to a specific CMYK color, e.g. C61, M41, Y58, K16 green?

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In this case Pantone 5615C looks closest to the CMYK color.

  • "In this case Pantone 5615C looks closest to the CMYK color..." - this is a false comparison, as you are not actually comparing Pantone or CMYK colour values, but an RGB conversion of each. Scott's method will give you the official closest match as defined by Pantone.
    – e100
    Nov 21, 2012 at 10:27
  • By the way, this is probably better as two separate questions.
    – e100
    Nov 21, 2012 at 10:28
  • Additional practical support: Pantone provide a printed swatch kit (you can buy) which includes a solid Pantone to CMYK value comparison. You can immediately see how close the CMYK version will be when printed, or not as the case may be. I use mine to select CMYK colours in advance and then provide a matching Pantone if the client requires it - its much simpler to avoid printing in Pantone, and cheaper so you make more profit. This is assuming you are providing the colour suggestion in the first place. If the client already has a colour like Reflex Blue then you wont match this in CMYK. Feb 27, 2017 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


Select a specific Pantone color in Photoshop

Open the Color Picker
click the Color Libraries
Type the number of the Pantone color you want
Click Ok

how do you find a similar pantone colour for this CMYK color

Open the Color Picker
Input the CMYK values
Click the Color Libraries button

Photoshop will automatically choose the closest Pantone to your CMYK values.

Be Aware.....

Realize, actually creating a spot color file which separates correctly in Photoshop is an entirely different matter and requires the use of the Channels Panel. The steps above are merely to achieve the color of a Pantone swatch. Simply setting the color picker to a Pantone color, then applying it to a document will not create artwork which separates the spot plates properly.

  • can you elaborate on your last point? Also, IIRC, pantone swatches are not loaded in a default PS install, correct? (they are there, just need to be loaded).
    – horatio
    Nov 21, 2012 at 15:44
  • Sorry I missed this earlier @horatio Pantone Color Books are always part of the initial installation in my experience. Issues may arise if you want some specific color book such as Pantone GOE books. Those would need to be installed.
    – Scott
    Apr 30, 2015 at 4:55

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