Where Are Pantone Colors in Illustrator CS4?

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Where Are Pantone Colors in Illustrator CS4?
Pantone offers digital colour swatches you can use to create colours in Illustrator. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Founded in 1963, Pantone manufactures a variety of colour products including plastic chips and digital swatches. The Pantone Goe swatch system is compatible with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and QuarkXPress and works on Microsoft and Mac computers. The swatches for Illustrator use the extension ".ai" and the colour model "Adobe 1998 RGB."

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Using Pantone Colors

Within an Adobe Illustrator file, click on the "Windows" folder. Scroll to "Swatches" to open the "Swatches" window. Expand the window by clicking on the arrow in the corner of the window and click the "Open Swatch Library" option. Scroll through the options and click either "PANTONE Goe coated," "PANTONE GoeBridge" or "PANTONE Goe." Each of these swatch libraries uses slightly different colours. All of these libraries work with Adobe Illustrator CS4.

About the Swatches

The Goe system uses 2,058 solid colours that are chromatically arranged. These swatches are designed for use with traditional ink printers. The system is based on 165 full-strength colours available in a variety of strengths and hues. Names for the colours are designed to signify which of the full-strength colours the swatch represents. For example, the swatch "Pantone 14-5-2" is from the 14th colour family, on page five at spot two.

Installing the Library

If your version of the Adobe Illustrator doesn't have the Pantone library for some reason, you can install it manually. Click on the "Window" option then click "Swatch Libraries" and "Other Library." Open "My Computer" and locate the Pantone library on your hard drive. Click on this folder and open the "Application Support Folder." Click "Adobe" then "Illustrator" and click the Pantone library and click the button that reads "OK."

Pantone Products

If you want an easy visual representation of Pantone colours, you can purchase Pantone plastic chips. These chips are made of polypropylene plastic and are all one hue. The chips list the names and codes of the colours on their backs and can be put on a keyring to create a set of chips you can flip through. You can order these chips from Pantone one or many at a time. Pantone also manufactures a "Color Manager" software that allows you to scroll through the colour libraries or to sync the libraries with other programs, including the libraries on the myPantone iPhone application.

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