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I need to add some color to this document; it's not finished yet. And now the art director has determined the colors that he'd like to see in this document. So I need to add some swatches, but first, I am going to see what swatches I already have. When I go to the Swatches panel, I see that I have an orange and a blue and they're specified as RGB colors, and I can tell because I see these little RGB flags. I like to make them CMYK just to be sure. All I have to do is double-click on a swatch that brings up the Swatch Options, I can change the color mode to CMYK and I am good to go.
Same thing with the blue; double-click, change to CMYK, and I'm good to go. Now I need to add the spot color that the art director has specified. That's PMS 2587. So in the Swatches panel, go to the Panel menu, choose New Color Swatch, and here is where I pick my color book, if you will, under Color Mode. Notice that InDesign CS6 is using the new Pantone plus system. So Pantone plus Solid Coated, those are my spot colors and I know that the color I need is 2587, and I can click OK, and there's my new swatch.
So I am going to select this big empty frame back here and fill it with 2587. Now I have some text I can't read because it kind of competes with that purple. I'm going to select this text frame, and here's a little control you might have overlooked in the Swatches panel, see that little T that lets you sort of select the text in that text frame by remote control. And then click on the T, now when I choose a color, it's going to be applied to the text, not to the frame. But that only works in text frames that aren't threaded together, so these two frames are threaded together so when I choose this and try to do the same trick, the little T is grayed out.
So I'll have to switch to my Type tool, select all the text and apply the paper color that way. Paper, by the way, just means no ink prints here. It's not like opaque white. Now I think maybe it would look nice if we had a gradient back there instead of the solid purple. So I am going to create a gradient and to make things a little bit easier, I am going to drag the Swatches panel loose, and I am going to grab my Gradient panel and drag that loose because I am going to sort of be referring to my Swatches panel as I work in the Gradient panel.
First of all, I'd like to have a tint. I'd like to have that Pantone go from full strength to a lighter version of the Pantone. With the Pantone color selected, I go to the Swatches panel, choose New Tint Swatch, and notice that everything else is grayed out that says no you've got your basic color, all you can do is pick a tint of it, and I think I'll go for 50%. Now if I were making multiple tints, I would click Add, then make another value, then click Add again, but I'm just making the one, so I don't have to click Add, I just click OK.
So I now have my two endpoint colors in place. When I click below this little gradient ramp, things kind of wake up. So these little guides are called stops and it shows where the color breaks. So I wanted to go from the full strength purple on the left to that 50% on the right. So I choose the left stop and then click on that solid Pantone. Oh! What happens? Nothing. Well, there's a little trick; you have to use a keyboard shortcut and start again. Click on the little stop. You can't just click on the swatch; you have to Alt+click or Option+click on it.
So when I Alt+click or Option+click, now I've populated that stop with that full strength Pantone. Click on the little orange stop, Alt+click or Option+click the 50% tint and now I've got that. So let's see how that looks back here in this large frame, not bad, but maybe I want to change the breakpoints. So if I drag this little diamond on the top, you'll see that I can keep it solid purple longer, then it makes a more abrupt change to the lighter purple. I can move it back this way and it stays the lighter purple longer. You have granular control over where the colors break that's why this little guy is here, little breakpoint indicator.
If I think I am going to use this gradient again though, I've to save it as a gradient swatch. Since it's active that's very easy to do. I just go to the Swatches panel menu, choose New Gradient Swatch, and it already understands the settings, and I am just going to call this 2587 gradient and click OK. Now I'm official, it always good to make things swatches. You can make sort of informal color, but if you are going to keep track of all your colors, you really need to make them into swatches. I am going to reset my Advanced workspace to kind of clean house.
I am going to change this word Roux to use that nice tint. So I can go up here in my control panel. I can choose that 50% Pantone, but for the word graphic, I want to use a color that I don't really have yet. I really like the red in this guy's shirt. So with that text selected, I can go over to my Tool panel, get my eyedropper, and I can pick up that red. I don't have to go Photoshop and get an eyedropper there and write down the values, I can draw it right here InDesign. So I am going to vacuum up that red and then I deselect.
You can see that now the graphic matches his image. Isn't that great? One little thing I might need to change though it turns out he's an RGB image and I don't have that color anywhere in my Swatches panel. So as long as I still have a bit of that text selected, you'll notice that my fill color is red. So I have a hold of that color. I can now add it as a swatch. So in the Swatches panel menu, I just choose New Color Swatch; it vacuums up those values and that's when I find out that it's RGB. That's okay. I can change it to CMYK and I'm good to go.
What if I have other projects that are related to this and I want use these swatches over and over again. Well, there's a way that you can trade swatches called ASE, Adobe Swatch Exchange. And the reason it is called exchange is because you can take that little swatch file and you can use it in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. But there are things in Illustrator that Photoshop doesn't understand and that InDesign doesn't understand. For example, patterns in Illustrator; InDesign doesn't have anything like that. So some things can't be stored in an ASE.
So if I were to go to my panel menu and choose Save Swatches, it's grayed out because I don't have anything selected, which tells you something else. You can pick and choose which swatches you want to include. I know that it's not going to include the gradient but I just want to show you the alert that shows up. So I am going to click and then Shift -click so that I have all my little homemade swatches, and now when I choose Save Swatches that's an option. This is when I get the little warning that says, yes, but I'm not going to create gradients or tints or mixed inks.
So the only thing I am going to get is my orange, my blue, my purple, and my red, but that's okay that will get me started. So when I click OK, it says where do you want to save this, and I am going to save it on my desktop and now how can I invoke that? If I go to another document, I am not going to worry about the settings; I am going to clean out my Swatches panel just so we can see this for a fresh start. Then when I choose Load Swatches and I go and find that little ASE file, when I click Open, there is the orange, the blue, the purple, and the red, but I lost my gradient and I lost my tint.
Still though, it gives me a good head start and it means that I'll have consistency in my swatches as I begin other projects.
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