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This question already has an answer here:

say I have a hexidecimal values or rgb values of a color in illustrator, how could I decrease the saturation easily and following the same tone in illustrator? Thanks

marked as duplicate by Scott adobe-illustrator Feb 1 '16 at 8:09

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  • Given the duplicate link, you can set Recolor Artwork to "global sliders" then just decreased the Saturation slider. – Scott Feb 1 '16 at 8:09
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Illustrator uses HSB (Hue Saturation Brightness) color space. If you want to change only the saturation itself:

  1. Open the color picker
  2. Paste the color you want to modify into the color picker
  3. Select S for saturation and change the option's value.

enter image description here

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If you have lots of objects and dont need the transparency you can lay over a white square over your artwork and put transparency to saturation mode. Thi de saturates the color entirely you can now use transparency to bring the saturation back. You can do the same per layer with applying extra fill with the same idea in a layers effect, YMMV.

You could also script this.

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Just to add on to the above answer — if you open the 'Color' window (Window > Color in the AI menu), you can select your desired color editing mode from the upper right-hand menu. Like this:

  1. Select the object with the fill or stroke color you want to modify
  2. Make sure your color window is visible and expanded (use the arrow symbol in next to the window title in the tab bar)
  3. Select 'HSB' from the dropdown menu of the color window (upper right)
  4. Change the 'Saturation' slider

enter image description here

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