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Creating process and global process swatches

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating process and global process swatches

When you create a new Illustrator document from a New Document profile, for example, print or Web, a quick glance at the Swatches panel will show you some Preset swatches. This is really meant as a springboard, or a way for you to quickly start creating graphics inside of Illustrator. However, for any design project that you're working on, you'll want to create your own colors. Now, of course, Illustrator also has a Color panel, and I can apply colors very quickly this way by selecting any artwork, making sure here that my Fill is currently in focus, and if I move my cursor over this rainbow that appears right here, or what we call the CMYK Spectrum, my icon changes to an Eyedropper tool.

Creating process and global process swatches

When you create a new Illustrator document from a New Document profile, for example, print or Web, a quick glance at the Swatches panel will show you some Preset swatches. This is really meant as a springboard, or a way for you to quickly start creating graphics inside of Illustrator. However, for any design project that you're working on, you'll want to create your own colors. Now, of course, Illustrator also has a Color panel, and I can apply colors very quickly this way by selecting any artwork, making sure here that my Fill is currently in focus, and if I move my cursor over this rainbow that appears right here, or what we call the CMYK Spectrum, my icon changes to an Eyedropper tool.

I can click and then drag, and as I do so, I'm sampling colors from this rainbow, and when I release the mouse that color gets filled onto my object. Right now, I'm in the CMYK document, but had I created a Web document, which uses RGB colors, instead of seeing CMYK sliders right here, I would see RGB sliders. Additionally, I can move each of these sliders if I want to, or I could put my cursor here inside of these value boxes and type in numeric values specifically.

For example, if I wanted a color that was made up of 30% Cyan and 20% Magenta, I can type in 30, hit the Tab key to advance to the next field, type in 20, and then I'll hit Tab, 0 and then Tab, 0, and now I've gotten this color. You can change between different Color sliders by coming up over here to the flyout menu and choosing Grayscale, RGB, HSV, CMYK or Web Safe RGB Colors if you want to ensure that the colors that we're using will display correctly on older monitors on the Web.

A shortcut to switch between those different options is to Shift+Click on the spectrum right here. Each time that you Shift+Click, it toggles between the different color modes within the Color panel. But say I really like this color. I want to save it as a swatch so I can easily apply it to many objects throughout my workflow. Well, I can do one of two things. I can either grab just this icon right here, and drag it into the Swatches panel, or because I now have this color selected in the Color panel, I can come down to the Swatches panel and click on this button to create a new swatch.

I actually prefer this method because it brings up the New Swatch dialog box, which lets me assign a name to this swatch. By default, Illustrator will name each swatch by its color values. This way you don't get Swatch 1, Swatch 2, Swatch 3 that have no meaning, but instead, a quick glance at the name of the swatch lets you know what color it is. You can always apply your own name as well. When you create a swatch that's made up of a variety of different values of CMYK or RGB, we refer to that color as a Process Color.

A Process Color simply means that it is made up of a mixture of primary colors. So when I click OK, I now see that that swatch has been added into my Swatches panel. At anytime, I could simply click on this New Swatch button, and I could adjust the sliders right here to create my own custom color values as well. So if I wanted to create some kind of a yellow color, I could click OK and now create a swatch that way. But here's the thing about working with Process swatches.

It's a quick way for me to be able to apply color to a document. However, I don't really have an easy way to manage that color. Let me explain what I mean. I'm now going to select these three objects on my artboard, and I'm going to click on this icon, which I just created now, this new swatch, which is filled with 20% yellow. I'm now going to deselect the artwork and after looking at this, I may decide that the color is not bright enough for me, and I want to add more of a stronger yellow to this.

Well, I use the swatch to apply color to these objects, so I might come back to the Swatches panel and double- click on that swatch to make a change. I might want to change it now from 20% yellow to 60% yellow. I'll click OK, and you'll notice that the swatch did indeed change. However, the objects on the artboard board still remain the older version of that yellow. That's because the swatch basically allows me to apply color, but once I've applied that color, the swatch has no longer any connection to that object.

It's almost as if right now you had a can of paint in front of you, and that can of paint was filled with a very pale yellow color. You take a paint brush, and you start painting your wall with his nice, soft shade of yellow. After you finish painting your entire wall, you take a step back, and you go hmm, I really wish that wall was a brighter color of yellow. So you go back to your can of paint, which is sitting on the floor and you add some more paint to it to make it a much more brighter yellow. However, just because you've changed the color inside of the paint can, it doesn't instantly make the entire wall change color as well.

What you will need to do is, once again, repaint the wall using the new paint, which is the same as I would do here inside of Illustrator. I'll have to select all these elements and then click on the Swatch to make that change. But note that I had to do two things: I had to first change to swatch itself. Then I had to re-apply that swatch to all the other objects. Well there's another kind of swatch, which I can create inside of Illustrator, something called a Global Process Swatch, which allows me to maintain some kind of a connection between the objects and the swatch itself.

You might almost think of it as a Smart Swatch. Let's see how that works inside of Illustrator. Well I'm going to deselect my art. Right now, I have this bright yellow color. I'm now going to double-click on the swatch because I realize that maybe I want to have a little bit of a green tint to this color. So I want to add a little bit of Cyan to this color as well. Remember, if I now go ahead to make a change to swatch, the swatch might get updated, but the objects in my document won't get updated. So what I'm going to do first with this swatch is once I open it up, I'm now going to come here where it says Color Type and where it says Process Color and check this box called Global.

This now turns this swatch into what we call a Global Process Swatch. Now when I click OK, a quick glance at the swatch itself shows that it has a little white triangle in the bottom right-hand corner of the swatch itself. This indicates that right now this swatch is not a Regular Process Swatch. It's a Global Process Swatch. I'm now going to select all the artwork here and paint that artwork using this Global Process Swatch. So the technique that I've just done right now is the same as I've done before.

I selected some artwork, and I applied some color to it with a swatch. The only difference though is that right now this swatch is not a Regular Process Swatch; it's a Global Process Swatch. So now I'm going to deselect my artwork. I'm just click on a blank area on my artboard and even though that I have no artwork selected right now, I can very easily make a change to these colors. I'm going to come back to the Swatches panel, and I'm going to double-click on the swatch because, like I said before, I want to add a little bit of Cyan to this color so that it looks somewhat more green.

So I'm now going to change the Cyan slider here, or simply just come over here and type in about 20%, and now I'm going to click OK. Notice that when I do so, not only does the swatch update, but all the artwork on my artboard also updates, even though they weren't selected. That's because when I use a Global Process Swatch, there is this link between the swatch itself and any other attributes that I've used for that swatch. In this case, I was able to update all the fills of my objects.

Of course, if I would been using that same exact color with other objects in my document or Fills or Strokes, for example, all those elements would also get updated as well. So we see that there are really two kinds of swatches that I can create inside of Illustrator, a Process Swatch which lets me apply colors one at a time, or a Global Process Swatch which does the same thing, but also allows me to make changes globally across an entire document just by modifying the swatch. Now when would I want to use one over the other? While I'm just experimenting, or trying out many different colors, I probably don't want to use Global Process Swatches.

That's because when I update my swatch, I may inadvertently make changes to things across my entire document. However, if I'm working with corporate colors, colors that I know I'm using throughout my entire document, and I know that when I want to make a change to that color, I want that color to update across my entire document, that's a great time to start using Global Process Color.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 81504 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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