How to convert hex color to pantone

Updated February 21, 2017

Converting colour information between mediums can be challenging. Internet colours are designated by hexidecimal numbers, while printing, whether on paper, cloth or plastic, is often done in Pantone colours. These two methods of designating colour codes are not the same, and a hexidecimal code does not translate directly into a Pantone number. Although you can match the colour codes using a conversion chart, the simplest way to do this is to use Photoshop or any other graphics program that allows you to switch colour libraries.

Open your graphics program and make your hex colour the foreground painting colour. If you took the hex code from an existing image, you can open that image and select the colour with the eyedropper tool. Otherwise, select the colour using any of your program's colour picking tools.

Click on the foreground colour box in the Tool bar. This is near the bottom of the vertical toolbar on the left of the screen. Clicking this brings up the Color dialogue box.

Change your colour code by selecting a new Color Library. Located underneath the OK and Cancel buttons, this dialogue box gives you a drop-down box with different types of colour palettes.

Choose one of the Pantone options in the Color Library to find your Pantone colour. Keep in mind that changing palettes rarely makes an exact match; there may be a slight difference in the colours. This method will give you the closest match possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Graphics editing program
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Nicole Whitney began writing professionally in 2008. She has authored in-house training documentation for quality assurance in insurance applications. With many credits coming from a stint in classics, Whitney holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Assumption College.