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With PDF export/save... it makes no different. The PDF will inherently only include used colors. Spot colors aren't included unless they actually used in the file. For Illustrator files, clearing out unused swatches will reduce file size (kb), but other than making things look neater. That's about it. I never worry about swatches unless I'm providing ...


2

Clearing out unneeded swatches, brushes, symbols, layer styles, unused fonts, orphan vertices and paths, etc. certainly helps in reducing the likelihood of such an extraneous element causing issues somewhere in production. As an added bonus, it also helps reduce the file size. But as most of my printers prefer a PDF workflow, I generally don't worry about ...


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For most of my work I deal with screen printing prepress. In the end, it's all the same to me. Regardless of how clean the swatch panel might look, my workflow will remain unchanged. In fact, I'm pretty much going to ignore the provided swatch panel and create my own. So to answer your best practice question: I don't care what you do. It's not that I enjoy ...



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