The Color Picker provides multiple ways to specify, select, and save colors for your drawing.
Open the Color Picker
Do one of the following:
- Click on any colorwell in the Tabs, or
- Click the Color Picker icon in the toolbar, or
- Choose ‘Window > Colors’ from the main menu.
Choose a color to change the color.
HINT: The popup Color Picker automatically opens and closes as you click colorwells and controls. It can be “torn off” (or dragged away from) the colorwell that activated it and remain as a stand-alone Color Picker.
You can apply the colors you choose in the Color Picker directly to simple object styles in your drawing.
Drag and drop color from the Color Picker’s colorwell directly onto the object. Dropped colors will “bucket-fill” to replace a color on objects with fill styles currently applied. It will change the color of outlines on objects with stroke styles but no fill. It will change the top stroke color on lines with cased line styles or other multi-stroke effects. Drag and drop color can also be used on text.
In all cases, when a color is quick-dropped onto a object, the style of that object is replaced with a new ad-hoc style. This avoids unintentional changes to master styles in the Library.
Across the top of the Color Picker window are a series of icons. The first icon opens a Color Wheel that allows you to pick the hue and saturation from the wheel, the value from a slider on the side, and adjust the opacity/transparency from a slider on the bottom.
Magnifying Glass to Pick Up Colors
The Color Picker Magnifying Glass is a great color tool for accurately picking colors from an existing drawing. Use the magnifying glass to pick colors off of existing symbols and styles, photographs, art images, inspiration maps, or other color palettes you have found.
- Choose the magnifying glass and move your cursor anywhere on your screen. It magnifies the pixels below it.
- Click anywhere on your screen to pick the color of any pixel.
To Save Colors in the Swatch Drawer
You can save up to 300 temporary swatches at one time (open the Colors Picker and the drawer to the maximum size to see all 300 swatches.)
- Open the Swatch drawer at the bottom of the Colors panel by dragging on the bottom drawer knob.
- Save colors you are working on by dragging them from the colorwell to the swatches.
- Delete swatches by dragging another color swatch over them.
The second icon opens the Sliders portion of the Color Picker, where sliders control all the normal color picking schemes: Gray Scale, RGB, CYMK, and HSB. Numeric values representing Hex color values may also be entered.
HINT: CMYK colors are typically recommended when you are creating a graphic for print publication and want precise control over the printed colors. Artboard uses Apple’s color calibration system. All colors used throughout are calibrated and subject to a color-controlled and calibrated workflow if you use one.
The third icon opens the Color Palettes portion of the Color Picker. When considering a new color scheme or creating a new series of styles and symbols, Color Palettes is a great place to start. Color lists are presented from a drop-down palette menu. There are a few default color palette lists, including Web Safe Colors.
The strength of the Color Palettes is that you can make your own. Use the Magnifying Glass to select just the right colors. This is an excellent way to put a consistent set of colors at your fingertips. Additionally, color palettes created here can be shared with others and are available in all other applications that use the Color Picker (your List and Image Palettes are stored in the ~user > Library > Colors folder).
To create your own color list, choose New from the action menu. A new unnamed list will be opened, containing only the color currently in the large color well at the top of the window. Rename the list using the action menu.
Using any of the color selection methods described below, drag-and-drop colors from the color well or a mini-well in the bottom Swatch drawer into the list window. Alternatively, select a color and click “+” below the list window to add it to the list. Repeat selecting colors using any method, adding colors to the list.
Double-click on list items to give each of the colors a meaningful name. You can easily find colors by typing part of the name into the Search field below the List window.
The fourth icon opens the Image Palettes. The Spectrum Palette is loaded by default, but you aren’t limited to it. You can open any picture you have, and use it as a palette, by choosing New From File or New From Clipboard from the Palette menu below the picture. You can also drag-and-drop images directly from the Image Browser into the image-well.
Once you have one, you can pick any color from within it, just by clicking. Or you can drag and watch the colors change. A tiny white square will show you exactly where you are. Drag-and-drop colors from the large color well to the bottom Swatch drawer for later use.
The Crayon picker lets you quickly select from 48 basic colors. The Crayon colors are used for basic fills and strokes in the Styles & Clip Art palette.