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Adobe Photoshop CS3

Working with Color Swatches

For easy and accurate color selection, the Swatches palette provides over 130 of the most used colors. If you are working with a specific color scheme, you can customize the Swatches palette to display your choice of colors and color names in addition to the pre-selected colors.

The Swatches palette consists of small color squares called "swatches." When selected, a swatch-color becomes the active foreground color for the image you are working with. For more information about selecting colors in Photoshop CS3, refer to Working with Colors.

return to topAccessing the Swatches Palette

The Swatches palette shares a window with the Color and Styles palettes. If the Swatches palette is not visible, do the following:

  1. From the Window menu, select Swatches
    OR
    If the window is open, but the Color palette or Styles palette is active, select the Swatches tab
    The Swatches palette appears.
    Swatches palette

return to topSelecting Swatches

To select a color currently displayed on the Swatches palette:

  1. Position the mouse over the Swatches palette
    The arrow becomes the Eyedropper Tool.Swatch Dropper

  2. Click the desired color
    That color becomes the active foreground color.

return to topCreating New Swatches

In addition to using the pre-selected Swatches palette colors, you can customize new color swatches for a specific color or set of colors that you use frequently. For more information on selecting a color, see Working with Colors.

Creating New Swatches: Button Option

  1. Set the foreground color to the color you wish to save as a swatch

  2. From the Swatches palette, click CREATE NEW SWATCH OF FOREGROUND COLORCreate New Swatch Of Foreground Color button
    A new color swatch is added to the unused portion of the Swatches palette.

Creating New Swatches: Swatch Option

  1. Set the foreground color to the color you wish to save as a swatch

  2. Position your mouse over the unused portion of the Swatches palette
    NOTE: The pointer appears as the Paint Bucket Tool.Swatch Paint Bucket

  3. Click the unused portion of the Swatches palette
    The Color Swatch Name dialog box appears with a sample of the new color swatch next to the Name text box.
    Color Swatch Name dialog box

  4. In the Name text box, type the new swatch name

  5. Click OK
    A new color swatch is added to the Swatches palette.

Creating New Swatches: Color Picker Option

  1. In the Toolbox, click SET FOREGROUND COLOR or SET BACKGROUND COLOR
    The Color Picker (Foreground Color) or Color Picker (Background Color) dialog box appears.
    Color Picker Dialog Box

  2. Select the appropriate color

  3. Click ADD TO SWATCHES
    The Color Swatch Name dialog box appears.

  4. In the Name text box, type the new color name

  5. Click OK
    A new color swatch is added to the Swatches palette.

return to topRenaming Swatches

You can rename the pre-selected color swatches that Photoshop has already named or change the name of your own saved swatches.

Renaming Swatches: Swatch Option

  1. Double click the color swatch you wish to rename
    The Color Swatch Name dialog box appears.
    Color Swatch Name dialog box

  2. In the Name text box, type the new color name

  3. Click OK

Renaming Swatches: Right Click Option

  1. Right click the color swatch you wish to rename » select Rename Swatch...
    The Color Swatch Name dialog box appears.

  2. In the Name text box, type the new swatch name

  3. Click OK

return to topDeleting Swatches

Deleting the unused swatches from the color palette makes finding your other swatches easier and faster.

Deleting Swatches: Swatch Option

  1. Click and drag the color swatch to DELETE SWATCHDelete Swatch

  2. Release the mouse button
    The color swatch is removed from the Swatches palette.

Deleting Swatches: Right Click Option

  1. Right click the color swatch you wish to delete » select Delete Swatch
    The color swatch is removed from the Swatches palette.

Deleting Swatches: Keyboard Option

  1. Position the mouse over the Swatches palette
    The pointer appears as the Eyedropper Tool.Swatch Dropper

  2. Press [Alt] + click the color swatch you wish to delete
    The pointer appears as a scissors and the color swatch is removed from the Swatches palette.

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