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How do YOU handle swatches in Photoshop

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  • How do YOU handle swatches in Photoshop

    I've just started playing around with swatches in PhotoShop and am finding them rather cludgey. Surely there must be a better way of creating a new swatch pallet than taking an existing pallet and deleting (one by one) all the swatches in it!

    How do you manage swatches - what advice can you give me?

    I seem to recall that years ago I had a beta version of something called UltraPaint and it had a fabulous swatch feature - when created a new document, a new swatch pallet was created. Then when you used a color in your document, that color was added to your blank swatch pallet. The blank pallet (which now contained all the colors in your picture) would be saved with the document so you always had those swatches available. You could even copy the swatches from one picture to another.

    Why doesn't PhotoShop have a simple way to create/handle swatches or am I missing something?

    I got interested in this because I wanted to make a swatch pallet with all the skintones on it and couldn't find a way to do it.

    Thanks for your responses,

  • #2
    Well Margaret, you got me intrigued on how to make an entire new swatch set and darned if I could find an easy way, so what I did is..... deleted all the swatches one at a time in a set all except one then I saved this set with one color in it skintones. I opened the skintone image gotten here

    and added a new color swatch from the image one at a time, thank goodness there weren't 16 million

    I deleted the odd color one I started with and saved the set as skintones, I'm including it here to save you all the work. I think this is what you had in mind but I think there probably is an easier way.

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Thank you Ken - that is exactly what I wanted. The way you did it was the only way I could find to do it too - seems to me there should be an easier way!

      Thanks again for saving me the time to do it.



      • #4
        Hey Margaret I found this tutorial...come to find out THERE is an easier way....find it here



        • #5
          Thanks Ken,

          My eyes are bleeding from looking at color swatches all day

          I found this freeware color manager

          but they don't seem to have a Mac version

          I've sure found some interesting things while looking for info on color swatches - not getting any work done though.



          • #6
            Margaret -- thank you for asking the question -- it's one that I've thought of a few times and never researched.

            KenB -- thanks for the link to what looks like a good solution to the question -- I'll have to take some time tonight to read through it.


            • #7
              Someone mentioned in the Adobe forum that they discovered they could drag and drop swatches to reorder them in PS7. I haven't tried it, but sounds interesting.
              Learn by teaching
              Take responsibility for learning


              • #8
                I read everything I could find about color swatches today and so far I've learned that now I need to read up on "indexed color" because that seems to play a big part in the whole mess too.

                I guess if I spend tomorrow reading about indexed color, maybe by the end of the week, I'll be smart enough to know that I don't know anything about color



                • #9
                  Doug, In PS6, you get the little fist when you click on a swatch, but you can't drag - maybe they intended to put it into 6 and ran out of time. It sure would be handy to be able to move them around.

                  One thing I found out today is that if you hold down the command/control key when you click on a swatch, the cursor turns into scissors and you can remove the swatch you click on.



                  • #10
                    Indexed color is pretty useless for retouching...more important for preparing images only for web use (GIF format is an example). There's a limit of 256 total colors.
                    Learn by teaching
                    Take responsibility for learning


                    • #11
                      I agree that the 256 palette for an 8it indexed colour image is limiting...

                      But there are times when you have a simple graphic with lesser tones that needs recolouring...simply changing the referenced colour table can be simpler than changing the pixels in the file, which does the same thing at the end of the day.


                      Stephen Marsh.


                      • #12
                        Also in Photoshop 6, you'll find there are two icons along the bottom of the swatch palette for creating new swatches and deleting swatches. You can drag swatches from the palette to these buttons to add and remove colors from the swatch collection.
                        -- from the graphicsoft webpage that KenB referred us to in the earlier post.

                        The fist will work to take the swatch to the trash bin or new swatch icon, but I guess it won't let you move it anywhere else-- of course, I don't even have a clue why moving it somewhere else on the palette would be useful . I went back to my PS 5.5 to add the skintones and haircolor swatches via the change to index color mode, and I couldn't see where version 6 would do that easily. However, when I load them in version 6, there are additonal colors in the swatch file -- colors definitely NOT considered accurate for earthlings. Haven't figured out what I need to do to get that straightened out, but it did load the colors I wanted.


                        • #13
                          Death of web safe colors

                          I found this article in WebMonkey - it seems that according to their tests, the 256 web safe colors or even the 216 that have been talked about are no longer safe. I think after their testing, they came up with less than 30 that worked on all the configurations and monitors they tried.

                          Is nothing sacred any more


                          CJ, I would like to move swatches around so that all the browns were together, all the reds etc. As it is, on some swatch palletes colors are all mixed up.



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