Adobe CS5 Illustrator Color Saving and Custom Libraries

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator has the capacity to save colors and to build custom libraries of your colors. Saving colors not only keeps you consistent but also makes edits and changes to colors easier in the future.

Any time you build a color, drag it from the Color panel to the Swatches panel to save it as a color swatch for future use. You can also select an object that uses the color and click the New Swatch button at the bottom of the Swatches panel.

To save a color and name it at the same time, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) the New Swatch icon. The New Swatch dialog box opens, where you can name and edit the color, if you want. By double-clicking a swatch in the Swatches panel, you can access the options at any time.

A color in the Swatches panel is available only in the document in which it was created.

When you save a color in the Swatches panel, you’re essentially saving it to your own, custom library. You import the Swatches panel from one document into another by using the Libraries feature.

To retrieve colors saved in a document’s Swatches panel by selecting the Swatch Libraries menu button at the bottom of the Swatches panel and dragging down to Other Library.

You can also access swatch libraries, including those in other documents, by choosing Window→Swatch Libraries→Other Library. Locate the saved document and click Open. A panel appears with the document name. You can’t edit the colors in this panel, but you can use the colors in this panel by double-clicking a swatch (to edit the color) or dragging it to the current document’s Swatches panel.

You can also click the Swatch Libraries button to access color libraries for Pantone colors, Web colors, and some neat creative colors, such as jewel tones and metals.

An imported custom swatch library.
An imported custom swatch library.
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