Join Justin Seeley for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with color groups, part of InDesign CC 2014 New Features.
Organizing your color swatches inside of In Design has always been somewhat of a headache. You could drag and drop them around inside of the swatches panel, but there was no way to really group colors together. Now in the latest version of In Design CC, we have the ability to create color groups. Which allows us to put colors essentially into folders, and organize them a little better, let's take a look at how it works. I'm going to open up the swatches panel and I'll just detach it, so it's on my screen, and I'm also going to expand it, so you can see everything that's going on here. And right here at the bottom you're going to notice this little icon, which one I hover it says new color group.
And that's in fact what it does, it creates a new color group when you click it. So if I just click one time it creates new color group one, down there at the bottom. It is empty at the moment, but I can put colors in to it if I wanted to. So for instance, this white swan's right here, if I wanted to grab that and just kind of throw it into the group. You can see when I drag it and drop it in there, it automatically become part of that color group. If you want to undo that just use Cmd or Ctrl+Z and I'll use Cmd or Ctrl+Z again to undo creating the group. Now what if you don't want it to be called color group one? Obviously that's not a really good name.
So how do we rename the color group? Very easy. When you're creating a color group, hold down the Option or Alt key and click the icon and you get the option to name it. So in this case I can call this my awesome colors, and hit OK. Or, if you've already created the group and you want to rename it, just Double-click the name and it will allow you to rename it. So I can just call this my colors. Hit okay and it changes. Very simple. Now if you want to toss this away after you have created it, you can just do this right here just drag and drop it down to the trash can and it goes away.
Now, in addition to creating color groups manually like we have been doing so far, you can also create new color groups based on colors that you have selected in your swatch panel. Now first thing first make sure you have nothing in your documents selected so just click somewhere off to the side. To make sure nothing is selected on screen, otherwise you run the risk of changing the color of something in your document, and that could be a bad thing. So, what I am going to do now is just click right here on this watch, hold down the Shift key and click all the remaining swatches. So, I started with the light red and went all the way down to black.
And I'm going to hold down the Option or Alt key, and click the new color group icon. And we're just going to call this Parmigianos color. Hit OK. And that creates the color group based on those swatches that I had selected. Now anytime I create a new swatch while I have my selection inside of this group. The new swatch is then placed into that group. So for instance, if I come up here and select new color swatch. And then I'll just mix up something kind of strange here.
So we'll just do something like this, and hit OK. That new swatch is going to be added into that color group if I had it selected. I didn't that time. Let's undo that and try it again. So let's select the Parmigianos color group. New color swatch and let's try that one more time. So we'll just mix up something a little different. Hit OK. And there it goes. So now I placed it directly within that group which make it really easy to just keep things nice, tidy and organized. So now I'm going to throw that swatch away. And collapse this group and then what we are going to do is we are just going to select right up here, starting with the sign all the way down to this blue color right here.
And I am going to create a new group out of those Option and Alt click and we are going to call this default as used of the default colors that exist in in design. So you can kind of see here I am really cleaning this up, I am making this easy for me to get from one group to the other, because now I just toggle this little switch on and off to get into these colors. Now you cannot throw non-registration paper in black. You can't put those into color groups, because those are just the default things that exist inside of InDesign. So you can't do that. Those are just going to chill out there by themselves at all times.
But, you can put just about anything else you want into these color groups. All right, one last thing on how to create these things which makes it really cool. I'm going to pan down to the second page here. And, what we're going to do is we're just going to select one of these text boxes that has a red heading, with the green rule and then the black text. It doesn't matter you can select any of these that you want. And, once I select this. What I'm going to do, is come up here to this little panel menu and I going to choose New > Color Group. This is the same thing almost as holding down Option alt while you click the new color group box, except you get the option to select between Selected Swatches or Selected Page Items.
So now what I'm going to do, is I'm just going to call this Color Group we'll call this three, because we already got two over that. Hit OK. That's going to grab the black text. That's going to grab the green rule, and the dark red heading, and place those all in that new color group. Making it easy for me to group those together, and keep everything nice, tidy, and organized. So, as you continue to work with colors inside of InDesign, try out this new color group feature. See if it doesn't help you keep your swatches panel just a little bit more organized.
And help you find exactly what you need when you need it.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 10/06/2014. What changed?
A: We added a new chapter covering the October 2014 changes to InDesign CC, which includes the new Color Theme panel and EPUB interactivity previews.
Q: This course was updated on 2/12/2015. What changed?
A: We added a new chapter covering the February 2015 updates to InDesign CC.