I am trying to share a very extensive color palette that I have created in "Global Colors" in a Sketch file. I need to share this with a coworker, but when I send the file to them and they open it on their end, the Global Colors are not there. I am guessing that the colors are only saved locally and not in the file itself. How can I extract them?

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6 Answers 6


There is a new plugin, Sketch Palettes, that lets you save and import palettes to/from sketch documents.


The Brand.ai Sketch plugin enables you to share not only global colors, but also your text styles, layer styles and symbols with your team.

You simply add your palette to the cloud, and all team members who have the plugin can use the colors in their local documents.

If you make any changes to your elements, Brand.ai pushes the changes instantly to everyone who's using the plugin, so your team is guaranteed to use the most recent styles.

For more details, check out the blog series "How to share a design system in Sketch".

Disclosure: I am the Co-Founder and CEO of this plugin.

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    – JohnB
    Dec 12, 2016 at 15:04

I had success copying over the assets-[version number].sketchpreset from the /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3 from the old machine. Where the [version] is in the file name that Sketch has provided and [username] is your username on your machine (You can find this by doing echo $USER on the command line).

In my situation, the filename was assets-v103.sketchpreset on the old machine. So did the following:

  1. Quick Sketchapp
  2. Create a backup of assets-v103.sketchpreset as assets-v103.sketchpreset.bak in case things go wrong
  3. Copy the assets-[version number].sketchpreset file from your old machine to your new machine at the path of /Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3
  4. Restart Sketchapp

My versions of Sketch were identical, so there didn't seem to be an issue with replacing files. If your versions are not identical, however, you may run into issues. That's why having the backup file is a good idea.

That being said, there is a color object in the assets-[version number].sketchpreset file that you could manipulate directly if you run into issues with direct replacement.


Sketch’s preferences can be found in: ~Library/Containers/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3/Data/Library/Preferences/

The global color swatches should be in there somewhere. I’m not sure which file or portion of the file you'll need to copy. I have another solution though.

Using a screenshot inside your Sketch documents

If you take a screenshot of the Global Colors popover and drag it into your Sketch documents, you can sample directly from it. It’s a bit of a hack, but it works.

Sketch Global Colors shared

Using another Sketch document

You could use a Sketch document as your master style guide, and store it on a server somewhere. You’ll probably want to lock the document in the Finder, to ensure it can’t be edited easily.

Lock Sketch document

Using the OS X Color Picker’s image tab

This solution has some color profile issues, due to the way the OS X Color Picker. Please see comments for more info.

1. Take a screenshot of your Global Colors popover.

Global Colors popover

2. Open up the OS X Color Picker in any app (ViewShow Colors in Sketch).

3. Change to the image tab and drag your screenshot in.

Share Global Colors in Sketch

4. You can now sample colours from the image in the OS X Color Picker.

Share Global Colors in Sketch

So, you can give someone else your Global Colors by sending them a screenshot. It’s not ideal, but it does work.

  • I did try sharing the only preferences file that seemed relevant, it was ~Library/Application Support/com.bohemiancoding.sketch3/colors-v42.sketchpreset, but that did not work when my coworker tried it. I do not see any folder for Sketch within the ~Library/Containers folder.
    – Jessica
    May 7, 2015 at 19:38
  • Using the OS X color picker method you outlined does not seem keep the hex code the same when I tried it. Something happens when doing screenshot that messes up the color values. So unfortunately that is not a good way of sharing colors that need to be accurate.
    – Jessica
    May 7, 2015 at 19:45
  • @Jessica I think I’ve figured out why — the color profile in the image needs to match the current display for the values to be maintained. So it works on one Mac, but (unless the other Mac is the same model and generation) might not be accurate on other Macs. Stripping the ICC profile of the PNG doesn’t help. Gah. Setting up a PNG with the correct profile doesn’t seem like a fun idea. Sorry! Please note that this is an issue with the OS X Color Picker, not Sketch. May 8, 2015 at 1:48
  • @Jessica I’ve just added another potential method. Not ideal, but it might be good enough. May 8, 2015 at 2:05

The easiest way that I found is to just take 10 minutes and 1) create swatches on an art board in your source document with every color you'd like to include. 2) copy all of the swatches those swatches 3) paste to destination document 4) on by one you add the colors of the swatches to your document colors panel

You'll assure accuracy and it wont take much time.


There is actually a way to export colors as a file from machine to machine. Since Sketch uses MacOS for doing this, you can do it by the following: In Finder, hold down the Option key, then click Go > Libraries. You should see your color palettes listed as documents [your palette name].clr. These files can then shared, and imported on other machines by opening Sketch (or other apps using the MacOS colors like Keynote), and clicking the settings gear, and choosing Open.

This way, you don't have to worry about manually adding the colors back in.

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