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How to Use Swatches in Adobe InDesign CS6 Documents

You can create, apply, and edit colors from the Swatches panel in Adobe InDesign Creative Suite 6. In addition to using this panel to create and edit tints and gradients and then apply them to objects on a page, you can also create and save solid colors. Choose Window→Color→Swatches to open or expand the Swatches panel.

To create a new color swatch to use in a document, follow these steps:

  1. Click the downward facing arrow located in the upper right corner of the Swatches Panel to open the Swatches panel menu; choose New Color Swatch.

    The New Color Swatch dialog box opens.

  2. Type a new name for the color swatch or leave the color named by color values.

    The colors in the Swatches panel are named by their color values as a default.

    The name you choose is displayed next to the color swatch when it’s entered into the panel.

  3. Choose the color type from the Color Type drop-down list.

    Are you using a spot color, Pantone, for example, or Process, which is used when printing a color with Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK)?

  4. Choose the color mode.

    From the Color Mode drop-down list, select a color mode. For this example, choose CMYK. Many of the other choices you see are prebuilt color libraries for various systems.

  5. Create the color by using the color sliders.

    Note that if you start with Black, you have to adjust that slider to the left to see the other colors.

    If you choose a spot color, such as Pantone, to select a color you will be presented with a list of available color swatches instead of the color sliders.

  6. Click OK or Add.

    Click Add if you want to continue adding colors to the Swatches panel or click OK if this color is the only one you’re adding. The color or colors are added to the Swatches panel. If you clicked Add, click OK when you’re done adding color swatches.

You can make changes to the swatch by selecting it in the Swatches panel and then choosing Swatch Options from the panel menu, or by simply double-clicking it in the Swatches panel.

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