4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2013 3:10 AM by nermie

    How to create a swatch library from multiple png files?

    nermie Newcomer

      Illustrator CC


      I am having a difficult time trying to create a new swatch libray of patterns from multiple png files. The way I am doing this is very slow and repetitive and seems silly for a tool as advanced as the latest CC suite including illustrator.


      What it seems I must do is open all the png files in Illustrator, creating multiple workspaces, drag one png file into the swatch window, then save that window as a library, close the existing window to reveal the next png file, open the user library I just created, drag the next image into the currently active swatch window, then drag the previous swatch/s from the user library into the current active swatch window, resave and replace the user defined swatch library (now with two images in there)fromthe updated current active swatch panel/window, close the existing workspace to reveal the next image file, and then repeat the process again, slowly building the user defined swatch library up by adding one image at a time and then adding back into the Swatch panel the previously built up library of swatches again one at at time.  (you can select all from the existing  user defined library and drag over into swatch panel, but this creates at least one  duplicate on each cycle for as soon as you click on the first swatch in the library, it adds itto the current swatch panel and then when you select all swatches to drag across it includes the first swatch and copies it again)


      This is a very slow process to build up a swatch library. For some reason you cannot drag swatches directly into  the user defined library you have created, only into the active swatch window for each workspace. I searched the web and forums  for answers but could find none. There must be an easier way,  just can't find it.


      Ideally, the best option would be a swatch window  option that allows the import directly from a list of selected files in the finder.


      Any ideas out there?

        • 1. Re: How to create a swatch library from multiple png files?
          Monika Gause Mythic

          User defined libraries are plain AI files. You can just open them in Illustrator, add to the swatches (or brushes or symbols) window whatever you want and then save.

          • 2. Re: How to create a swatch library from multiple png files?
            nermie Newcomer



            Thank you for responding, however I am not exactly clear on what you mean by "libraries are plain AI files". For example, I cannot find a file with the same name as my user defined library name that I have created. I can find the preinstalled swatches listed under Adobe Application Support... Library... Swatches, but a user defined folder is not present and the library sets that I have already created are not visible. I have tried searcing my Mac for a (name).ase file and still no luck (at least for the name I was looking for). I can open the user defined library from the Swatch library icon on the bottom left of the Swatch panel, but when I open this I cannot drag and drop add new swatches directly to this library. As stated above, I have to add each pattern, one at at time to the normal swatch panel, then add back the previous ones I have saved from the user defined library to the swatch panel and then save threm all as an updated user defined library. Thus by repeating this process, it builds up the user defined library one at a time.


            I am using Illustrator CC if this makes a difference.

            • 3. Re: How to create a swatch library from multiple png files?
              Monika Gause Mythic

              This is OS 10.7 or higher? The user library is hidden by default in those versions. You first need to show it then look for your libraries.


              Do a search on Google how to unhide the user library.

              • 4. Re: How to create a swatch library from multiple png files?
                nermie Newcomer



                I can see how to work with this.


                I open the library file, drag the other open png files onto the library file worksheet and then drag the images into the swatch window.


                Not exactly intuitive at first, especially since files are hidden, but it works.


                Thanks again