I have a gradient swatch made up of several single color swatches that are sent to global. If I alter the color to those, it affects everywhere the gradients are used as intended. Now I want to edit that gradient swatch by adding other colors and sections to it. When I do this, it doesnt seem to affect anywhere that gradient is used. Seems i have to create a 2nd gradient swatch instead and reapply it everywhere i had the original gradient swatch applied. This just doesnt seem right, is there a better way of doing this?
This just doesnt seem right...
No, it doesn't. Welcome to Illustrator.
So you can use the eyedropper to copy a Grad fill, including its angle/spread, from one object to another. But you can't update a Gradient Swatch by AltDragging the object onto the Swatch, nor by AltDragging the object's Fill from the Appearance Palette onto the Swatch, but only by AltDragging the Swatch from the Color palette (where, by the way, it doesn't even belong; a Gradient is not a color) or from the Gradient palette, but in those cases the angle/spread is not stored.
You can, however, drag an object containing a Gradient into the Graphic Styles palette. Then you can apply that Graphic Style, including its angle/spread to other objects. Then you can edit the Grad stops, angle, or spread of one of those objects and AltDrag that object onto the stored Graphic Style, and other objects with that Style applied will update accordingly.
Doing that, however, stores/updates all of the modified object's Appearances in the Style. So if the modified path also has a Stroke, AltDragging the modified object also causes the Stroke to be added to all other objects with that Style applied.
Of course all that requires an awful lot of foresight and pre-planning.
I can agree with a lot of that. It almost seems easier just doing it the way I do already. I generally stick to InDesign when doing vector work unless I have a need for a lot more effects and details that only Illustrator can do. But the thing with the gradient swatches I was referring to works perfectly with InDesign. Cant understand why the same ability cant be made to work in Illustrator as well. Oh Well!!
You may want to use the Merge Swatches command.
1. Set up your new gradient fill and define it as a new swatch (g2).
2. In the Swatches palette, first select g2, then (Cmd) select the swatch you're going to replace. Both swatches are highlighted now. Note that the order of selecting the swatches is important.
3. In the Swatches palette flyout menu, execute the Merge Swatches command.