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In InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts, Adobe product manager and designer Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every InDesign user must know. From placing multiple images to the hidden power of Quick Apply, each one of these videos covers an important topic, and includes just the right amount of information to make anyone a true InDesign power user. InDesign users are always looking for faster, more efficient ways to do everything, and this course offers just what they're looking for. Exercise files accompany the course.
The ability to use a set of swatches from one document in another is a pretty common, desirable thing, so let's learn how to do that. In our Swatches panel, what we want to do is select the swatches from this document that we have already created and save them out as a standalone file on disk that you can then open and share with others, either in another InDesign document. Now with Adobe products, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and maybe even some others, you can actually share swatches between applications as well. It's a file that that all three of these applications support.
It's called an ASE file and let's go ahead and create one. So to do it let's go ahead and resize our Swatches panels, so we can see the swatches that we want to save. I want to go ahead and select the swatches, but here is another tip. I don't want to accidentally set my default color to any color I particularly click on here. So if I click on a color you can see that the fill color actually changed to orange there. That's not what I wanted, so I am going to undo that. To specify or select a color without actually changing anything in the actual document hold down the Command key or Ctrl key in Windows and that let's you target the colors without accidentally applying them inside your document.
So I have just Command+Click or Ctrl+ Clicked on these five swatches here. I want to save them out as a separate library and from the Swatches flyout menu you'll choose Save Swatches and it gives a little warning about certain things that aren't supported and that's OK. We are just going to click OK for now, and we will go ahead save it to particular location and give it a file name. By default, it just picks up the name of the document and then adds the .ase file extension to the end of it. That's great for now. We will go ahead and click Save and there it is. It's a separate file. So now if I am in some other application or in InDesign in another document - we will just create a new document here - and I want to bring that set of swatches into this document, so I can use them.
I go to the Swatches panel again, I go to flyout menu and I choose Load Swatches. It says, "Great. Where is the swatch file that you want to use?" Here. It's PowerShortcuts.ase. Go ahead and click Open and it imports those swatches into this document and I'm ready to use them. Now the order might change. So you can always click and drag to change the order. The order is not necessarily preserved when you save swatches, but you can certainly rearrange them just by clicking and dragging the Swatches panel. So there you have it. That's how you share swatches between one InDesign document and another or even between other Adobe applications.
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