A more reliable and consistent way of choosing and creating colors in your document is the Swatches palette (choose Window, Swatches to display this palette). You can use this palette to pick swatches from various color libraries, as well as to mix your own colors (see Figure 29.8). The most convenient thing about it is that the swatches are saved with the document, so they can be used again and again for reliable color duplication.

Figure 29.8. The Swatches palette holds the colors you create so they can be applied to numerous objects in the document without having to be mixed on the fly.

Like the Color palette and the Tools palette, the Swatches palette has a fill and stroke selector, located at the top of the palette, as well as buttons to apply your selection to either the container or text. Select your page element, make sure you made the proper choice for fill, stroke, container or text, and then click a swatch to apply the color to your selected item.

The default Swatches palette contains 100% cyan, magenta, and yellow, as well as CMYK mixes of red, green, and blue. If you want to get rid of these colors, you can drag them to the trash icon at the bottom of the palette or select a color and then choose Delete Swatch from the Swatches palette menu. If you use the color you're deleting on a page object, InDesign asks whether you want to replace the color with a defined swatchpick it from the pop-up menuor use it as an unnamed color. The color remains applied to the page element, but it no longer appears in the Swatches palette.

The Swatches for None, Black, and Registration always appear in the palette and cannot be deleted or edited. The Paper swatch cannot be deleted, but it can be changed to help you design for printing on a colored paper stock. To change the color of the Paper swatch, follow these steps:


Double-click on Paper in the Swatches palette. The Swatch Option dialog opens (see Figure 29.9).

Figure 29.9. Change the values of your Paper swatch to help you see how your design will print on a colored paper stock.


You cannot change the name of the swatch, but you can change its appearance. Use the Color Mode pop-up menu to select the color mode in which you want to work (RGB, CMYK, and Lab are your only selections).


Use the sliders and/or entry boxes to create a color that simulates the color of paper you will be printing on. Click OK.

The fill of the page in your document will change to the paper color.

If you are creating color separations or printing to a composite printer, the colors used to create the Paper swatch are not included. It is simply a tool to help make working on your design as realistic as possible. For that reason, you should never use the Paper swatch to apply a color to an object that you want to be the same color as the page itself; apply None instead for a completely transparent effect.

To create a color and add it to the Swatches palette, select New Color Swatch from the Swatches palette menu; the New Color Swatch dialog opens (see Figure 29.10). Follow these steps:


By default, the swatch is named with the percentages used to create the color. If you want to create a name for the color, uncheck the Name with Color Value box and enter your color name.


In the Color Type pop-up menu, select Spot or Process, depending on how you plan to print the current document.

For information on sampling a color from one object and applying it to another, see "Using the Eyedropper Tool," later in this chapter.


In the Color Mode pop-up menu, select RGB, CMYK, or Lab. (You explore the list of color libraries in the next section.)


Use the sliders or entry boxes to specify the mix of colors that will create your swatch.


Click Add to put the defined swatch into the palette and continue creating color swatches or click OK to exit the New Color Swatch dialog.

Figure 29.10. Create specific swatches to add to your Swatches palette.

Colors you create have various icons in the Swatches palette to indicate color type and color mode. A four-color swatch displays as a square with four colors; an RGB swatch displays as a square with red, green, and blue stripes; and a LAB swatch displays as a square with six colors. Spot colors are identified with a circle inside a square; process colors are identified with a tinted gray square. Mixed inks are displayed with two droplets.

If you import PDF or EPS files into your InDesign document that use spot colors, those colors are added to your Swatches palette. The same is true for the spot color channels in imported Photoshop or TIFF files. These swatches can be applied to other items in the document, but they can't be edited, and they can't be deleted unless the imported graphic is deleted.

As on the Color palette and Tools palette, the Swatches palette has a stroke and fill indicator that enables you to select where you want to apply a color and to apply it to either a container or type. Select the page element, choose how you want to apply the swatch, and then click the swatch to apply it to the page element.

Working with Tints

After a color swatch is defined, you can use it to create a tint of that color. For one-time use, apply a swatch to a page element and then use the Tint slider or entry box on the Swatches palette to choose the percentage of color you want to apply (see Figure 29.11).

Figure 29.11. A pop-up menu at the top of the Swatches palette enables you to create tints of any color.

To create a swatch of a particular tint, select the swatch for which you want to create the tint. Select New Tint Swatch from the Swatches palette menu and use the Tint slider at the bottom of the dialog to specify the percentage of color. Click OK to add the swatch to the palette, or if you want to create additional tints of that color, click the Add button, continue creating and adding swatches, and then click Done.

Working with Mixed Inks

Because the gamut of colors that can be produced by mixing CMYK inks is limited, there may be times when you need to mix one or more spot colors, or mix spot colors with CMYK mixes to create a specific shade. This is referred to as a mixed ink.

To create a mixed ink, you must first add a spot color to your Swatches palette. If you want to use more than one spot color in your mixed ink, make sure all spot colors are in the Swatches palette as well. Then, select New Mixed Ink from the palette menu.

Choose to add any of the four-process colors and any defined spot color by clicking in the box to the left of the color name. Use the slider to define the percentage of that color you want to add to your mixed ink. Click Add to add the color and continue creating mixed inks, or click OK to finish.

You can also create groups of mixed ink swatches that are almost like increments of colors or different tints of colors that are mixed together:


Select New Mixed Ink Group from the Swatches palette menu to display the New Mixed Ink Group dialog (see Figure 29.12). Name your group in the dialog.

Figure 29.12. Mixed ink groups enable you to create various tints of colors that you have created from mixing spot and process colors.


Click in the box to the right of the color name to mark a color you want to add to your group.


Enter the percentage of the color(s) you want to start by adding to the mixed ink under the Initial column, for example, 12% process black and 100% Royal Blue.

The Load Swatches menu command brings in all swatches from another document. You can also pick and choose the swatches you want to import; select New Color Swatch and choose Other Library from the Color Mode pop-up menu. Browse to the InDesign document that contains the swatches you want to add and click Open. Click in the dialog on a color swatch and click Add. Add all the colors you want and then click Done.


Indicate the number of times you want to add an increment to that color to increase the number of colors in your group, for example, two increments of black and three increments of blue.


Select the percentage of each increment, for example 10%.


The dialog indicates the number of swatches that will be added to your group (in this example, it is 3 increments because we're adding three increments of Royal Blue). Click the Preview Swatches button to see the swatches you are adding.


Click OK to finish your group and add it to the Swatches palette.

The Swatches palette menu offers several other options, as shown in Figure 29.13:

  • Select Duplicate Swatch from the palette menu to create a duplicate copy of the selected swatch.

  • Choose Load Swatches to bring swatches from another InDesign document into this document. Browse to your file and click Open, and the swatches are added.

    Another way to swap colors between InDesign documents is to drag items or swatches, or copy and paste items from one document to another. To swap with page elements, copy a page element (that has the color you want applied to it) from one document to another, and the color will be added to the Swatches palette. You can also drag the element from one document and drop it into another. Or, drag a swatch from one document's Swatch palette into the other document. The swatch will not be applied to any element, but will appear in the Swatches palette.

  • To export the swatches in this document for use in another InDesign documentas well as any Photoshop, Illustrator, or GoLive fileselect Save Swatches for Exchange from the Swatches palette menu. Specify a location for the .ase file and click Save. You can then load that file into the Swatches palette of another document.

  • If you have numerous extra swatches in your document, you can choose Select All Unused in the Swatches palette menu to highlight those colors so you can drag them to the trash to delete them.

  • If you have applied color to an item without defining a swatch, select Add Unnamed Colors from the palette menu to add that color to the Swatches palette.

  • Select Swatch Options to change the name, mix, or color type of a particular swatch.

  • Name, Small Name, Small Swatch and Large Swatch change the display of the Swatches palette.

  • The Ink Manager option is generally used by service providers in preparing documents for output. See the Adobe Help Center for more information about this function.

Figure 29.13. Numerous options in the Swatches palette menu enable you to define and work with your colors.

Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
ISBN: 0789733676
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 426
Authors: Michael Smick

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