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4.3 Custom Libraries

Now we should have a clear understanding of how swatches work and how we can use them. But there’s one other thing we can do, and that’s learn how to save our own custom color groups in swatches as custom libraries.

1 lesson, 01:43


2.Adobe Illustrator Program Overview
3 lessons, 21:49

Color Models

Color Panel

Color Harmonies

3.Shapes and Lines
2 lessons, 12:03

Global Colors

Spot Colors

4.Manipulate Shapes and Lines
3 lessons, 21:07

Swatch Groups

Replace and Merge

Custom Libraries

5.Colors and Effects
3 lessons, 18:06

Recolor With the Artwork Panel

Putting the Recolor Panel to Work

Process Color to Spot Color

1 lesson, 01:14


4.3 Custom Libraries

Hi. My name is Simona and welcome to Tuts+. You are watching the course, Mastering Color In Adobe Illustrator CC, and this is lesson, Custom Libraries. In this lesson, we will be learning how to save our own custom color groups and swatches, as custom libraries. So let's get started. Let's open up Adobe Illustrator CC, and the source file called, Lesson 4.3, in your source file folder. By default, all libraries are stored in your root folder, in your program files for Adobe Illustrator. Therein you will find a folder called, Presets, and in there, a folder called Swatches. We find also other folders for brushes, graphic styles, and symbols. Now you might ask why it is necessary to create custom color palettes. Well let's assume you are working on different projects, different artworks, and each artwork has specific color palettes. You might want to have this particular palette available for other artworks as well. Now you have the color groups and settings always in your illustrator file for a particular artwork. But wouldn't it be cool to be able to open a specific color palette to any new document you create? Now these custom libraries can be used for a variety of professions. For example, you are a fashion designer, and you constantly come up with color palettes for the seasons. Or you are an awesome t-shirt designer and you have categories, and now you can save your custom libraries, and use them over and over again. Really, once you get so organized with all your colors, you will be rocking the design world. Now let's have a look at the color groups in our Swatches panel. We have several color groups, or color palettes, that I took from the circus scene artwork. I gave them names according to colors. Only one I called circus, which has all the colors of the main objects. Now what if we wanted to have this library saved? As you might know, you can call up all sorts of libraries from the Swatches panel. If we click the Swatch Library menu down here, in the Swatches panel, we can choose from an area of libraries from color books, such as pantone colors, to food, to patterns. Now we have several ways to save our own library. We can just go to the icon for Swatch Library menus, and click Save Swatches. We will get a pop-up window, and depending what OS you are working on, either Windows or Mac, and I am on Windows, it will save to Swatches as an AI file in the correct location. Now if I save it to circus AI, and then go back to the library menu, we can now find, under User Defined, our custom library called, circus. Now when we click on it, we will open the swatches panel called circus, and all our color palettes are there. Now we could, of course, just save swatches without being in groups, or one group only, it is really up to you. Now we can also save them via the flyout menu of the Swatches Library, and save them either as an AI file, or as an ASE file. The difference between AI and ASE is that ASE stands for Adobe Swatch Exchange. And we can save it as an ASE library, and this will open up in InDesign or Photoshop. So to speak, we can exchange the color palettes to other programs. Now what if we wanted our custom library in the list with all other libraries, and not under User Defined? There is a way to achieve that, too. All we have to do is save the swatches as an AI file in the correct location. Let me explain how we can do this. So we go and save the swatches as an AI file again, via the Swatch Library menu. Then instead of saving it in the suggested location, we need to find our program files. And then the Adobe folder, and under Adobe Illustrator, we need to find Presets, and then English US or the language you have on your computer. And then we access the folder, Swatches, and then there we will save the file. On the Mac, you would have to go to User > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator > English US > Swatches. Now when we go back to our artwork and open the libraries, we can now see the circus library in the drop down. If you wanted more than one library, and they sort of belong to a group, just create a folder in the swatches location, and place all your custom libraries in there. I created one earlier, and I called it, Fun Colors. And here in the drop-down, you can see a folder called, Fun Colors, and all the libraries in there, that I have created. Another way to call up your custom libraries is to make them persistent. In order to do that, is to open the custom library, in our example, the circus one. We go over to the flyout menu and there we select Persistent. Now, when we open up a new document, we will have not only the default Swatches panel, but also the circus one. So if you know you will be creating several artworks in different documents, and you will be working with this custom library for a while, you can make it open up right away with a new document. And if you don't want it anymore just deselect Persistent. One more way to add a custom library is to add them to your start up document. What I mean by that is, to create a document setup, just like the print template, or the web template. And that way, you can have your custom libraries with it. [BLANK_AUDIO] So let's create a new document. Choose to print, or the web profile, or any other profile that will suit you. And then we open up the custom library, circus. Delete all unnecessary swatches from the default swatches panel. Then we save the file. But we need to save it to a similar folder, just we did with the custom library. So, we will go to User > Your name > App Data > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator > English US. And then we choose the folder, New Document Profiles. On the Mac, you would have to go to User > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator > English US > Swatches. There we will save the file as circus. Now when we open up a new document, we will find the new document in the drop-down. See here, it's called circus. And now we are at the end of our lesson. Saving your own libraries, and even creating your own custom new document template, can be very helpful when working with a specific set of colors, or even a specific document size, over and over again. Well let's move on to the next lesson, and find out what this Recolor Artwork panel is all about.

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