How can I update multiple swatches in Adobe InDesign quickly?

I have some 20 swatches I want to update. I've been doing this in Photoshop by using the Hue/Saturation tool, then putting the screenshot into InDesign, and creating new swatches with the eyedropper tool. Is there a faster way to do this?

I'm using InDesign CS6.

  • Hi! Have you tried using the Creative Cloud Library? If you use libraries you will be able to store colours, objects and even bits of text and use them all accross illustrator, inDesign and Photoshop. You could create a library of colours just for that one project and then use them in all media you need just by launching CC Libraries. I can give you a more specific tutorial on this if you are interested. Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 10:04
  • Nice tip @Joana, but doesn't that just move the clicking with the eyedropper tool to Photoshop? Isn't it really the possibility to use hue/saturation on swatches/color schemes? Maybe you should try Kuler. It should be an extension in InDesign - it is also online: color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel.
    – Wolff
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


The best way to do this if you don't use Adobe's Creative Cloud Library would be to manually save out the file as an .ASE.

First have only the swatches you want to use in the panel.

Next click the menu drop down to get to save for exchange.

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Next name your file appropriately and save it out to a location that is accessible.

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Finally open up InDesign and select the drop down menu, head to load swaches and navigate to where you saved your .ASE file.

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  • This addresses how to quickly import swatches but I believe the OP is looking for a way to update existing swatches
    – curious
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 18:43
  • I believe my method still satisfies his question. He can just do all the updating in Illustrator and then load the new saved swatches to InDesign. Unless he wants to use the Cloud Library this is the most efficient way. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 3:27
  • The method showed by Ovaryraptor is really quick, @Emilie . Just a few clicks.
    – LeoNas
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 19:30

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