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Removing unused swatches from documents

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork

Video: Removing unused swatches from documents

As you work on a document to make revisions and changes, you may find that you have accumulated a lot of different swatches inside of that document. Now at some point you may want to clean house and get rid of the swatches that are no longer necessary for that document. Not only does it help reduce the confusion in trying to find the colors that you want, it can also help reduce the file size of the document and prevent accidents maybe later on down the road. There are actually two ways to accomplish this and let me show them to you. I am going to start up by just creating a brand-new document.

Removing unused swatches from documents

As you work on a document to make revisions and changes, you may find that you have accumulated a lot of different swatches inside of that document. Now at some point you may want to clean house and get rid of the swatches that are no longer necessary for that document. Not only does it help reduce the confusion in trying to find the colors that you want, it can also help reduce the file size of the document and prevent accidents maybe later on down the road. There are actually two ways to accomplish this and let me show them to you. I am going to start up by just creating a brand-new document.

I am going to use the Print Profile here and when I click OK, you'll see that this document already now has some swatches inside of it. Now, I did not create these swatches, these are swatches that actually are inside of the Print New Document Profile document. We'll actually talk about how to manage that thing specifically, meaning, how we can actually make sure that every new document I create has only the swatches that we need. We're going to do that later on inside of this chapter. But for now I have a whole bunch of color swatches inside of my document and I don't need them.

Now, the first thing I can do is I can actually go to the little flyout menu right here of the SWATCHES panel itself, and choose Select All Unused. This will ask you now go ahead and select all the swatches that are not being used inside of my document. I could then click on little Trash Icon here, and choose yes over here to completely get rid of that. Now, notice, by the way, that there are some swatches that still remain. Even though I told Illustrator to select all the unused swatches, I still have some remaining, even though; I don't have anything inside of my document.

So where are these swatches being used? The answer is that sometimes other library elements inside of your document like Brushes or Graphics Styles or Symbols, for example, maybe using some of those colors, and that's why Illustrator still senses those colors as being used. What you can do is now at this point manually go ahead now and just select these. I am just going to hold down my Shift key as I select multiple elements here, and I can just drag them into the garbage, do so over here with this as well.

So now I've manually removed all the swatches inside of this document. If I did have some artwork already in this document, when I choose Select All Unused Colors, Illustrator will obviously also leave swatches where color is being used inside of that document. That's one way that you can actually go ahead and delete all the swatches inside of your document that are not necessary. If you want to go a step beyond that and automate the process, and not only think about swatches, but also cleaning out any unused Brushes, or Symbols, or Graphic styles for that matter, you can actually use an action that comes with Illustrator.

I am going to create a new document here and just click OK. Again, I am using the Print Profile for this, just so I get a whole bunch of swatches back here inside of this document, and I am going to go over to the Window menu and choose to open up my Actions panel. In Illustrator's default actions, if I scroll down the list over here, I can see there's something here called Delete Unused panel Items. If I click on that action and choose to play the action, it will actually go through my document and delete those. Now what I found is that sometimes you just need to keep repeating that option a few times, until you actually get rid of as many things as possible.

In this case here you can see that I am just left with my basic brush here, I've no symbols left in my document, my graphic styles are cleaned out, and again, in the event where I still have a few things that are kind of left over, I would have to delete those manually. But in this way, I can just run this action very quickly and have all those elements be deleted for me. Now remember, even when I'm using this action, if there are colors that are actually used in my document, those colors will still remain inside of my SWATCHES panel. So these are just a few ways to manage the colors in your document and make sure that things don't get out of hand as the document goes through multiple revisions.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork
Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork

48 video lessons · 12599 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 6m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Adobe Illustrator: A colorful history
      3m 25s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      27s
  2. 32m 35s
    1. Getting to know the color models
      9m 5s
    2. Understanding the difference between process and custom colors
      7m 7s
    3. Understanding how the HSB color wheel works
      11m 2s
    4. Working with color harmonies
      5m 21s
  3. 43m 55s
    1. Deconstructing the Color panel
      6m 36s
    2. Working with "phantom" colors
      5m 16s
    3. Defining and using process colors
      6m 15s
    4. Defining and using global process colors
      7m 51s
    5. Defining and using spot colors
      8m 37s
    6. Accessing color libraries
      9m 20s
  4. 46m 22s
    1. Organizing colors into groups
      13m 59s
    2. Creating swatches and groups from artwork
      7m 19s
    3. Removing unused swatches from documents
      3m 48s
    4. Replacing and merging color swatches
      5m 38s
    5. Creating and managing your own color libraries
      6m 10s
    6. Making custom libraries permanent
      2m 50s
    7. Adding custom colors to new documents
      6m 38s
  5. 19m 42s
    1. Accessing Kuler from within Illustrator
      2m 20s
    2. Getting inspiration from the Color Guide panel
      2m 41s
    3. Understanding how the Color Guide works
      3m 58s
    4. Setting limits on the Color Guide
      10m 43s
  6. 40m 54s
    1. Editing color groups with the color wheel
      12m 51s
    2. Breaking down the Recolor Artwork feature
      8m 16s
    3. Understanding what color rows represent
      6m 34s
    4. Protecting black, white, and gray
      6m 24s
    5. Finding colors quickly with the magnifying glass
      3m 28s
    6. Randomly changing colors
      3m 21s
  7. 53m 34s
    1. Making global color adjustments
      3m 48s
    2. Remapping colors in an illustration
      6m 13s
    3. Fixing colors in a document
      8m 57s
    4. Understanding color reduction
      13m 29s
    5. Reducing colors intelligently and precisely
      7m 42s
    6. Changing the colors within patterns
      4m 39s
    7. Using color groups to your advantage
      8m 46s
  8. 21m 24s
    1. Converting color to grayscale
      3m 25s
    2. Converting to grayscale with the Grayscale color group
      4m 45s
    3. Converting grayscale to color
      2m 27s
    4. Finding spot equivalents of process colors
      6m 48s
    5. Producing color matches intelligently
      3m 59s
  9. 16m 26s
    1. Proofing colors for color-blindness
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding book color
      9m 11s
    3. Previewing color separations
      2m 19s
  10. 3m 20s
    1. Taking color further with the Phantasm CS plug-in
      2m 30s
    2. Next steps
      50s

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