I know how to use the Illustrator recolor tool, but this part really throws me for a loop.

How do I keep the order of the swatches in the recolor "assign" window in the same order as I've set them up in the "swatches" window?

For example, I have 2 swatch groups "Pastel" and "Dark". I want to always recolor the current color with the color below it in the swatch window. Pastel Red with the Dark Red, the Pastel Pink with the Dark Pink, Pastel Grey with Dark Grey.

I've already created all the swatch groups in the correct order - I just can't figure out how to apply them in that order without manually choosing each swatch!

PS: sorting by hue or lightness doesn't help, because the swatches are not necessarily in that order in each group.

Thanks for your help! this is what I want to keep ordered

1 Answer 1


Because you also have greys, whites and blacks, you may need to adjust the preferences by unchecking the Preserve options.

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While you're there, make certain the Sort Item is set to Hue - Forward as shown above.

Then, if you don't choose a Harmony Rule the order should directly transpose. (Provided each color group contains the same number of swatches.)

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Simply do not pick a Harmony rule when opening the dialog.

  • Amazing Scott, thank you so much! You just saved me a TON of time!
    – AmandaI
    Aug 12, 2014 at 1:28

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