[Scribus] pantone colors on scribus (summary)

Gustavo Homem gustavo
Fri May 5 23:26:03 CEST 2006


Thanks to everyone who answered my questions. Here goes the summary from the 
pantone thread.

Can someone put this on the wiki? (corrections may be needded of course :-) )

Best regards

1- Spot colors

Spot colors are colors made from pure ink, rather than being a mixture of the 
primary colors of CMYK (or other color space).

Spot colors may be desired for two reasons:

- economy: if the document to print contains less than the number of primary 
(4 in the case of CMYK) it may be less expensive to use spot colors than to 
render them as a mixture of the primaries

- quality: it isn't allways possible equal a certain color with a mixture of 

More on spot colors can be found here:


The PDF specification supports the concept of spot color. In terms of PDF 
information a spot color is merely a color reference which is defined by a 
name. This name is supposed to be known and will determine how the color is 
printed.  A PDF spot color also includes the RGB/CMYK information to be used 
in cases where spor colors are not supported, eg, viewing the file with a PDF 

More on PDF spot colors here:


(see pages 234 and 532)

Scribus provides a way to generate PDFs with spot colors: it is as simple as 
checking the corresponding checkbox on the Color Editor.

2 - Pantone colors

The Pantone color set is a list of colors maintained by a company with the 
same name. To each color corresponds a name assigned by Pantone.

The Pantone set exists only on paper. There is no such thing as "on screen 
Pantone colors". 

In terms of software, Pantone colors are treated as spot colors. To produce a 
document with Pantone colors, one must:

1 - choose the colors on a Pantone color table
2 - mark the colors used in the document as spot colors, and assign the the 
correct Pantone names.
3 - assign them RBG or CMYK values (optional: doesn't affect how the final 
result comes from the press...)
4 - generate the PDF leaving the option "Convert spot colors to process 
colors" unchecked
5 - handle the PDF file to a print shop that supports Pantone

Although the Pantone color table contains and RGB triplet for each color, the 
way the color looks on screen (either on Scribus or on the generated PDF) is 
irrelevant, because it will be printed according to its name.

Of course, it's better if the document on screen is as closer as possible 
(this doesn't mean very close) to the final one, so assigning RGB values may 
help for visualization. If one wants a very rough preview on a regular 
printer, the CMYK values from the Pantone table should be assigned instead.

Some programs like Quark Express already come with built in list of Pantone 
color names and RGB/CMYK "representations". In terms of workflow this feature 
eliminates the need for steps 2 and 3. However since there is no real on 
screen representation, the most important step, which is step 1, must be 

The reason Scribus doesn't have such a table built-in, is caution regarding 
potential legal issues with Pantone. However one can build such a table for 
personal use and include it on Scribus.rc

Angulo S?lido - Tecnologias de Informa??o

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