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The basics

What licensing options does Esko offer?

License type

How does it work?

Available for these products...

How to identify this type of license?

Local licenses

  • A local license is activated on the computer where you will use the software.
  • You need an HTML-file or product key to activate.
  • Local licenses are managed in the Local License Manager.

Desktop applications (ArtiosCAD, ArtPro, ArtPro+, DeskPack, Dynamic Content, i-cut Suite, PackEdge, Plato, Studio)

You have received an HTML-file, when you open it, it says local licenses

Or you have received an Email with a product key

Network licenses

  • A network license floats between computers. This means that you activate it on a server and you can use the software on any computer that is connected to that server.
  • You need an HTML-file to activate.
  • Network licenses are managed in the Network License Manager.

Server applications (Automation Engine, Imaging Engine, WebCenter)

Desktop applications (ArtiosCAD, ArtPro, ArtPro+, DeskPack, Dynamic Content, i-cut Suite, PackEdge, Plato, Studio)

You have received an HTML-file

When you open it, it says 'network licenses'

Named user subscriptions

  • A named user subscription is linked to users via their Esko ID.
  • You don't need an HTML-file to activate.
  • Named user subscriptions are managed via

Desktop applications (ArtiosCAD, ArtPro+, Cape, DeskPack, Dynamic Content, Studio)

You have received an Email 'Get Started with your subscription', there are no product keys listed

Local subscriptions

  • A local subscription works the same as a local license: it is activated on the computer where you will use the software.
  • You need a product key to activate.
  • Local subscriptions are managed in the Local License Manager.

i-cut Suite

You have received an Email 'Get Started with your subscription', with one or more product keys listed

How does the Esko licensing system work?

Esko software is protected by activation-based licenses: in order to use Esko software on your computer, you need to activate a valid license first. 'Activating' means transferring the license from the Esko license server over the internet to your local computer system where the Esko software is installed.

In practice, this means that:

  • Every time you install Esko software, you also need to activate the appropriate licenses
    • When you bought new licenses or subscriptions
    • When you're upgrading your Esko software to a newer major version (e.g. from 14.1.x to 16 or from 16.0.x to 16.1.x)
    • If you're upgrading to a newer minor version (e.g. 16.1 to 16.1.1) or if you're installing a hotfix, you don't need to activate licenses
    • When you're working with temporary licenses, and you received an extension
  • Every time you change anything, you need to deactivate (and reactivate) the appropriate licenses
    • When you want to move your Esko software to a new computer.
    • When you want to virtualize or modify (e.g. restore a backup) the hardware where the Esko software is installed

More info:

Can you access the software via remote desktop (Windows)?

No, it is not possible to have software installed with a local license or a subscription and access it via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

What to do if you get license expiry warnings?

If you have temporary licenses that are about to expire, you'll get warnings in the software. When a license has expired, the software won't work anymore.

You can find instructions on what to do with license expiry warnings here:

About local and network licenses

How to activate or deactivate your Esko licenses?

Where can you find your product keys or product key files (HTML-files)?

You can find your HTML-files in your mail box (we send them to the requester or to the contact person for the order). They're compressed in a ZIP-file, You can unzip them with standard tools that are freely available.

Or you can download your HTML-files from

More info:

If you don't have access to MySoftware and you don't have the HTML-files in your mail box, you can contact Esko Support to send them to you.

Do you need internet access to activate Esko licenses?

This is not necessary, you can also activate local licenses or network licenses on a disconnected computer ('offline activation').

In short, the offline activation process works as follows:

  1. You create a request file on the computer without Internet access.
  2. You transfer the request file to a computer with Internet access and upload the file to the Esko website.
  3. From the Esko website, you receive a response file.
  4. You transfer the response file back to the computer without Internet access and you load it to receive your license.

Note: With subscriptions, it is not possible to activate or sign in when you're offline because you need to be online regularly to renew your subscription.

You can find more details on the requirements to access the Esko license server here:

If your computer is connected to the Internet, you will automatically follow the online procedures. You can also connect via a proxy server or use PAC files (Proxy auto-config files).

You can switch your activation mode by changing your preferences in the Local License Manager or Network License Manager:

  1. Go to Help > License Manager Preferences.
    1. Select Use system settings to use a PAC file.
    2. Select Connect without a proxy server to connect directly to the Internet.
    3. Select Use a proxy server and fill in the proxy server details to connect via proxy server.
    4. Select Activate via another online computer to always use the offline activation process, even if you are online.

What is special about upgrade licenses?

If you're upgrading your software to a newer major version (e.g.: from 14.1.x to 16.0.x or from 16.0.x to 16.1.x), you need to activate upgrade key files. You can follow the same procedures (online and offline) as for normal local licenses, but the HTML-file will look slightly different as it contains some logic to clean up your old licenses too.

Therefore, you need to keep the following in mind when upgrading your Esko software:

  • You need to activate the upgrade key file on the computer where the older licenses are activated (if they can't be cleaned up, the newer licenses won't be activated either)

  • You can only use the upgrade key file once. Afterwards, you can
    • use the backup HTML-file that is saved on your computer (in the Documents-folder),
    • or you can download a new HTML-file with all licenses on your computer from

More info on how to activate upgrade key files: 

What are the system requirements for a computer acting as license server?

About named user subscriptions

Where can you manage your company's subscriptions?

You can view your order, payment status, invoices etc on My Store Account.

You can manage your subscriptions online on (You need to sign in with your Esko ID). On this management portal, you have two different views:

  • Unassigned subscriptions: per order you can see which subscriptions are still available and for which product, so you can assign them to your users.
  • Assigned subscriptions: per user you can see which subscriptions he/she has, since when, whether he's actually signed in and on which computer.
In this view...You can see...
Unassigned subscriptions
  • Order number: reference number of your order, also visible on My Store Account (e.g.: 11601234).
  • Product: product and edition (e.g. ArtPro+ Essentials).
  • Quantity: subscriptions that are still available.
Assigned subscriptions
  • User: Email address (Esko ID) of your user.
  • Product: product and edition.
  • Order number: reference number of your order, also visible on the Esko Store.
  • In use?
    • Not in use: the user is currently not signed in anywhere.
    • In use on Computer1: the user is currently signed in on Computer1.
  • Assigned: the date when the subscription was assigned to the user.
  • Last checked: most recent date that the user's computer connected to the Esko server.
    • If this is more than 30 days ago, the user can't work anymore and needs to connect to the Esko server to continue working.


How to assign or unassign your Esko subscriptions?

You can find all instructions here:

How to sign in or sign out?

You can find all instructions here:

What if your computer has crashed?

You can recover your subscription as follows:

  1. Reinstall the software (if needed).
  2. Launch the software and sign in. You will get a warning that you're still signed.
  3. Check Sign Out Remotely and continue.
  4. You can now work again.

Can you work offline?

Yes you can, but you need to be online to start using your subscription (= when you sign in) and every month to make sure your subscription gets renewed. In between it's perfectly OK to work offline for a few days.

How can you see that you're signed in?

  • For ArtiosCAD, ArtPro+, Cape and Studio Toolkit: 
    • Go to the Help menu (if you're signed in, you will be able to sign out and you can see with which Esko ID you're signed in).
  • For plug-ins in Illustrator
    • Go to Help > Esko > Subscriptions...
  • For plug-ins in Photoshop: 
    • Go to File > Automate > Esko Subscriptions...

Can you share an Esko ID with a colleague?

No, an Esko ID should always be linked to one physical person and cannot be shared among different people.

Can you downgrade to an older version of the software?

No, this is not possible. Before purchasing, you need to verify whether your environment meets the system requirements of the application you want to subscribe to.

You can check all system requirement here.

What if a user lost his subscription?

Users won't lose their subscription. As long as they know their Esko ID, they can sign in on any computer. If a user's computer got damaged, he can reinstall the software, he will again be asked to sign in and he can continue working.

Article information
Applies to

Esko all software products


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