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Managing swatches in InDesign

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Managing swatches in InDesign

As you experiment with swatches and when you import vector art containing spot colors, you may find that your swatches panel starts to grow and there are colors in there that you don't remember adding; you are not sure you're using. It's a good idea to sort of weed out the extras. So let's take a look in the Swatches panel and see what we have. I have plenty of swatches, a bunch of process colors, a few spot colors here and there. I like to start by getting rid of the unused colors. So I just go to the Swatches panel menu, choose Select All Unused, and it's like a lot of them. When I click the trash can that cleans house a little bit.

Managing swatches in InDesign

As you experiment with swatches and when you import vector art containing spot colors, you may find that your swatches panel starts to grow and there are colors in there that you don't remember adding; you are not sure you're using. It's a good idea to sort of weed out the extras. So let's take a look in the Swatches panel and see what we have. I have plenty of swatches, a bunch of process colors, a few spot colors here and there. I like to start by getting rid of the unused colors. So I just go to the Swatches panel menu, choose Select All Unused, and it's like a lot of them. When I click the trash can that cleans house a little bit.

But look at this little band across the top, this sort of pinky brown. That doesn't show up in my Swatches panel. So now I want InDesign to go find objects that are using colors that aren't in the Swatches panel and add them, so that I can police them later. So back to the Swatches panel menu and this time I choose Add Unnamed Colors. And it adds that little color across the top and it by default names it by its values if you want to change the name you can. I'll just double-click, uncheck Name with Color Value, and just call it medium brown, for lack of a better name.

But then I start looking at the remaining spot colors and go, well, I've got this 7686 and then 7687. That must be a mistake. So let's find out what's used where. If I go to Window > Output > Separations Preview, this is a great way to find out a number of things. Notice how ratty my artwork looks. That's because I'm working in proxy view; that typical view that InDesign uses by default. When I turn on Separations Preview in the Separations Preview panel notice that everything sharpens up.

That's because it does two things when you turn on Separations Preview. It activates high-resolution display and it also activates overprint preview. So you are going to get a true view of how this is going to print when you choose Separations Preview. So now let's do a little forensic work. I am going to turn off the eyeball by CMYK and that's got to hide everything that's created out of process colors. So you can see a number of these little stripes across the bottom disappeared, because they're using CMYK and that brown bar across the top is gone. It's pretty clear where the orange is used, but just to double check if I turn off the eyeball by 1495 that goes away.

That leaves me with the blues. If I turn off 7461, the light blue, that's the little flower shape that's in the middle of the logo, but now let's see which is using the wrong blue. I am going to tell you that in this job the 7686 is the correct blue, and that's used in the logo, but then I have one thing left. So this 7687, now I am going to have to turn on something else so I can turn that off. I turn my process back on. When I turn off the 7687 you can tell that it's being used by those little blocks at the bottom.

I'll turn everything back on. Those little blocks across the bottom were created in Illustrator. So if I were really going to fix them, I go back into Illustrator, correct the file, and then update it in InDesign. And if I am going to use that block artwork over and over again in multiple jobs, yes, I should do that. I should go back to Illustrator and fix the art. But it's only being used this once and I don't feel like cranking up Illustrator. So I am going to see if InDesign can help me out. And the truth is it can using something called Ink Manager. So in the Swatches panel I click the Panel menu, go down to Ink Manager, and Ink Manager's purpose in life is to fix this problem.

Really, it's so common to map one spot color to another or to convert a spot color to process or to map a spot color to a process channel. Now it can't do the opposite. It can't map a process channel to a spot channel, but that's something you really have to do anyway. So let's see how it can help us out. Pantone 7687 is the wrong color. I want it to go out on the 7686 plate and Ink Manager calls that aliasing. So here I am going to tell InDesign all the content that uses 7687.

I want you to alias it to the correct spot plate, which is 7686. It's not really going to change my artwork. It's just going to change the outgoing stream. So if I hit File > Print or File > Export, the resulting product is going to combine these colors into one printing plate. Take a look at the bottom of my Separations Preview panel, you can see that 7687 is still there, but when I click OK, Ink Manager has combined the 7687 content into the 7686 plate.

And when I turn off the eyeball by that ink, you can see that everything now travels together. So I didn't have to go to Illustrator and fix this, I can fix it right here in InDesign. But it's a nondestructive change. If I were to go back to Ink Manager, I can undo that. I can say no don't alias it, have it come out on a separate plate. Hey! I've seen crazier things happen in jobs and the nice thing about that is that it's nondestructive. The slightly misleading thing about it is that you don't see any evidence in the Swatches panel that it's been changed. 7687 is still there and at first glance you think, gosh, that didn't do anything, but again if you export everything is going to get combined into that one plate and everything will be all right.

So just remember this that you're not getting any kind of indicator in the Swatches panel, but if you want to double check always go back to Ink Manager, or the easy way, again the forensic way, is to launch Separations Preview and use that as a way to check. In fact, I recommend that you consider Separations Preview part of your forensic tools when you're trying to make sure at the end of the job that everything is as it should be.

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This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 23405 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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