Is there a way to import multiple ASE files from the Swatches palette in Illustrator CS5.5 ? Currently I can only import one ASE file at a time by doing:

Swatches->Open Swatch Library->Other Library...

This gets tiresome when you have many ASE files to load.

3 Answers 3


I make generative art works which employ color schemes downloaded from kuler.adobe.com as ASE files.I improved the script provided by plainclothes to make a useful multiple ASE file loader tool to load all the color schemes I downloaded in one go. The tool uses the ActionScript File.openDialog class to select multiple ASE files from the download folder. It then loads the selected files using the aforementioned script.

#target Illustrator

var openOpt = new OpenOptions();

// Last argument in the File.openDialog() set to true to allow multiple file selection
// The return values is an array of File objects
var a = File.openDialog("Select ASE files:", "*.ase", true);

// Go though the array of File objects and load them as ASE files
for(var i = 0; i < a.length; i++){
    objFile = a[i];

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.

#target Illustrator
// ++ 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.


Unfortunately, no. You have to load each ASE file one at a time unless you takes steps to load them all and then combine them into one ASE file.

You might look at scripting to load multiple ASE files. I can't say if that would help, but it would be where I would go next.

  • Thanks, would you have any script samples to point me to?
    – HappyTorso
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 9:14

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