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Adobe CS5 Illustrator Color Guide and Groups

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator Color Guide facility helps you to find colors and save them to organized color groups in your Swatches panel. You can create color schemes based on 23 classic color-harmony rules, such as the Complementary, Analogous, Monochromatic, and Triad options, or you can create custom harmony rules.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Fortunately, all you have to do is choose a base color and then see which variations you come up with according to rules you choose. Give it a try:

  1. Choose Window→Color Guide.

    The Color Guide appears.

    The Color Guide panel identifies related colors.
    The Color Guide panel identifies related colors.
  2. Select a color from the Swatches panel. If it isn’t visible, choose Window→Swatches.

    Immediately, the Color Guide panel kicks in to provide you with colors related to your original swatch.

  3. Change the harmony rules by clicking the Edit Colors button at the bottom of the Color Guide panel.

    The Edit Colors dialog box appears.

    Choose and save color groups in the Edit Colors dialog box.
    Choose and save color groups in the Edit Colors dialog box.

    You can spend days experimenting in the Edit Colors dialog box, however, we will focus on simple harmony rules. To do this, click the Harmony Rules arrow to the right of the color bar. A drop-down list appears with many choices for selecting colors. Choose a color harmony.

    Make a selection from the Harmony Rule drop-down list.
    Make a selection from the Harmony Rule drop-down list.
  4. Save your color selection as a color group by clicking the New Color Group icon.

    If you like, you can rename the color group by double-clicking the group name in the Color Group section of the Live Color window.

  5. Click OK.

    The color group is added to the Swatches panel.

You don’t have to use the Edit Colors dialog box to save a group of colors. You can Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac) to select multiple colors and then click the New Color Group button at the bottom of the Swatches panel.

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