Share swatches between Illustrator Documents

Explorer ,
Mar 12, 2012 Mar 12, 2012

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Hi,

I have multiple documents that need to share the same swatches. I can't find a nice workflow for keeping them all in sync. At the moment I have a separate document that I use as a swatch library. Every time I change or add a swatch I have to resave the document as a swatch library, then re-import the library into every document that uses it, then reassign each swatch as changes are not picked up. This is really time consuming.

I am looking for a way to have a single swatch library that is shared between multiple documents, all of which dynamically update when I make changes to the library in the same way that an AI file can be shared amongst multiple documents and will reflect any changes made. At the very least I want to be able to reimport a swatch library and have any object using one of the library swatches update. I have tried placing the library document in the files, but it seems swatches are not carried over.

This is driving me crazy. It seems like once you share a swatch library there is no support whatsoever for edits to that swatch library being picked up by documents that use it even if you re-open the edited swatch library.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Community Beginner , Feb 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017
Given the dates on this thread this problem has existed for some time.  I have just come to it.  Same problem I think.  I have 50 files that I want to me able to change skin color on characters that appear consistently throughout the files. Ie I have Kid 1, Kid 2, Kid 3, Kid 4 and Kid 5.   They are racial mixes and there is a lot of debate from the client and the committees overseeing this project. I can have a global swatch for each Kid. I can save it as a library, I can make it persistent.  Al...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 12, 2012 Mar 12, 2012

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Nope, not that I know of. On second thought you might toy with the recolor artwork tool a bit, though. This should at least facilitate updating multiple swatches, even if you still need to load the library manually.

Mylenium

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 12, 2012 Mar 12, 2012

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I don't think Aunt Illie offers a native solution. Looked for a plugin yet?

Two related points that may help:

1) Swatches Panel > Select All Unused (hit 'Delete Swatch' button). Or play the 1oth default action called "Delete Unused Panel Items" in the Actions Panel. This will clear all currently unused swatches.

2) Define a custom swatch library. In the flyout of said swatch lib > Persistent. This swatch lib will now stay open and even open up when Illustrator starts. Keep it updated. It will always be there.

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New Here ,
Aug 11, 2012 Aug 11, 2012

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One possible workflow is to keep all of the related documents on separate artboards within the same master document. That way they can all share the same swatch library. It is simple to export a single artboard when the time comes.

Each artboard can have its own dimensions. The navigation tools at the bottom-left of the screen make it really simple to jump from artboard to artboard, so it's almost like having tabbed windows.

Just a thought.

Brian

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New Here ,
Jan 04, 2014 Jan 04, 2014

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One swatches toolbar, you can elect to save the swatches. It will create a swatches .ai file and then you can open that file in your next document. It does bring all of them with you so if you don't want all the basics, just delete them before you save. Then I just grabbed the swatches I needs and drag & dropped them in my file's swatches menu.

Pretty simple,

Jeremy

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New Here ,
Mar 27, 2014 Mar 27, 2014

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Having the same problem.

@1ndivisible could you find a solution?

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LEGEND ,
Mar 27, 2014 Mar 27, 2014

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Are you using global swatches?

If so, you can copy/paste objects with global colours and their colours will come into the Swatches panel automatically.

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New Here ,
Mar 28, 2014 Mar 28, 2014

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Thanks for your reply. Here my situation: I have several documents with several artboards in each of theme. I have assigned in every document a number of global swatches to the objects. The swatches are the same in every document (same name). Now I would like to find a way to change only once a certain global swatch and have this global swatch updated in all documents.

The "put all objects in one file" solution does not work for me as I have a lot of objects and they dont fit all in one file.

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New Here ,
Dec 16, 2016 Dec 16, 2016

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Same problem and moreover to do this with paragraph and character styles.

The issue is that I want to create multiple different web pages - previews - of the same site, so I want to keep the same colors and text choices, but I have not so much space to put them all in on file with multiple artboards.

It would be preferable to have one library with swatches, styles and so on, all named, in cloud and when I open a file and I have change the "left_banner_color" if the file includes it (I had previously assigned it), to automatic change and don't have to change all texts and shapes from scratch...

So ideas please..

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017

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Given the dates on this thread this problem has existed for some time.  I have just come to it.  Same problem I think.  I have 50 files that I want to me able to change skin color on characters that appear consistently throughout the files. Ie I have Kid 1, Kid 2, Kid 3, Kid 4 and Kid 5.   They are racial mixes and there is a lot of debate from the client and the committees overseeing this project. I can have a global swatch for each Kid. I can save it as a library, I can make it persistent.  All very nice on the creation side but now I need to make Kid 2 slightly darker throughout and output those versions for approval.  Then I will be asked to make Kid 2 slightly lighter and Kid5 slightly darker.  I fear this will go on forever. I want to open one single library, change the color and have all colors update when I open each file.  Basically live color updating....   Does not seem unreasonable or even technically difficult. Computers are meant to help with this sort of thing...   Any ideas?  thanks Mark

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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MarkUpLoad ...the new Libraries feature in the ''CC" Verisons will be just the job for this.

You can edit an element and have it change across all of the files you use, whats more you can use it across the Adobe Suite.

I've linked to Adobes website about this feature as I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of this.

Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries | Sync assets in Adobe apps

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 12, 2020 Sep 12, 2020

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It's hard to imagine what a terrible place to work the Illustrator dev team must be.

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