New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Adjusting Illustrator color settings

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Adjusting Illustrator color settings

Before creating your first swatch inside of Illustrator, it's important to understand the different settings for color that you're able to change prior to getting started with the document or even after you have open up a document, how to modify those settings after the fact. In this movie I'll be walking you through Illustrator's Color Settings panel and how to navigate it and exactly what everything means. In order to open up Illustrator's Color Settings dialog box, you need to go up to the Edit menu and go down and choose Color Settings, or you can simply use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+K on the PC, Shift+Command+K on the Mac.

Adjusting Illustrator color settings

Before creating your first swatch inside of Illustrator, it's important to understand the different settings for color that you're able to change prior to getting started with the document or even after you have open up a document, how to modify those settings after the fact. In this movie I'll be walking you through Illustrator's Color Settings panel and how to navigate it and exactly what everything means. In order to open up Illustrator's Color Settings dialog box, you need to go up to the Edit menu and go down and choose Color Settings, or you can simply use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+K on the PC, Shift+Command+K on the Mac.

Once you open that up, you are going to see that the Color Settings dialog box has a lot of information in it. It tells you at the top, For more information on color settings you can search for "setting up color management" in the Help document. The Help documentation on color is actually really good in Illustrator, so I recommend reading through that if you have the opportunity. At the top you'll be able to pick the Settings. In most cases, North American General Purpose 2 will be okay, but you may want to switch this, especially if you are doing a lot of print work to North American Prepress.

North American Prepress always has the right settings when dealing with print. Let's break this down by section. Let's start off here by the Working Spaces. The Working Spaces options govern the display of RGB and CMYK colors, and they serve as the default color profile for new documents that are created. Underneath here you have Color Management Policies. The Color Management Policies govern how colors are treated when you open a file that lacks a color profile or when a file's profile conflicts with the currently chosen color settings.

So for instance, if I have a color setting set for RGB to be Adobe RGB (1998) and I have the CMYK setting set up to U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, that means if I open up a file that conflicts with either one of these, these rules down here at the bottom will then help take care of that. So therefore, if I open up a document that has a different RGB profile embedded in it, this RGB rule says, Preserve the Embedded Profile. That means ignore Adobe RGB (1998) and go with the profile that's embedded in the file.

Same for CMYK, if I open up something that's a different CMYK profile, then the CMYK U.S. web Coated (SWOP) v2, go ahead and Preserve the Numbers, but Ignore the Linked Profiles. That means keep the CMYK values for all the colors, but ignore the profile and add it to the U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. For Profile Mismatches, you can have Illustrator ask you when opening what to do. That means if your profile doesn't match what you're currently set to, Illustrator will pop-up and say, hey, what would you like to do? Would you like to preserve it or would you like to convert it? You can also ask when pasting, so if you paste from one document to another you can have Illustrator pop-up and say, hey, this isn't exactly the right profile for the way I am setup, but would you like to preserve the profile that's here or switch to the profile that I am using? For Missing Profiles, you can also ask when opening as well.

You will notice when you hover over these you get a description down in the Description field at the bottom of the screen. This is going to be extremely helpful in you understanding exactly what all these options mean. So if I hover over this, it tells me that when enabled, you will be notified whenever the embedded color profile in a newly opened document doesn't match the current working space. Like I said, you open up a document in Bruce RGB versus Adobe RGB (1998). At any time you can come in here and change your general color settings for Illustrator. You can also load color settings that someone gives you, like a commercial printer for instance.

If they have their own specific color settings they need, they can send those to you and you can load them by clicking the Load option right here. You can also customize all of these settings and save them and send them out to other designers or other printers that you might be working with. At the bottom of this dialog box, you'll see an option called More Options. The More Options indicates the conversion options, like the Engine that's used and the Intent as well. If you're not very clear on what these options mean, my suggestion would be just to hide them for now.

You can figure that out as you go along. For now all you need are these options here and here, and remember, always use the hinting that's available to you in these dialog boxes. Hovering over these will temporally highlight them and show you a description at the bottom of the screen. In most cases, your printer, your client or someone will tell you the colors that you need to use. But if you're not sure, the North American Prepress or North American General Purpose are definitely a safe way to go. Once you have setup your color settings inside of Illustrator, hit OK and those rules are automatically applied. No need to restart.

So before you get started creating your own swatches and working with different color palettes inside of Illustrator, take the time to go through your color settings and set them up properly. You might also want to check out the different files that you've been working on previously to make sure there's no profile mismatches or any errors like that. Once you've got all of your color settings set the way you need them to be, you can take comfort in knowing that you won't have any conflicts or any trouble with what you're seeing on the screen matching what comes out of the printed finished product.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 70158 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.