I have a very reach swatch library in adobe-illustrator like food colors and.... But in adobe-indesign I don't have many colors. Why? Can I import them to indesign?


2 Answers 2

  1. In the Swatch Panel menu in Illustrator choose `Save Swatch Library as ASE'
  2. Save that to somewhere you can locate.
  3. In InDeign's Swatch Panel menu choose Load Swatches and select the .ase file you just saved.

You must save as an ASE file for InDesign to read the swatches.

Note: All Adobe applications can read and open .ase swatch files. So the same procedure is used when moving swatches between any Adobe applications.

Also Note: This only refers to color swatches in AI (global/spot/CMK/RGB). This does not work for gradient and pattern swatches in Illustrator. Gradient and pattern swatch types are not transferable.

  • Thanks for the answer @scott Some colors are imported to Indesign this way. but when saving the swatch in illustrator, it gives me a message saying: Swatches containing gradient,pattern, or tints are not currently exchangeable and will not be visible when opening this swatch file in other applications how can I import them to my indesign as well?
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 6:27
  • You Can't. Gradient and patterns are not transferable, as the message states. Only color is transferable. You can not get Illustrator gradients or patterns into InDesign as swatches. Things just don't work that way. Your question stated nothing about patterns, or gradients for that matter.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 6:30
  • Thanks alot for your answer. So I should save my object as tiff in illustrator and then import it to indesign, right? @scott
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 7:04
  • InDesign allows you to "Place" native illustrator (.ai) files. There's no blanket reason to save an AI file as a tiff for InDesign.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 17:49
  • That is a good idea @scott But I feel the quality of figures are better when using tiff rather than ai. Am I wrong?
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 17:52

Here is another tip: Let's say that you have used layer effects and transparency for your objects and you want to capture those as color swatches and apply them as though they are flat colors: Save your illustrator file as a pdf. Open it in Acrobat Pro and Open Preflight under the Tools menu. Go to PDF Fix-ups and select "Flatten Transparency". Then click "Analyze and Fix". Save the pdf and when you reopen it in Illustrator, you will see that it has objects with colors without transparency or layer effects. You can add these to your swatches. This is useful if you need to send the swatches over to Indesign and want the correct colors.

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