Does Ink Manager use official Pantone recommended values?

I was wondering if anyone knows if you use the Ink Manager to convert Pantone Spot Colors to CMYK in InDesign is the outcome an official Pantone recommended value?


Short answer: No.

They might be close, but will almost certainly not match exactly. Adobe’s Pantone swatches libraries are based on Lab gamut values, which do not convert directly to CMYK gamut values. If you convert a PANTONE+ Solid Coated swatch for PMS 300 (L:36 a:-10 b:-32) to CMYK for example, the result is C:100 M:62.21 Y:7.03 K:0.37. The Pantone color bridge that I have for solid coated shows C:100 M:44 Y:0 K:0. There may be some instances where the Lab values translate to the same CMYK values listed in the Pantone bridge guide, but it will be by chance.

Note that these values were from the InDesign CC2018 Pantone libraries, which may differ between CC releases and applications like Illustrator and Photoshop. Also, InDesign’s Pantone+ Coated Bridge swatch values for PMS 300 (C:100 M:50 Y:0 K:2) do not match my printed Pantone Bridge guide, so they don’t even match each other from year to year.

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