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CS6 Pantone Plus Library Issues

Sep 11, 2012 11:24 AM

Tags: #cs6 #lab #pantone_plus #printing_color #pantone+ #color_printing #digital_printing

We are having problems maintaining color consistency for digital output (as well as color shifts on proofs) due to the recent CS6 Pantone Plus color library update.
We have had to remove the updated libraries and replace them with the previous versions due to the unexpected color differences on output.

Has anyone else been having problems with the Plus update?
Is there a good explanation of why it was changed in the first place? We want to make sure we're not missing a good reason for the revised color libraries.
Chuck

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2012 5:54 PM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    I've read people posting they have no problems with CS6 and the Plus Series.  I've also seen posts of people having problems, like you.  It's unfortunate for anyone to experience such a mess and have to revert back to a system that works the way it should.  Sounds a bit backwards, doesn't it?

     
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    Sep 11, 2012 6:42 PM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    Hello Chuck,

     

    Pantone Plus (Solid) color libraries are now based on Lab value compared to previous one using CMYK as default in Illustrator And InDesign.

    Lab values help to keep consistency between Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign when you want to convert to CMYK.

    Each application are doing a color transform like this: Source (Lab) -> Destination (CMYK or RGB) using the related working color space defined in the color setings preferences.

    This make sure that when you convert to CMYK for example, the best match will be made for the current CMYK working space you are using.

    If you set all your color setings the same within each application, you will get the same CMYK values.

     

    Can you tel me more about the problem you have with the new Pantone Plus libraries?

     

    Louis

     
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    Sep 12, 2012 11:15 AM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    I jumped to get AI CS6 as soon as it came out- and now, honestly, I'm regretting it.

    We do large digital output, and PMS spot colors are critical. I'm finding that anything I copy into a new doc, converts to lab- and I have to manually plug in the CMYK mixes for the spot colors. It's taking a ton of time that I wouldnt otherwise have;

    If you find the magic bullet, please share it with the class.

     
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    Sep 12, 2012 5:12 PM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    It shouldn't matter if the "source" is LAB or not, color conversion is done in the Print driver or, in a more color matched, color calibrated environment, a RIP.  If someone like Chuch has to manually insert the numbers he wants, it defearts the p[urpose of creating a LAB workflow.  I wonder if Louis can direct us toward some type of White paper released by Pantone that explains all this ssshhhiiiituff.  From what I understand, Pantone Spot Colors are converted in a RIP which has been created to convert to LAB in order to match the Spot Color as close as the output device can.  But, all this trouble with display inaccuracies and errors, as well as output diffusion of color sounds like a nightmare.  I am having trouble with the color consistency theory using LAB source color, when previous color libraries worked fine.  I guess I'm missing something.

     
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    Sep 13, 2012 3:37 PM   in reply to CirenaFay

    Hello CirenaFay,

     

    I dont’t understand the issue… what do you mean by "anything i copy into new document" ?

    And why do you have to manually change the CMYK value?

    You say that you do large format printing. Do you have a RIP? Which one? Compatible with pantone libraries?

     

    Please tell me more so that I could help you .

     

    Regards,

     

    Louis

     
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    Sep 13, 2012 4:29 PM   in reply to John Danek

    Hello John,

     

    You are right,  a RIP, compatible with Pantone libraries should do the job of matching as close as possible Pantone colors.

    How it usually works, is when you send a job to the RIP, the Pantone name is catched up by the RIP, then it look at its internal table to find the related Lab value. Then it passes the color information to the Output ICC profile in order to set the proper color value to match the Pantone.

    So, the Pantone library from the host application is not the problem because teh host application only send teh NAME of the Pantone color if it was set as SPOT color.

     

    About the new Pantone Plus libraries, the now use Lab in order to better render Pantone on screen! Previous version, were shoing CMYK simulation unless you were choosing "Simulate Overprint" from the View menu.

     

    Is it more clear?

     

    Regards,

     

    Louis

     
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    Sep 13, 2012 4:31 PM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    Hello Chuck,

     

    What is your digital output? Do you use a RIP?

    Tell me more so that i can help you.

     

    Louis

     
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    Sep 13, 2012 6:17 PM   in reply to Louis Dery

    Louis Dery - Simulate Overprint, as I understand it, shows what 2 colors will look like when they OP ( over print ).  We're talking about one color.  How would simulate OP help with a color that does not, technically, overprint?  I have files where I use the Simulate OP > ON ( no difference ) and OFF ( still no difference ). 

     
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    Sep 13, 2012 7:11 PM   in reply to John Danek

    Hi John,

     

    Sorry for the confusion. Pantone swatch libraies, BEFORE Pantone Plus was defined (coded) in CMYK AND Lab. As default, in Illustrator for example, the Pantone colors were showing CMYK simulation on screen. When you wanted to get true Pantone simulation, you had to select "overprint preview" ! I know, it is strange  but this was the only way to get accurate SOLID pantone (from Lab color definition) on screen.

     

    Now with Pantone Plus, since they are coded in Lab, you don’t see the difference because it is ONLY define in Lab. So, you always get the Pantone simulation and no more the CMYK simulation of it.

     

    Louis

     
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    Sep 14, 2012 4:49 AM   in reply to Louis Dery

    Hello Louis,

     

    here are the results of a test with Illustrator CS2:

     

    CMYK space ISOCoated v2 eci

    Swatch (Spot) Hexachrome Cyan

     

    a) defined as CMYK swatch

    Appearances changes with OP on/off

     

    b) defined as Lab swatch

    Appearance doesn't change with OP on/off

     

    Since a long time it has been recommended to use only the

    Lab version.

     

    http://www.newsandtech.com/columnists/beyond_black_and_white/article_d 1e86ee4-fd77-11df-b4ce-001cc4c002e0.html

     

    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

     

    Edited by author (link)

     
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    Sep 14, 2012 10:49 AM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    Hello Chuck,

     

    For your information, there is a free webinars exactly for such issue at: http://www.idealliance.org/events/brand-colors-efi

     

    Hope this could help!

     

    Louis

     
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    Oct 4, 2012 6:56 AM   in reply to Louis Dery

    We are running into the same issue. We print wide and grand format here running ONXY RIPs. I open a file (that was generated in an older version of AI such as CS5). I have a PANTONE 2945C specified as the background color. If I copy that file and open a new document (both in CMYK) and paste it into the new document the color shifts on the blue.

     

    CMYK values on CS5 created PANTONE 2945C = C100%, M45%, Y0%, K14%

    CMYK values on CS6 created PANTONE 2945C = C100%, M74%, Y20%, K5%

     

    The blue is MUCH darker than the file that was setup in CS5. This is a HUGE problem for us with color consistancy. Only way for us to get around this has been saving over the same file and creating a new doc. If we copy the file to a new document and save, the color will always shift.

     

    I've tried other Pantone colors, and the CMYK values always shift. Most are very subtle, but we have run into a ton of shifting on blue tones.

     

    When both files are sent to our ONYX RIP - (as PANTONE 2945C) the color does print different and does not match on the new CS6 file compared to CS5.

     

    Very fustrating. I can submit screen shots and images from our large format pritners to further show in detail of the issue we have been running into.

     
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    Oct 4, 2012 11:40 AM   in reply to CreativeColorMN

    Has the ONYX RIP been updated to deal with new Spot colors?  Has ONYX released anything to workaround the issue?  The thing I find troubling is print production environments like yours is left out in the cold by Adobe.  And computer OS's are not focused on professionals anymore.  Seems that way to me.  I hope RIP manufacturers are working to solve the problem.  Pantone should also supply everyone with accurate workflow solutions and not constantly update products that do not necessarily work in many of the workflows already established in the marketplace.

     
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    Oct 4, 2012 4:44 PM   in reply to CreativeColorMN

    Hello CreativeColorMN,

     

    If you want to get ONYX RIP to print the same color from CS5 and CS6, you have to set all Pantone colors as SPOT and not CMYK.

    Then, Onyx will receive the same Pantone name and will do the conversion with its own Pantone color table.

     

    The problem you have is because your Pantone color are set as Process CMYK and not Spot color.

    I agree that CMYK values between CS5 and CS6 are not the same. This is beacause of the way Pantone libraries are defined. In CS5, the default color mode of Color Book is CMYK and in CS6, the default color mode of Color Book is Lab.

    You have to understand that in CS6, Pantone are better simulated (as default) from start because it is using Lab value. In CS5, the Pantone silmulation was not true, unless you were selecting "Overprint Preview" in the view menu. This was the way to tell Illustrator to use the internal Lab value for Pantone dispaly.

     

    Secondly, If you have to set your pantone in Process CMYK mode, make sure that the default CMYK working space is the same as the one you are using as default in your Onyx RIP. This will help to keep consistency between Illustrator and the RIP.

     

    Hope this help!

     

    Colour 911

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 4, 2012 5:03 PM   in reply to Louis Dery

    Made a mistake,

    In CS6, you still have to select "overprint preview" to get the optimal Pantone spot color simulation.

     

    Color 911

     
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    Oct 5, 2012 7:05 AM   in reply to Louis Dery

    Thanks for your replies. I am still confused. Even after changing a PANTONE swatch in CS6 to Color Type SPOT COLOR, Color Mode CMYK, my PANTONE compared to my older CS5 file is still much different. I do see that now the PANTONE colors default to LAB colors in CS6. So this still doesn't fix my issue. My tech is in the office today as we purchased a new printer, I will discuss these issues with him and see if ONYX has released anything to avoid correct this. I agree - I believe Adobe has left us out in the Cold on this and its very fustrating. The adventure continues. I'll post my findings with ONXY. 

     
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    Oct 10, 2012 2:44 PM   in reply to Louis Dery

    I understand that using lab color values and converting to CMYK during the output process should work – THEORETICALLY. However, it practice, it doesn't work quite as well.

     

    Specifically, colors with 100% values and grays will be more difficult to match. If I choose PANTONE Yellow C from the Spot color menu and view the CMYK output, in CS6, I get  0.38% cyan  5.24% magenta  and  99.36% yellow. This will not produce a clean output, it will look dirty. You will be able to see the magenta and cyan... every printer will display differently, but NONE will use 100% yellow. Grays will depend very much on the gray balance of the press or output device.

     

    I'm not going to spent 10s of thousands of dollars to upgrade every RIP to the new Adobe Pantone +

     

    I see a lot of work ahead converting my client's CS5 spot color to a known CMYK before placing in CS6.

     

    I'm still trying to decide if I will remove all the new libraries and add the libraries from CS5.

     
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    Oct 10, 2012 3:42 PM   in reply to KeanVar

    Hello KeanVar,

     

    Can you tell me which CMYK profile you are using in ypur color management settings?

    On my side, I have C 2.38 M 8.71 and Y 100, using US Web Coated SWOP v2 CMYK working space.

     

    Tell me more about your color settings!

     

    Louis

     
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    Oct 11, 2012 6:54 AM   in reply to Louis Dery

    Good morning Louis.

     

    We have an HP Indigo digital press with it's own color profile and a QMDI press with it's own color profile. I have made these profiles using x-rite ProfileMaker Pro.

     

    This particular build was using the HP Indigo's profile. The QMDI's profile shows 12% magenta and 100% yellow.

     

    The US Web Coated SWOP v2 is a generic CMYK profile for web presses... This has a much smaller gammut. We don't have any web presses, so this is never used. If we use a vendor, we'll use the US Sheetfed SWOP.

     

    With this new Adobe Pantone +, we'll get a different CMYK build no matter where we go. This will make things difficult to match colors across various ouput devicdes.

     

    Thanks,

    Kean

     
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    Oct 11, 2012 7:23 AM   in reply to KeanVar

    Good morning KeanVar,

     

    Thnaks for the profile information. Now I understand your CMYK build for Pantone.

    About your workflow, which RIP drives your HP Indigo? Does it use any Pantone Table? OR, do you transform to CMYK yourself with applications?

     

    About the + suffix of Pantone _ libraries... I don’t have this + sign in my Illustrator or Photoshop new Pantone Libraries !

    Where those libraries come from?

     

    Louis

     
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    Oct 11, 2012 8:41 AM   in reply to Louis Dery

    The Indigo uses a Production Flow RIP, it does not use a Pantone lookup table. One of the problems with a Paneone lookup table is that over the past 10 years, Paneone has modified their CMYK builds at lease 3 times... us being a commercial printer for a wide variety of clients, accept files that use builds from older Pantone books as well as the newer ones.

     

    I print CMYK becasue each of the previous Pantone books had thier own CMYK builds associated to it and in order to match customer expectations and samples, we don't adjust the CMYK values... if you use a lookup table, you're at the mercy of whichever version the lookup table uses.

     

    However, now, when I placed a customer logo into InDesign CS6, it replaces the spot color in my original AI file with the newer LAB value. This changed the CMYK build. Therefore my output using CS6 won't match samples of what we have been printing for years.

     

    And about the Pantone+... I thought that is what this whole thread was about... The new Adobe CS6 uses Pantone+ libraries... which is based off of LAB values, not CMYK. When I create a new spot color from InDesign, from the Color Mode pull-down, it shows all the Pantone+ libraries. Before, I would choose Pantone Solid Coated... now it's called Pantone+ Solid Coated.

     

    Thanks,

    Kean

     
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    Dec 11, 2012 3:43 PM   in reply to Louis Dery

    Adobe,

    Copy and paste is one of the most basic commands, as we all know. Now when we copy and paste artwork from one document to another colour shifts happen. The file was created in illustrator CS5 using the pantone swatch libraries and pasted into the illustrator CS5 with using the pantone plus swatch libraries.

     

    We will not update to CS6 until this has been resolved.

     

    I do understand colour theory but we all run businesses that use multiple old and new files along with printers and this cannot be an issue.

     

    An example

     

    Pantone 7534C

    Pantone 7485C

     

    We will also remove pantone plus swatch libraries from illustrator in the meantime. Hopefully this issue can be resolved soon. We look forward to hearing from you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 12, 2012 12:24 PM   in reply to BONDcreative

    I agree.

     

    in Commercial printing, no one has the time to re-create all the files old and new to this new "system". And I don't agree that it tells all my printers the correct color. Spots that worked before on my digital press are not working now. It is frustrating and expensive to spend all the time I am having to, just to get the consistant color that Adobe usually gives me.

     

    I am disappointed that we are being forced to use something that doesn't work.Apparently the companies they were thinking of were web based or something.

     

    Color is what we base our business on. Now we are having to adjust again. Not cool. not cool at all.

     

    I see some Pantone plus libraries being deleted right now.

     

     

     
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    Jan 8, 2013 7:20 AM   in reply to Steph.Sitzes

    Deleting the Pantone + libraries will cause problems because some of the Plus swatches acutally look different from the old, and if you show your client 5-year-old books, some won't be mixable/achievable anymore as spot colours because some base colours have changed their hues.

    Software conversion on newer Postcript RIPs are also updated to these formulas, which will case visual differences if you think your still getting old values too.

    We came across this ourselves and have decided to embrace the change and educate our clients.

     
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    Jan 8, 2013 7:08 PM   in reply to Peter Sherk

    Since "upgrading" (ha!) to CS6 I've been having the same problem with the colors being inconsistent. It has taken me forever to figure out what is going on. Adobe has been no help at all and I'd still be in the dark if I hadn't stumbled upon this post.

     

    I'm going back and saving the projects I'm working to the CS5 version and will un-installed CS6. I run my own business and don't even have time to figure all this out at the moment because this has been slowing me down so much.

     

    SO frustrating!!!

     
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    Jan 11, 2013 4:41 AM   in reply to rd7349

    Hi Guys,

     

    I've read through this whole forum and I have found a solution to everyones problem. It is a work around but will save everyone alot of time and hassle and so far it hasn't let me down.

     

    First step: Following the instructions as per the adobe page http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/pantone-plus.htm for replacing the colour books. Make sure you follow all of the instructions for defaulting the setting in Illustrator CS6 to use only CMYK breakdowns (this is very very important) This will fix your problem in Illustrator however you will still notice that importing any artwork into indesign, the Pantone colours will still load as LAB versions (despite having deleted the Pantone+ swatches from your library)

     

    NOTE: you will find that if you load old artwork files it WILL load your desired CMYK versions of any pantones correctly. However when you add new swatches it loads these as lab breakdowns. WHICH IS WHAT WE ALL WANT TO GO AWAY TO PROVIDE CONSISTENCY WITH PREVIOUS CLIENTS.

     

    IMPORTANT INFO: Once a correct CMYK verions of a pantone has be imported into an Indesign document you CANNOT load the same pantone reference colour AGAIN. Meanding it is impossible to have a Pantone 282 C (CMYK) and Pantone 282 C (lab)... only one colour profile can be in a document. So basically if you pre-load all of the pantones as CMYK, Indesign is prohibited from STUPIDLY loading lab values of Pantones swatches:

     

    SO.....

     

    Step Two: (ensuring you have defaulted Illustrator in step1 correctly as per instructions from Adobe)... open Illutrator CS6. Create a new document. Click your swatches tab and clear it of all swatches so it is empty. Click OPEN SWATCH LIBRARY. click COLOUR BOOKS.  Navigate to the swatch Library you require, (for me a mainly use PANTONE solid coated) NOT PANTONE+ ) however since you have followed the steps in step 1 these will not appear in your list as you have deleted all of the pantone + library. ( you can repeat this for as many colour books as required. When the swatched table opens, click the first swatch colour, hold shift key and the click the very last swatch colour and drag these into your swatch panel. Your will now have the complete colour book all defined as Pantone/spot colour/ with a correct(traditional) CMYK value. Now go to "save swatch library as ASE..."within the swatch dropdown menu. And save this somewhere permanent.

     

    Step Three: Open Indesign CS6. Do not open a document. Go to your swatches tab. Click 'LOAD SWATCHES' and open your saved ASE file you made in Illustraor CS6. This will now load the full PANTONE colour library into your swatches tab. Remember as we said before that Indesign will NOT allow you to open two versions of the same pnatone reference, so no matter what file you open, as long as it has a pantone reference, lab or cmyk versions, because they are now already loaded into the swatch library, Indesign will force the conversion to ONLY BE CMYK values of your required Pantone references and IT WILL NOT default to lab values for Pantone colours.

     

    If required. When you have finished your artwork, select, "select all unused" and then delete the ones you don't need.

     

    WARNING: if you delete anything you have imported into your swatch library from your created ASE file... i.e. Pantone 282C.... when you manually add it back again inside Indesign it will default back to the undesired LAB breakdown of the Pantone.

     

    Hopefully this cures a few headaches, so you can all get back to work and enjoy what are some great benefits of using CS6 versions.

     

    On my final note, I do understand why Adobe is trying to force this change. It IS an improvement. However it does require that everyone in your company follows suit, it also requires that you explain this to each of your clients and it does mean changing colours and work flows, which is a decision of individual companies NOT the decision of Adobe to make it for you, which I think is a bad move on there part to try and FORCE this change.

     
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    Jan 17, 2013 8:00 AM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    Check out this page on Adobe help site:

    http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/pantone-plus.html#main-pars_text _11

     

    You'll see that with the release of Pantone+ series, Pantone switched to L*a*b color model definitions, and no longer defined pantone swatches in CMYK, so you can't place all blame on Adobe. Pantone seems to switch CMYK builds even within their own swatches, compare previous Pantone builds with what they released in Pantone Color Bridge builds, they don't match.

    However I would like an EASIER option to continue to use the CMYK definitions - the current workaround is cumbersome and still doesn't address all issues with handlinig files coming from external clients who may use the new Pantone+ series definitions.

     
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    Jan 30, 2013 9:13 AM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    I've read through this entire post and if anyone has to go through this much effort to maintain color consistancy after an application upgrade then it's pretty pretentious for Adobe or Pantone to want us to use their products. It is a matter of opinion as to whether LAB manages colors better than SPOT or CMYK, that is up to the user workflow and the options should have been left open, OR (and maybe I missed it) Adobe could have announced Pantone was changing its library color build. Either way it is a huge burden on the users that support these products. At any rate...

    I immedietely noticed the change in the CMYK build in the Pantone libraries from CS5 to CS6, and even though my RIP is set up to manage the final output for select spot colors my print operators noticed the color variation on their screen and began QC'ing all the art. The only way I've found to fix it is to go into the swatch library and manually change the SPOT colors back to the original build. This will default an error on Pre-Flight but as long as you know you've creating the error you can just ignore it. Sure your RIP can catch the color and convert it to the correct usable workspace. But anyone in this business knows how much time it take to color calibrate these machines and expecting anyone has the time to do this in the middle of running a print business hasn't spent enough time on the ground to understand that's just stupid. I don't want to have to set up a BETA workstation to test Adobe products for potential workflow errors on future version releases, but  thats better than shutting down a print facility and wasting material trying to catch up to something that probably didn't need changed...just saying.

     
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    May 26, 2013 9:28 PM   in reply to Chuck Cordes

    Guys we have had the same problem (colour shifting) with our large format printer.

    However, Adobe has addressed the issue by changing the Colour books as follows. It does not change spot to LAB, it keeps it as CMYK value as it was in CS5.

     

    http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/pantone-plus.html

     

    Hope this helps. Let me know how you go.

     

    Cheers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2014 12:21 PM   in reply to Brettannica

    Here's the workaround I used from http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/kb/pantone-plus.html

    Workaround 1: Replace Pantone Plus with older Pantone color books

    Adobe InDesign CS6:

    + Quit the application

    + From the folder Adobe InDesign CS6/Presets/Swatch Libraries/, remove all the libraries that have names starting with Pantone+

    + From any older version of Adobe InDesign (CS2 - CS5) copy all the Pantone libraries with extension .acb and place into: Adobe InDesign CS6/Presets/Swatch Libraries/

    + Similarly, copy all Pantone libraries with extension .acbl and place into: Adobe InDesign CS6/Presets/Swatch Libraries/Legacy/

    + Restart your application

     

    My original, desired color libraries have returned, but now I have two new problems:

     

    1. The colors, while displaying in InDesign the way I want them to, are now inexplicably exporting improperly (see Fig.1: InDesign layout on top, PDF export below -- even the letters set to Paper [white] are incorrect).

     

     

    Fig.1

    recruit colors.jpg

     

     

    2. Also, the swatch libraries are now duplicating every time I launch InDesign (Fig.2), even though there are only two main swatch libraries (Fig.3), plus the legacy folder.

     

     

    Fig.2

    extra libraries.jpg

     

    Fig.3

    actual libraries.jpg

     

    I don't know how to resolve either of these problems, which are road blocks to all of my current projects.

     
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    Jan 8, 2014 12:26 PM   in reply to ajarmedia

    I've figured out the solution to problem No. 1:

     

    Launch InDesign CS4 (if you still have it, like I do) and Save the Color Settings (Edit menu). Load those settings in InDesign CS6 and your ability to export should be corrected and operate as it used to. (This is what worked for me.)

     

    However, I still have no idea how to stop the color swatch libraries from duplicating every time I create a New Color Swatch. I am up to eight copies appearing in the list now, even though there are still only two libraries in the CS6 folder.

     
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