Color Swatches Shortcut


Quickly add every color in your artwork to the Swatches panel

If you use graphics you’ve purchased from Creative Market, Design Cuts or similar resources in your design work, you probably find yourself using the eyedropper tool often to sample colors so that you can add them to your swatches or match them elsewhere in your design.

While the eyedropper tool is fine for selecting a color or two, there is a super fast way to add ALL of the colors in a graphic to your swatches panel, making it really easy to see, select and use those colors as you work.

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Open the graphic you want to use in Illustrator.

  2. Be sure your Swatches panel is open. If it’s not you can open it by going to Window > Swatches.

  3. Use the Selection tool (Command-V or Control-V) to select the artwork.

  4. At the bottom of the Swatches panel, click on the New Color Group icon.

  5. A dialog will open giving you options to name the color group. Name it if you like, leave the other defaults as selected, and click OK.

  6. Instantly every color in the artwork you had selected is added to your Swatches panel, ready to use wherever you need them.

I feel like this was something I should have known about long before I did - I was using Illustrator for years before I learned this very simple trick and I used it constantly. Maybe it will help you too. See it in action in this short video, then give it a try!

If you found this two-minute tutorial useful, be sure to check back often - I post a new two-minute tutorial every week.

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