Using Adobe Illustrator (or is there any other Software?) what is the way to replace all occurrences of a given color with a BW pattern for a SVG file?

I also have a small word cloud using Arial font and I need the font color there to also be replaced with BW patterns. What solution do you recommend that also let the fonts be readable in the word cloud while using BW patterns?

UPDATE: I'd prefer a solution where I don't have to select each object with a specific color (to minimize chances of errors). I'd prefer a solution that replaces all objects of a specific color with a BW pattern without having to select the many objects one by one.

  • 1
    The methods given in the answers so far, meet your criteria. You only have to choose one object once, to find all the others that are the same colour.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 8, 2018 at 8:18

2 Answers 2


In Illustrator, select one item that is the colour you wish to find and click Select > Same and choose "fill color". Then apply a pattern fill to the selected objects. This method works with any objects including editable text objects. It doesn't turn the text to outlines. Text with a pattern fill is still editable as text.

If you are editing a pre-existing SVG file, then whether the text is still editable text or not, will depend on whether it has been turned into outlines.

Other software? Sure. Inkscape is free and can do the same. The equivalent function in Inkscape is Edit > Select Same > Fill color.

  • Thank you! I do this but the other objects are not modified but only the one I have selected. I do Select -> Same (fill color) ... what am I doing wrong? the objects have to be at the "same level" or is there any prerequisite for this to work?
    – SkyWalker
    Apr 8, 2018 at 9:56
  • Select Same will only select other colours that are exactly the same colour. If they are not exactly the same colour, it won't work. You'd have to select them manually.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 8, 2018 at 10:01
  • The colors are exactly the same guaranteed but still switching to pattern fill is only modifying the selected one ... what else can be?
    – SkyWalker
    Apr 8, 2018 at 10:02
  • I don't know, I can't replicate the problem. When I select same, and then change the fill, it applies to all the selected shapes.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 8, 2018 at 10:03
  • 1
    It works on Inkscape, it selects all the object :D
    – SkyWalker
    Apr 8, 2018 at 11:24

Manual method:

Illustrator has possiblity to use patterns as swatches - only drag a shape or a group of shapes to the swatches collection. Then you can select same colored objects (Select > Same > Fill color) and give to them a pattern swatch.

enter image description here

Green and magenta shapes have got different black pattern swatch fills. I saved this as SVG and it opened in Inkscape perfectly.

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