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The Recolor Artwork function inside of illustrator is a great way to actually make changes of colors to your artwork, however, if you have a lot of colors going on inside of your artwork, it can sometimes be hard to find where those colors are actually being used, especially for someone like myself who can sometimes find it hard to make distinctions between colors, because I'm colorblind. I appreciate any kind of feature that will help me find where colors are used inside of my document. Let's take a look at how we can use the Recolor Artwork feature to actually do this.
I am actually going to start by selecting all of my artwork here, because I want to identify colors across all the artwork inside of my document. The Recolor Artwork dialog box is quite large, so I am just going to simply hold down my spacebar to get the hand grabber tool and I am just going to reposition the page right now to the upper left-hand corner of my screen. Now with my artwork selected, I am going to click on the color wheel over here to actually open up the Recolor Artwork dialog box. It's on the side of over here, so now I can see all of my artwork, and you can see that right now inside of all the artwork that I have right now selected, there are 17 colors right now that are in use, and if I scroll down the list here, I can see all these colors.
Again, in the previous movie I turned off the ability for illustrator to protect black and white, so right now black and white also show up as colors counted within that number 17 right here. But if I scroll to the top over here, I have all these different shades of green and I'm not really sure exactly where all these colors are used in my design. So if I take a look over here on the bottom right-hand corner, there is a little magnifying glass and if I click on it, I basically activate a special mode now that's purely used for preview purposes.
Notice right now that all of my artwork is kind of gotten grayed out, it's kind of dimmed back in brightness. Now whenever I click on any of the colors here, those that are my current colors, Illustrator will light up in my document where are those colors currently being used. If I click on this color, for example, it lights up that here's the background color, and as I go through each of these colors, I can actually see where those colors are being used in my artwork. I find this incredibly helpful, because it allows me to identify where colors are.
You know, sometimes you'll find that when you open up the Recolor Artwork dialog box, you will see a color in there that maybe you didn't notice before, maybe by accident you applied a color that you didn't mean to. This is a great way to quickly find where that color is. Now I'm doing this with distinct objects, but remember, all these features work across Patterns and Gradients as well, so if you have a gradient or pattern that uses a specific color, turning on the magnifying glass and then clicking on each of these colors will highlight just those colors even within Patterns, Symbols, or Gradients.
Now if I hold down my Shift key, I can actually start to click multiple colors and all those colors will become highlighted, even those not indicated here, by making them dark gray, you can see that there is an outline that appears around each of these color bars. Once I have identified where these colors are used inside of my artwork, I can now make better decisions on how to actually change those colors. Once I am down identifying the colors, I can simply click on the magnifying glass again to return back to a full preview, so the magnifying glass is kind of like a toggle, you can turn it on to now preview and show off your colors and then click on it again to turn that function off.
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