Below is Illustrator's "Recolor Artwork" window. I've chosen to recolour (yes, I'm British) using one of my swatch groups. Notice that the first source colour is replaced with the first swatch group colour which is near black and which I don't particularly want. I want to manually choose another swatch but can't seem to figure out how...

Recolor Artwork Window

I've tried every combination I can find in the dialog and the most immediate solution I've found is to enter the swatches numbers in the sliders. There's a "randomise" swatch order button so I would think there must also be a way to choose them manually.

  • Would not drag and drop work? Or have I misunderstood you?
    – benteh
    Mar 21, 2014 at 16:34
  • You'd think so, but it doesn't seem to.
    – Hari Honor
    Mar 21, 2014 at 16:34
  • Yes.. I had the same issue. Why even show the "Color Groups" on the right if you can't select from them. Very weird.
    – A. Vieira
    Aug 29, 2017 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


Double-click the little black color box (or any of the boxes) under the New column in the center of the window. This will bring up the Color Picker, from there you can click the Color Swatches button and select the swatch you want to use.

Yes it would be nice if drag and drop worked, but it doesn't.

  • 1
    Yeah I discovered that one. It's convoluted and the list of swatches isn't grouped so you need to scroll through them every time.
    – Hari Honor
    Mar 21, 2014 at 16:44
  • The other solution if the number of swatch colours is more then the source colours is to add "New Rows" for the extras and then you can drag and drop to swap them. Or click "Randomize" and hope for the best!
    – Hari Honor
    Mar 21, 2014 at 16:45
  • 2
    "but it doesn't". Sadly you are right. I've made a feature request: adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform
    – Hari Honor
    Mar 23, 2014 at 11:59
  • In the process you describe (at least in AI CC), the Color Swatches that open when one clicks the color under "New" are not a swatch of several colors, but just one color at a time. Apr 3, 2019 at 0:28
  • Not sure what you mean @MicroMachine -- I Can't launch CC2018 at the moment, but in CC2017, double-clicking the "new" box opens the color picker. Then clicking the "Color Swatches" button show the swatches (From the Swatch panel) if you have no swatches (or only 1 swatch), then I guess, yes it'll only show what's in the Swatch Panel.
    – Scott
    Apr 3, 2019 at 0:51

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