I've been playing around with using Creative Cloud Libraries to share assets between a group of files that I am prepping for print, but I'm struggling to get my head around sharing colours.

Without using a library, I can make a swatch global which means that if I use that swatch on any elements, the link is dynamic and I can tweak the swatch and be sure the colours will update throughout the document. I'm assuming that by using libraries I can effectively do the same thing across documents, so by updating the swatch in the library I can be sure it will update across all the files that use the same library.

However, this doesn't seem to be the case. Even within a single document, it appears that once I add the swatch (even if it is a global swatch) to the library, there is no longer any link between the swatch in the swatches panel and the swatch in the library. If I edit the original (global swatch), items that used it will change colour, but the swatch in the library doesn't update. Equally, if I change the colour of the swatch in the library, the swatch in the swatches panel doesn't update, and done of the objects on the stage update. Even if I directly use a swatch in the library panel to colour an item on the stage, it doesn't behave as a global swatch - if I deselect the item and change the swatch, the item doesn't update.

So what am I missing?

1 Answer 1


No your not really missing anything. There is no inter document swatch update, or update any other resource, like symbols, for that matter. You can however drag symbols over other symbols and replace them, perhaps swatshes also havent tried.

  • Thanks. So a shared library is just a way of moving graphics and swatches between documents? Seems like a real missed opportunity to me. In fact I guess the whole point is that it is another way to sell us Adobe stock. Mar 5, 2016 at 20:37
  • Well, its a bit complicated to operate a global update database. I used to work at a company that had a product that worked just like this. Half of the clients couldnt manage the complexity, and most of our clients had a MSc or doctorate in a science or another. Its a powerfull feature sure, but also a great way to let half of your clients shoot themselves in the foot. Remember your essentially updating what might be the naster copy of somebodys main source of income. Would you want that to be permanently associated with a web service?
    – joojaa
    Mar 5, 2016 at 21:12
  • @1ndivisible but its not hard to make a script copy off the palette.
    – joojaa
    Mar 5, 2016 at 21:15
  • I'm not sure exactly what you mean by 'your essentially updating what might be the master copy of somebody's income'. So long as you share your libs only amongst your own files or team, then this isn't really an issue so long as you are using some kind of version control (and I think most professionals are using VC now, even if it is a primitive form). I don't think it's anything like as complicated as you make out - Illustrator has no problem with linked files so why not linked swatches or graphics? I think you've understood me as wanting to share libraries with the world which I don't want. Mar 5, 2016 at 21:42
  • VC does not save you from complexity increase. It just allows you to go further into the complicated issue. Once things break its still broken. Anyway im not saying it couldnt work that way im just saying i can see the wisdom in it not working that way.
    – joojaa
    Mar 5, 2016 at 21:52

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