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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
It's easy to change a solid color fill or stroke to a tint. All you've to do is select a color, go down to the Color panel and choose a tint from this color bar, or you could go to the Swatches panel and change the tint in this field, or with this slider. But if you know that you're going to be using a 50% tint 100 times in your document, wouldn't it be easier if you could just create a swatch that was already at 50%? You can,. Just go to the Swatches panel menu, and choose New Tint Swatch. Because I had already made a tint, and that was selected on my page, it has filled out the Tint Swatch dialog box for me by changing this Tint slider to 50%.
I'll click OK and show you how you can make another one. First, I'll deselect everything by pressing Command+Shift+A or Ctrl+Shift+A. Then I'll choose a color, maybe this dark blue color, and once again go to New Tint Swatch. Now it's set to 100% so I'll type in some other number. Let's say 60%, click OK, and you can see I now have that color swatch, but at 60%. You see the Swatches panel actually shows you what the percentage is of the color.
I do find it kind of annoying that the new tint swatch isn't near the swatch that I made it from, but that's okay. I can put it there myself. A lot of InDesign users don't realize that you can rearrange your Swatches panel just by clicking and dragging. So I'm going to drag that swatch up so that's near the blue, and I'll drag this one up so it's near that green color. Let's go ahead and apply those color swatches. I'm going to select this background and make it the tint of that blue. Then I'm going to select this text, click on the little T, so it affects the text and not the frame itself, and apply the full force blue there. So I've got blue here and a tint of the blue here.
And one of the best things about tint swatches is if you edit a color, all of its tints update as well. For example, I will right-click on this color, choose Swatch Options, and I'll change it to something else. Maybe kind of a brownish color. How about that? It's going to be dark brown. Here we go. Click OK and you can see that when I change that one color, its tint updated as well. Sure, it does take a little bit of time to set up your tint swatches at first, but you can save so much time later, that it's really worth it.
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