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This installment of Illustrator Insider Training shows an expert's approach to color choice and control in Illustrator. Mordy Golding guides experienced designers and artists through what he sees are the three stages of applying color to artwork: creation, inspiration, and editing. The course also shows how to build art in a way that allows artists to make changes quickly and how to take advantage of the newer features that have been added to Illustrator over the recent versions.
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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