InDesign Tutorial 05 of 20

How to make a swatch

A free InDesign tutorial from the worlds best Adobe trainers!

Creating swatches (CMYK, RGB & Pantone)

CMYK Colours

  1. Make sure you can see your Colour Panel (Window > Colour).
  2. Click the Panel Option button from the top right of the Colour Panel
  3. Choose CMYK from the list.
  4. Type in the correct amounts into the C,M,Y,K fields.
    CMYK slider panel
    Alternatively you can click any colour from the small rainbow colour panel at the base of the Colour Panel.
  5. Click the Panel Option button from the top right of the Colour Panel
  6. Choose Add to Swatch:
  7. Add to swatches in InDesign
  8. You’ll see your new colour appear in your Swatches Panel:

Add to swatches in InDesign

RGB Colours

  1. Click the Panel Option button from the top right of the Colour Panel
  2. Choose RGB from the list.
  3. Repeat the above CMYK steps from step 3.
    RGB Sliders

Pantone Colours

  1. Click the Swatches Panel Option button from the top right of the Colour Panel
  2. Choose New Colour Swatch
    New Color Swatch
  3. Choose Pantone Solid Coated or Pantone Solid Uncoated depending on the job.
    Note: These two colour libraries are the most commonly used in New Zealand. If you’re unsure which colour book to use - consult your printer.
    Pantone list
  4. Type in the Pantone number you want
    New Color Swatch Pantone
  5. Click the Add button.
  6. You will see your new Pantone Swatch in your Swatches Panel
    InDesign CC Swatches Panel


Video transcription

InDesign CC tutorial 05: Swatches

My name is Pip Payne. I am a trainer here at Bring Your Own Laptop.

This tutorial is suitable if you are a complete beginner in InDesign or simply want to know more about using colour.

Open up InDesign and ensure that your environment is set to essentials. You don’t need a file open to create colours. With no file open or if you are following on from tutorial 3 in this series, open up the swatches floating palate on the right.

First of all, lets get rid of the factory presets just so it’s nice and easy to see your new swatches when you make them. Go to options and select ‘all unused’ and hit the trash button on the bottom right. You can create your swatch from the colour palate or from the swatches palate.

Lets start with the colour palate. We are going to create colour swatches for a fictitious company called Green Gardner. The advantage of adding colour to the swatches library is that they can be reused for any print document. The first one is going to be a green 55 cyan 0 magenta 100 yellow 0 K. Best practice is to start with the Cyan box and then hit the tab after each input. Making sure to hit the tab after the black or K not to hit return. Hit the options button and add to swatches. Lets take a look at the swatches and make sure that the colour is there. Double click it. And we can replace the colour value name with GG Green. By unticking name with colour value and typing it in. Hit ok.

If you have a number of colours to add, best prcatcice is to add them in the swatches palate. select options, new colour. Once you have added a new CMYK value, don’t press ok, just hit add and then youre ready for the next one. Remember to hit tab after the K value.

Lets create a new orange colour. By replacing the previous values with 0, 52, 100 and 0 and hit tab. Call it GG orange. Lets make a dark green. 60, 0, 100, 55. Hit tab and rename GG dark green. The last colour is a PMS colour. That stands for Pantone Matching system and can be accessed via colour mode. Scroll down the list to reach the pantone solid coated. Type the number of the pantone colour you are looking for in the box provided, in this case, 021. Notice you don’t have to hit the C. Hit add. Once finished adding colours. Hit done.

Next Tutorial: Adding Content

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