Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Create color swatches, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Narrator] The Swatches panel over here in the Dock is the 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 tired of the colors listed here? What if you want a new color? Well, let's look at how you can create a new color Swatch for your file. Before you create a new color Swatch, you should probably first deselect all the objects on your page. For example, I'll click out here in the Pace Board just to make sure nothing is selected.
Now I'm going to open the Swatches panel menu in the upper right corner and choose New Color Swatch. In the New Color Swatch dialogue box, the first thing you need to decide is what color type to choose. You have two options, Process or Spot. Spot should only be used if you're going to be printing on a printing press and you know that your printer is using special PANTONE inks. Those are spot inks or varnishes, things like that. Now if you want to make a spot color, choose Spot then come down here to the Color Mode pop up menu and choose one of these color libraries. For example, I'll scroll down here and choose PANTONE + Solid Coated.
Now I happen to love the PANTONE 286 color, so I'm simply going to type 286 inside this field and it chooses it for me. Now I have a couple more choices to make. First, I need to choose whether or not my color should be added to my CC Library. CC Libraries are cool because you can use them across, not just InDesign documents, but in Photoshop and Illustrator and even some of Adobes apps on the iPad. But in this case, I don't want to do that. I just want this color to be in this document. So I'm going to leave that turned off.
Also, if I click OK up here, I'm going to be adding this to the Swatches panel and close the dialogue box. So, instead, because I want to create more colors, I'll simply click Add here. That adds this color to the Swatches panel but leaves the dialogue box open. Okay, now in the vast majority of cases you're going to be creating Process colors, not Spot. So, I'm going to come over here and change the Color Mode back to, say, CMYK. Then I'll change the Color Type to Process. Generally, you want your Process colors to be either CMYK or RGB. If you're document is going to be printed you almost certainly want them to be CMYK, but if you're creating an on screen document, something that's going to be viewed primarily on screen, then RGB Swatches are fine. In this case, I'm going to leave this set to CMYK and from here we can define the color. For example, I'll pull this out, maybe make this a little bit more orange.
That looks pretty good. Now, I do need to say that you should be very careful when picking colors on your screen because unless you know a lot about color management, the colors that you see on screen are probably not going to match what you see in print. Believe me, I've been burned by that one myself. it's much better to pick your colors from a printed Swatch book, such as the True Match books or the PANTONE books, and then type in the values that the Swatch book tells you to. But in this case, I'm going to use those color values.
Now I need to name my Color Swatch. There's two ways to do this. I could simply type in a name, my happy orange color, you can call it anything you want. That's the first way to name it. I'll go ahead and add that. Now I'll change the color a little bit. Maybe make this a little bit lighter. The second way to name the color is to turn on the Name with Color Value check box. Now in this case, InDesign will name it for me using the CMYK values. I'll go ahead and click okay and you can see that name down here at the bottom of the Swatches panel. So, now I have three new colors in the Swatches panel. Okay, here's a very big warning.
If any object had been selected on my page when I created those color Swatches, the last color I created would have been applied to that object. And that's the reason I recommend that you deselect everything on your page before you create new color Swatches. Okay, let's go ahead and apply one of those color Swatches in my document. I'll select this text frame over here on the left hand page and I'm going to scroll down here and choose one of those colors. If you have a lot of colors in the Swatches panel you should make your Swatches panel longer so that you can see more of them.
Just drag the bottom part of the panel down. Now, up here at the top of the Swatches panel, I'm going to click this little T icon. That means apply the color to all the text inside this text frame. See, as long as I want to change all the text inside the frame, I don't actually have to select the text with the type tool. I can just select the whole frame with the selection tool and then click that little T icon. Now I'll come down here and click my lighter color. There we go, that's looking pretty good. Now what if I want to edit those colors? What if I didn't get that light yellow just right? What should I do? Well, I've got a couple of choices.
I could just double click the Swatch inside the Swatches Panel, but that would not only edit it, it would also apply that color to anything I have selected on my page so, that's a little bit dangerous. So instead of double clicking, I like right clicking. That brings up a context menu, and from inside this menu I can choose Swatch Options. It really should be called edit color, because, that's what it is. It opens up the edit color, or Swatch Options, dialogue box. So I'll come in here and make this just a little bit lighter.
I can turn on the Preview checkbox to see what it's going to look like and now I'll click OK. When I do that, you can see that not only was this color change inside the Swatches Panel, but every object that was filled or stroked with that color throughout the whole document is also changed. So, the Swatches Panel is one way to create and apply colors in InDesign, and there's another way too. It's called the Color Panel, and in the next movie I'm going to show you how to use that, and why you might or might not want to.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents