Manage color libraries

When you use a color matching system—a color library—you choose from colors defined by a color vendor. Commercial printers can precisely match the formula represented in a vendor swatch book.

Every color from a library is defined as either a spot color or a process color. A spot color is printed on a printing press with premixed inks by using a single printing plate. A process color is printed on a press by overlapping dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) on separate plates.

Before choosing a color from a color library, ask your commercial printer for a list of supported libraries. For best results, choose colors from a swatch book, rather than relying on the onscreen representation of the color.

FrameMaker includes these libraries:


Adobe developed the Crayon library to provide access to common RGB colors using everyday names in alphabetical order. Do not use Crayon colors as spot colors.


The DIC Color Guide provides spot colors. It is used mostly in Japan.


The FOCOLTONE®Color System provides 860 process (CMYK) colors.


The Grays library, developed by Adobe, provides both process and spot shades of gray in 1% increments.


The Munsell System provides colors defined on the RGB model.


The Online color library provides 216 “web-safe” colors that have a consistent appearance on all platforms when viewed with a web browser.


Most of the libraries in the PANTONE®MATCHING SYSTEM are for spot colors. Only the two PANTONE process libraries are for selecting process colors. Separate PANTONE libraries are available for colors that are printed on coated and uncoated paper. The PANTONE ProSim Euro library uses color definitions that match the printing systems prevalent in Europe.


The TOYO Color Finder provides over 1000 colors based on the most common printing inks in Japan.


The TRUMATCH®4-Color Selector provides over 2000 process colors that cover the CMYK visible color spectrum in even steps.

View color definitions in a color library

1)Choose View > Color > Definitions, choose a library from the Color Libraries pop-up menu, and then click About.

Add a color library for use in FrameMaker

You can add any library file formatted in the ASCII Color Format (.acf), version 2.1 or earlier, or in the Binary Color Format (.bcf), version 2.0. You can’t use FrameMaker to save a .bcf library file.

1)Place the library file into the Fminit\Color folder and restart FrameMaker.

September 30, 2016

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