How do I create a custom color swatch ".aco" file?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 27, 2021 Jul 27, 2021

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I want to create a custom ".aco" file in my color swatch library, and the only way I can figure out how to do that is take the "Photo Filter Colors" file (it has the fewest number of existing swatches), create a set of new colors from a photograph with the eye dropper and the bucket, delete all of the original ones, and then save the new set ... which seems way too complicated.  Is there a standard process for creating a new collection?  

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Adobe Community Professional , Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

In the Expert mode you can go to Edit>Preset Manager>Swatches, click the first swatch then shift click on the next to last swatch and click Delete. Then click on the remaining swatch and save out the swatch as your blank swatch file that you load any time you want to make a color swatch library. (there has to be at least one swatch in a library or you can't save it)

 

Screenshot-(216).jpg

 

 

Screenshot-(217).jpg

 

 

 

You could also convert your image to Indexed Color Mode (Image>Mode>Indexed Color) to get a variety of colors from yo

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Advisor ,
Jul 27, 2021 Jul 27, 2021

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I've downloaded random aco swatches and used those as "sacrifical" aco files....


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Community Beginner ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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Where did you find "random aco swatches" for downloading?  When I search the internet, I just get instructions about the swatches panel.

Gary

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Advocate ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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Hi Gary,

 

Search for "photoshop color swatches download" and you'll find several sites that have free color swatch files to download. Many of them will be *.ASE (Swatch Exchange) files but they can still be used by PSE if you copy them to your Presets\Color Swatches folder.

 

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Walter in Davie, FL

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2021 Jul 27, 2021

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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In the Expert mode you can go to Edit>Preset Manager>Swatches, click the first swatch then shift click on the next to last swatch and click Delete. Then click on the remaining swatch and save out the swatch as your blank swatch file that you load any time you want to make a color swatch library. (there has to be at least one swatch in a library or you can't save it)

 

Screenshot-(216).jpg

 

 

Screenshot-(217).jpg

 

 

 

You could also convert your image to Indexed Color Mode (Image>Mode>Indexed Color) to get a variety of colors from your image. Then go to Image>Mode>Color Table and save out the file as an act (color table) then load the act file into your swatches panel.

 

 

id1.jpgid2.jpgScreenshot-(223).jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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Jeff, first, thanks muchly ... but when I follow your instructions, I can't "Save Set" -- I don't get the "Save as" screen -- I only get the "Done" option, and when I select that, it goes away.

Gary

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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Before the Save Set will work, at least one swatch needs to be selected by clicking on it so you see a small blue border around it telling you it's been selected.

 

 

sw1.jpgsw2.jpg

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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Jeff, thanks again.  One final quesion (I promise).  I have used the "Index" several times and been able to generate several ".act" files, but I can't find out how to convert them to ".aco" files.  (I have a version on my desktop and in the Color Swatches file).  I am using an Apple, so my system screens are slightly different -- and I can't "open" the ".act" file -- don't have a program that will open it.  Can you tell me how to converit it/them?

Gary

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 05, 2021 Aug 05, 2021

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FANTASTIC.  IT WORKED.

 

But, I lied -- one more question.

 

I know how to delete duplicate swatches from the indexted collection, but I was wondering if there is a way to organize the the swatches -- i.e., drag one into a new location next to other swatches of a similar color  -- putting all the browns together, the blues, etc., etc.

 

And, how do I give you a SUPERIOR rating in the community?

 

Gary

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 07, 2021 Aug 07, 2021

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If you go to Edit>Preset Manager>Swatches you can click and drag individual swatches to different positions.

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Advocate ,
Mar 05, 2022 Mar 05, 2022

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Hi Jeff,

 

Your excellent description about how to create "custom" color swatch panels has been a BIG help to me.

 

I have a question about the two screens in the last screenshot panel that you attached. I can not find any help or documentation for the "Replace Swatches..." command that you've highlighted in the swatch panel menu. Can you explain the purpose of that command and how it's used?

 

Thanks!

 

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Walter in Davie, FL

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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Replace Swatches replaces the existing swatches that are loaded in the Color Swatches panel, whereas Load Swatches appends (adds) to the existing swatches.

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Advocate ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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Thank You, Jeff!

 

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Walter in Davie, FL

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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You should be able to open .act files from the Swatches panel

 

ac1.pngac2.pngac3.png

 

 

 

Then you can save the Swatches as a .aco file.

 

ac4.png

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