I am a very novice Illustrator user. I have recently been getting the following pop-up every time I go to copy text from one worksheet to another. This didn't use to happen: "The color swatch "PANTONE Black C" has a conflict with the current document." Options: Merge Swatches; Add Swatches; Apply to All."

Does anyone know how to get rid of this popup?

2 Answers 2


You don't really "get rid" of that message. You decide what you want to do. It is not an error message, it's a workflow message asking you how you want to handle the issue... a decision must be made and Illustrator will not make it for you (thankfully).

The conflict means you have 2 swatches with identical names -- one in the document already and one associated with the art you are pasting. But although the names are the same, the color definitions are different.

Merge Swatches
Choosing Merge will make the pasted art use the color from the existing swatch in the document, not the art you are pasting. So, you are telling Illustrator to discard the pasted art colors and redefine those colors based on swatches of the same name in the document. This can result in colors changing for the pasted art.

Add Swatches
Add Swatches means you want to keep the colors all the same, and you want to change the names of the swatches associated with the art you are pasting. So, after you paste, you'll have additional swatches - such as Pantone Black C and Pantone Black C 2. This is helpful if you want to ensure all the color of the art you are pasting remains unchanged. You can always reassign different colors after you've pasted.

Apply to All means just that. Which ever of the above options you choose the same decision will be used for all swatch conflicts in this instance. This is not a "global" decision. The next time there's a swatch conflict you will see the same dialog and be presented with the same choice.

Most users really don't want to disable this permanently. It's a good idea to keep an eye on what's happening with colors when you copy/paste.

If you are doing a lot of copy/pasting between documents, using different names for swatches, or ensuring the color definitions for the swatches are all the same will prevent the conflict dialog from being initiated. Note that Pantone Black C is not the same as Pantone Black U or Pantone+ Black C or Pantone+ Black U.


You can get rid of this popup by always using the same exact name for your swatches that have the same color recipe UNLESS you're using a different color or a modified Pantones.

It's a good practice to keep your swatch names well identified anyway if you do a print job and also for future reference.

If you use Pantones as spot colors, try to always select either Pantone coacted (C) or Pantone uncoated (U), make sure you use "book color".

If you modify your Pantones to CMYK, rename them in your own way by adding some extra words to define them clearly, for example "pantone 485-cmyk". Don't forget to also put that color in "process color", and not "spot".

If you modify the recipe of your color to a custom one, then a good thing to do is to rename the color like this "red-50-100-100-0" or simply "50-100-100-0". This way you also have a quick way to know what recipe you previously used without having to open each swatch to verify!

If after doing these things you still have that message, you'll know you can safely "merge" your swatches.

You can rename your swatches by double-clicking on each of them. Keep your swatches clean and sorted. Doing a "select unused" and deleting them can also help to get rid of the clutter! It's a good thing to do this at the end of your project at least and verify if you have some duplicate.

Edited: Frankly, I don't do "stylesheet" in Illustrator, but in InDesign you have this setting you can change in your preferences if that ever becomes an issue on this level. I really don't recommend it, it's better and easier to be more "disciplined" with your swatch colors!

Remove warning for multiple colors in InDesign

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