5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2015 7:27 PM by OsakaWebbie

    Swap in a set of color swatches?

    OsakaWebbie Level 1

      I'm working on a magazine that has a three-swatch color scheme - the three colors are used in various paragraph and character styles. Each quarterly issue uses a different set of three colors, to go with each season. I would like to make this as foolproof as possible - with features I already know, I can think of two methods:

      • Use three swatches: Primary, Secondary, Accent, and change the CMYK values of them each time (looking them up in our style guide and typing the twelve ink values).
      • Create twelve swatches: Spring Primary, etc., and reassign the seasonal swatches in the various styles that have color (a challenge to remember where they all are).

      Neither of those is ideal - both require remembering or maintaining a list of something, either a set of new CMYK values or a collection of styles that need reassignment. And because of that, both methods risk mistakes.


      I assumed that InDesign was fancy enough to have a smarter way of doing it, like swatches based on other swatches, or reassigning a Color Group, or something. When I saw the tutorial on Color Groups, it seemed that their business card example was similar to my situation, but in the end they didn't apply a group of swatches to the business cards in any new way - apparently Color Groups are just a way to reduce the height of the list of swatches. Is there a clever way to accomplish what I'm thinking?

        • 1. Re: Swap in a set of color swatches?
          OsakaWebbie Level 1

          So far the best I can think of to do is have three swatches that are actually used in styles and such, and then a folder of all twelve just for reference. For each issue, someone would note the CMYK values of the applicable season in the reference folder and manually edit the active swatches to match. Does anyone have a better idea than that?

          • 2. Re: Swap in a set of color swatches?
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            When you delete a swatch that is in use you get a prompt to choose a replacement swatch. So if your template had swatches named primary, primary spring, primary summer, etc; and the swatch primary was used, you would be able to delete primary and replace with primary spring. That would global change the instances of primary in the doc.

            • 3. Re: Swap in a set of color swatches?
              OsakaWebbie Level 1

              True, but that would only work once. After deleting Primary Spring to replace it with Primary Summer, Primary Spring would need to be recreated.


              Hmm, I guess someone could: (1) duplicate Primary Spring, (2) delete it (reassigning to Summer), and then (3) rename "Primary Spring copy" to "Primary Spring". That's a little non-intuitive, but it would get the job done if they remember how to do it each time. I'll ask the team what they think of that idea. That's apparently as close to a simple solution as it'll get - I'll go ahead and give you the "Correct Answer" star.


              Too bad that there isn't a feature in ID for this kind of thing - I suspect it happens a lot.

              • 4. Re: Swap in a set of color swatches?
                Bo LeBeau Level 4

                Rob mentioned an InDesign template that would have all the colors.

                This is different that just using a regular InDesign document.


                When you use templates you open a specific template and it would already have all the colors, styles, general layout of the magazine, etc, for you to use.

                Look into templates, this is exactly what you need for items like quarterly magazines, They are a big time saver!

                • 5. Re: Swap in a set of color swatches?
                  OsakaWebbie Level 1

                  Good point! I do know about templates (and I'm trying to encourage the team to start using them, but it's a paradigm shift), but I failed to think about this question in terms of using a template. Yeah, that's probably the way to go.