I have a complex Illustrator file with hundreds of named swatches. The way those colors are defined has just changed. i.e. "Gray 1" used to be R127 G127 B127; now it is R130 G125 B120.
Is there some clever way I can update the definitions?
I know that I can load the new swatches and that they'll appear as "Gray 1 copy" etc., and then I could delete the originals one-by-one and replace them with their copies.
But is there a way to do this as a batch?
did you just update your version of illustrator or something? If so, you can go into your old version of Illustrator, save off the swatch panel you created over there, then import it into the new version and all the colors should be right.
No. The project changed, and now the colors are being defined differently.
Changing the bulk name may not be possible in the illustrator. In other words, you cannot give their names collectively.
I want to keep the names but change the underlying numbers.
I don't think there's a way to undercut this. Won't you have to enter all the new values swatch-by-swatch at some point anyway, whether it's in a new set of swatches or just another copy of the original artwork?
No, I've been given a new .ASE file that uses the same swatch names as the original .ASE file, but underlying numbers of many (perhaps all) of the colors have been changed.
Here is a method I tested with just a couple of colors.
Create a new file the same dimensions and color space as the old, and load all of the new colors into in. Make sure that Paste Remembers Layers is checked, and that all of the layers and elements of the old file are unlocked.
When you paste the art into the new file, all of its colors will be redefined by to match the definitions set up in the new file.
If you have the global colors named in one document and then paste the image into another document with global colors with the same name but different colors, you have a swatch conflict. You will have an option to either Merge Swatches or Add Swatches. If you Merge the colors, you will use the new color swatch for the pasted image. If you choose Add swatches, you will have the original global color swatch but with a new name. If your color was gray or gray 1 then it would name it gray 2. If your color was gray 2, it would call it gray 3.
Anyway, just make sure you are using global colors. Have the updated colors in another document, then copy and paste and use Merge Swatches for your Swatch Conflict.
This answer is incorrect. If you select "merge", the document colors are used. Not the colors of the inserted object.
Are you sure? "Have the updated colors in another document, then copy and paste and use Merge Swatches for your Swatch Conflict."
I don't know why there isn't a "replace" option, because when I have multiple documents that I need to update, I have to put the object I need to update into the document with the new colors, and then return it to the original document where I have to clear the swatches before doing so.
Now I see you're right. It's the opposite approach. So create a new document, insert the object with the updated colors, then delete the object, insert the object we want to update, choose Merge, then save the file under the name of the original document.