How to Convert Hex Color to Pantone

by Nicole Whitney

Converting color information between mediums can be challenging. Internet colors are designated by hexidecimal numbers, while printing, whether on paper, cloth or plastic, is often done in Pantone colors. These two methods of designating color codes are not the same, and a hexidecimal code does not translate directly into a Pantone number. Although you can match the color 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 color libraries.

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

Click on the foreground color 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 dialog box.

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

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

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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.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera pantone image by sandycrea from Fotolia.com