Scripting could make this...
- Much faster: If you load from the same source files (swatch files or directly from AI docs) repeatedly. The script would load each set of swatches with your involvement simply being to invoke the script.
- Marginally faster: If you have to load from different files each time. Targeting the "other" entry in the panel menu is a bit tedious (I don't believe you can assign it a shortcut).
Invoking the script simply requires cmd+F12. If you keep all your scripts in the same directory, you'll always open to it. Then you just type the first few characters of the script name to focus on it, hit
enter and you're done.
Below is a jsx I use to load various elements from an Illy doc. I don't bother with swatch files unless I'm sending them over to InD.
// ++ insert your path here, or a file picker prompt ++
var theFile = new File('/Volumes/Disk/Directory/SourceFile.ai');
var openOpt = new OpenOptions();
// ++ get swatches ++
// ++ get graphic styles ++
openOpt.openAs = LibraryType.GRAPHICSTYLES;
// ++ get symbols ++
openOpt.openAs = LibraryType.SYMBOLS;
Workflow sidebar: I keep a "Default UI kit" file for each brand/site I work on. This gives me an easy place to pull not just swatches but styles and artwork/UI elements. In a distributed workflow, you can set this up in a version control system and your team members will be notified when their copy of the UI kit is out of date (more on version control here and here). I keep a script set-up (and passed out to my team) for my most common UI kit files: "Brand1-UIkit.ai", "Brand2-UIkit.ai", etc.