Importing Swatches in InDesign

November 17, 2003 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

One of InDesign CS's new features is the addition of "Load Swatches" to the Swatch palette's fly-out menu. With Load Swatches, you're able to add previously-defined color Swatches from other InDesign (CS and v2) files to your active InDesign CS document. This makes it easier to keep your colors consistent from one project to the next.

But what if you don't want *all* of the swatches from that other file, just one or two?

In that case, use the same secret back door that's available in InDesign 2: Other Library. You find the door by going to the Swatches palette's fly-out menu and choosing New Color Swatch. In the next dialog, press on the Color Mode: drop down menu, scroll past all the Pantones and Focoltones, and choose the last one, "Other Library…".

You'll get the standard Open/Save navigation dialog where you're supposed to point to a different Swatch library (Pantone, Toyo, TruMatch, etc.), perhaps from Photoshop or Illustrator's application folder.

But if you want, you can double-click on another InDesign document instead. When you do that, InDesign creates a quasi-Swatch Library with the same name as the file you chose, containing all the Swatch colors in that document. Now you can pick and choose which of those color Swatches you want to add to your current document, the same as you do for the proprietary swatch libraries.

I wish we could do the same for Paragraph and Character Styles! InDesign CS still has just the LoadStyles options available, which loads all the Paragraph and/or Character styles into your current document at once, instead of letting you pick and choose. (Score one for Quark's Append… feature, which lets you do just that.)

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