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Creating color swatches

From: InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating color swatches

The Swatches panel is central headquarters for your documents' colors, and as we saw in an earlier movie, you can use it to apply fill and stroke colors to any object or text on your page. But what if you get tried of the colors listed here? What if you want something more? Let's look at how you can create new color swatches for your documents. To create a new color swatch, I will open the Swatches panel menu and choose New Color Swatch. Up comes the New Color Swatch dialog box and I can choose any color I want in here.

Creating color swatches

The Swatches panel is central headquarters for your documents' colors, and as we saw in an earlier movie, you can use it to apply fill and stroke colors to any object or text on your page. But what if you get tried of the colors listed here? What if you want something more? Let's look at how you can create new color swatches for your documents. To create a new color swatch, I will open the Swatches panel menu and choose New Color Swatch. Up comes the New Color Swatch dialog box and I can choose any color I want in here.

Now, I do need to choose whether this color is going to be a process color or spot color. A process color when printed to color separations will always separate to cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. That's CMYK. You should use a spot color if you are going to be printing with a very specific ink, like a PANTONE ink. Let's start with a process color. I pick my color here or I could type in numbers if I want to, and then I can name that either with the color value, in other words, the values that were in these fields here, or I can deselect that and type my own name.

I will call this Dark Green. There we go. Now, I have a choice. I could click OK, which would add this color swatch to my Swatches panel, or I could choose Add, which will add it to the Swatches panel but leave the dialog box open. That lets me add more than one swatch at a time, which is very helpful if you are trying to create a whole bunch of them. Let's go ahead and create a spot color. I choose Spot from the Color Type pop- up menu and then from the Color Mode pop-up menu, I can choose one of the many libraries that ships with InDesign.

In this case, I am going to choose PANTONE solid coated. Look inside my PANTONE book and figure out that I really want to use PANTONE 286, so I will just type 286 and it selects it for me from this list. Now I will click OK to close the dialog box and add that swatch to the Swatches panel. There it is down at the bottom. Now, the Swatches panel gives me a bunch of other information. For example, this little icon next to the name of the color swatch tells me that this color is a spot color. A little square with a circle in it. So that is going to print on its own color plate when I print color separations.

However, this column on the right tells me that it is behind the scenes spec-ed as a CMYK color. So even most PANTONE colors are actually spec-ed as CMYK. The next color up here, this Dark Green that I created, is also a CMYK color, but it's a process color and I know that because of this icon next to that. Now, you will notice that when I made my color swatches, nothing was selected on my page. And I did that on purpose. Why? Well, let's see what happens if something is selected, like that text frame, when I make a new color swatch.

I will choose the frame, choose New Color Swatch, and then I will just pick some random color here and click OK. The color is added to the Swatches panel. That's great, but what happened to my text frame? It was filled with the color. So if anything was selected on the page when you make the color, it gets that color applied to it, which is rarely what you want. So I am going to undo that with Command+ Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows, and that took it off this and erased it from my Swatches panel. Now, this is also a problem when editing colors.

Most people try and edit colors in InDesign by double-clicking on them. For example, maybe I want to edit this red color. So I will double click on it. Up comes a Swatch Options dialog box and it lets me edit the color. I will make it a little darker, for example. That's great, except what happened when I double clicked on it? It opened the dialog box and it applied it to this object, which was selected on the page. So that's bad news. If I click Cancel, it cancels the editing of that color but it still leaves that color applied to that frame.

So now I am going to have to undo that, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. So this is why, whenever you are messing with swatches, making new swatches, editing them, in the Swatches panel, except for applying colors, I strongly recommend that you deselect everything, with your Command+Shift+A or Ctrl+Shift+A on Windows, keyboard shortcut. That deselects everything. Or another thing you can do, I will go ahead and select that text frame again, to edit colors is not double-click on them but right click on them or Ctrl+Click with a one button mouse.

I right-clicked on that green color and I will choose Swatch Options, and look at this. I can edit it all I want to. I will click OK, and it edited it in the Swatches panel, but it did not affect the color in this text frame that was selected. So right clicking on a color and using Swatch Options that way is much more reliable than double clicking. Now, I have already set up some colors in this document, but I would like to add those to some other document. How do I do that? Well, let's go ahead and create a new document here. I will click OK.

You can see that I only have a few color swatches here. I would like to add some of the swatches from the other document. So how do I add those to the Swatches panel? There are two basic ways. First, I can select any object that has a color assigned to it and copy it to the clipboard, come back to my new document and paste it. And when I do that, the object comes in and also that orange swatch that was attached to this color. I can go ahead and delete that text frame and the color remains. The second way that you can add color swatches to the Swatches panel from some other document is to choose Load Swatches from the Swatches panel menu.

Now, you can choose any InDesign document or an ASE file. An ASE file is something you have exported from Illustrator or Photoshop or some other program like that, that has swatches in it, and click Open and all of those color swatches come in. As you can see, adding swatches to your Swatches panel is not that hard at all. But there's one more way you can add colors to your InDesign document and that's the Colors panel, and we are going to look at that in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 90101 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. What is InDesign CS5?
      2m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 51s
  2. 54m 49s
    1. Understanding the Application window
      6m 0s
    2. Navigating pages
      6m 39s
    3. Zooming and magnifying
      6m 57s
    4. Managing more than one document window
      3m 36s
    5. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 9s
    6. Positioning panels correctly
      6m 28s
    7. Saving time by making workspaces
      3m 24s
    8. Setting the view quality of artwork
      4m 9s
    9. Adjusting View and Preview settings
      4m 56s
    10. Rotating pages and spreads
      3m 2s
    11. Displaying a new view with the New Window feature
      3m 29s
    12. Setting application and document preferences
      4m 0s
  3. 21m 31s
    1. Using the Tool panel
      8m 1s
    2. Learning and editing keyboard shortcuts
      6m 24s
    3. Working with spring-loaded tool shortcuts
      1m 17s
    4. Using contextual menus
      2m 51s
    5. Choosing menu items with Quick Apply
      2m 58s
  4. 45m 25s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 28s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      3m 41s
    3. Using multiple Undo and Revert
      4m 28s
    4. Setting margin and column guides
      5m 16s
    5. Using ruler guides
      8m 10s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 29s
    7. Saving objects in libraries
      4m 49s
    8. Exporting and importing page snippets
      4m 29s
    9. Saving for CS4 with IDML
      2m 35s
  5. 31m 18s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      7m 23s
    2. Changing page size
      6m 14s
    3. Adding page numbering
      3m 43s
    4. Changing page numbering with sections
      5m 58s
    5. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 20s
    6. Overriding master page items
      2m 40s
  6. 1h 21m
    1. Understanding text frames
      4m 6s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 36s
    3. Filling with placeholder text
      2m 38s
    4. Inserting special characters
      4m 43s
    5. Importing text
      7m 49s
    6. Threading text frames
      4m 1s
    7. Setting text frame columns and insets
      6m 32s
    8. Setting vertical justification and first baseline position
      6m 9s
    9. Putting text on a path
      6m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      8m 43s
    11. Checking spelling
      7m 42s
    12. Using Find/Change
      9m 25s
    13. Tracking text changes
      8m 1s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 11s
    2. Importing from Mini Bridge
      5m 27s
    3. Using the Links panel
      6m 34s
    4. Embedding links
      2m 37s
    5. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 14s
    6. Fitting graphics to a frame
      6m 12s
    7. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 53s
    8. Adding live captions
      5m 56s
    9. Colorizing images
      2m 1s
    10. Turning image layers on and off
      4m 45s
  8. 46m 15s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      8m 18s
    3. Using advanced strokes
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 38s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      6m 41s
    6. Applying feathering
      4m 25s
    7. Copying formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      4m 35s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 50s
    9. Making polygons and starbursts
      3m 48s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Making interactive documents
      2m 6s
    2. Adding hyperlinks
      5m 52s
    3. Building bookmarks
      3m 38s
    4. Creating buttons
      8m 57s
    5. Animating an object
      2m 23s
  10. 23m 29s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 47s
    3. Building tint swatches
      2m 18s
    4. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 56s
    5. Applying gradients
      6m 36s
  11. 50m 0s
    1. Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool
      2m 53s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 13s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      3m 53s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 37s
    5. Nesting objects
      2m 46s
    6. Editing frame and path shapes
      4m 6s
    7. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      3m 57s
    8. Grouping objects
      3m 14s
    9. Locking objects
      2m 39s
    10. Aligning and distributing
      5m 43s
    11. Understanding text wrap
      8m 13s
    12. Using anchored objects
      6m 46s
  12. 18m 49s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 39s
    2. Rotating objects
      3m 3s
    3. Scaling objects
      3m 57s
    4. Mirroring objects
      3m 46s
    5. Using the Transform Again feature
      2m 24s
  13. 25m 52s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 8s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 54s
    3. Changing case
      2m 51s
    4. Understanding OpenType features
      3m 19s
    5. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      3m 18s
    6. Using Find Font
      4m 22s
  14. 45m 27s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 14s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      3m 5s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      2m 1s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 16s
    5. Adjusting text hyphenation
      3m 21s
    6. Fine-tuning justified text
      4m 19s
    7. Setting tabs
      5m 54s
    8. Aligning to a baseline grid
      4m 24s
    9. Controlling orphans and widows with Keep Options
      2m 39s
    10. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 14s
    11. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 39s
    12. Working with numbered lists
      4m 21s
  15. 31m 3s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 34s
    2. Using character styles
      5m 43s
    3. Applying styles automatically with Nested Styles
      7m 19s
    4. Using object styles
      3m 27s
    5. Using Quick Apply with styles
      2m 49s
    6. Cleaning up a local formatting mess
      5m 11s
  16. 37m 0s
    1. Creating a table
      5m 54s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      6m 35s
    3. Formatting a table
      8m 5s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      1m 58s
    5. Applying table styles
      5m 32s
    6. Adding Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 56s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Checking your document with the Preflight panel
      2m 54s
    2. Creating a custom preflight profile
      4m 45s
    3. Checking color with the Separations Preview
      2m 47s
  18. 31m 7s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Print dialog box
      10m 22s
    3. Exporting a PDF
      8m 47s
    4. Exporting an interactive PDF
      3m 59s
    5. Exporting text
      1m 36s
    6. Exporting SWF files
      2m 10s
  19. 1m 32s
    1. Finding more information and help
      1m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      20s

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