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Can't change colors from the swatch panel

Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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For some reason, I cannot change the color of text or objects in InDesign CC. The options are not grayed out but when you select a different color, it goes right back to the previous color without change. I am running Mojave 10.14.2 on my Mac with the other CC Adobe apps. I’ve tried changing colors in all kinds of files (both new and old) and still cannot make any kind of changes to the swatches. All I can do is to create a new color whenever I need to colorize something. I can't even make adjustments to these colors I create either. Once the color has been set, there's nothing you can do but create yet another color.

I found a post about this issue but the suggestion to dump the preferences doesn't seem to help--both manually and automatically. I also tried uninstalling the app and then re-installing it from the Cloud. But that doesn't seem to matter either. Please help. This is extremely frustrating!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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What exactly are you doing and does this happen on all files or just one?

Screenshots might help, too.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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WITH TEXT: I have text selected using the "T" type tool. I then go into the swatch pallet and then select a color other than the default black. I am able to select a color but it does not change to the one I designated. I can, however, select the color without it being grayed out.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 9.51.54 AM (2).png

WITH OBJECTS: As you can see from below, it won't change the color of the box I placed (using the open arrow) here either.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 9.54.33 AM (2).png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Interesting. Does it happen with all files or just this one?

If it's just this one, you can try the IDML route.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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It seems to be all files. Bummer, huh? I have a colleague that sits next to me that uses inDesign rarely. She said that she has had the same situation.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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If you've already tried trashing preferences and reinstalling you might also want to try trashing your InDesign cache files. This can be helpful for problems within panels such as the Swatch Panel which could be the source of this problem.

To trash cache files on a Mac:

The User Library folder in which InDesign’s cache files are stored is hidden by default on most Macintoshes. To access it make sure that InDesign is closed and click on the desktop to launch a Finder Window (Command-N).With this window in column view follow the path User>Home folder (it’s the folder with an icon that looks like a house—it may have the user’s name rather than “Home”) and click on the Home folder. With the Option Key pressed choose Library from the Finder Go Menu. “Library” will now appear within the Home folder. Within the Library folder find the “Caches” folder. Within the Caches folder find and delete the entire folder “Adobe InDesign”. I find that deleting the InDesign cache folder completely leads to a lasting change.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Thanks, Bill. I had seen that suggestion on cache files before. However, if you look at the screenshot below, I don't seem to have an "Adobe InDesign" folder in my Cache folder. Could this be different with Mojave?

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 10.03.52 AM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Did you follow the path Macintosh HD>User>Home>Library>Caches as directed in my first post?

ADDITIONAL EDIT: It appears that you have gone to Macintosh HD>Library>Caches. The InDesign cache files are in the User library.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Actually, I tried that but it is causing issues for me. I can't access priorly created files if I delete that folder.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Can you post one of those files on Dropbox and give us a link? You've got me curious now.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Sure! Let me know if you have trouble accessing this link...

Dropbox

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Yes, Bill. I tried that. But when the "Adobe inDesign" folder was removed, I got an error that would not allow me to open the file again. I have since then tried again and this time I was able to open the file but it still would not allow me to change any colors.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Whatever it is, is happening on your end. I have no issues with the file.

Sounds like some third party conflict to me.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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That is so weird!!! Bill, can you change colors in the file that I posted in Dropbox as well?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 16, 2019 Jan 16, 2019

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Deleting caches should not make any files inaccessible. What you can do, though, if you're worried is to drag the "Adobe InDesign" cache folder to your desktop (with InDesign closed). When you relaunch InDesign a new cache folder is created. If this fixes the problem then at least you know what the problem is caused by and can deal with accordingly. If it doesn't solve the problem then you can replace the new cache folder with the old one and be no worse off than before.

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New Here ,
May 05, 2020 May 05, 2020

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Had the same issue here and it was resolved by highlighting whatever it is you want to chage, use the colour picker to change it anything on the current page (regardless if you intend to use that colour), it somehow unlocks the selected features and you can change colour from swatch as usual.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 27, 2020 Aug 27, 2020

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Thanks Jennifer, this worked for me! But I must say, I had this problem with only one file, so it may not work if someone has this problem with all files.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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I have to add that this problem indeed continues, as @Hugo Nadeau! just mentioned (on and off, it does not seem to have anything to do with the file itself). Fortunately the solution to use the color picker to change the color still works for me too, but it is sad that Adobe did not fix this problem by now.

Also, I noticed that changing text to white or black or vice versa with the swatches panel sometimes solves the problem too. So yes, that looks like a bug!

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Explorer ,
Nov 17, 2021 Nov 17, 2021

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LATEST

Thank you Jennifer!
Just updated to 2022 and had this problem.
Cheers Heyman

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Explorer ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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Still have the same problem in the latest version of InDesign on Mojave too. Clearly they didn't adress that bug at all in the last years. Reinstalling Adobe or clearing cache is a joke of a solution in my opinion, it's obvious it's a simple programming bug.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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Yes, same problem here too! Seems to be a bug indeed. I posted this on the Uservoice bugreport page: https://indesign.uservoice.com/forums/601180-adobe-indesign-bugs/suggestions/42787331-applying-a-dif....

If you want, you can vote for this issue to be solved.

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