I have a document that is using global process colors - I need the colors to be local. However, when uncheck the global color box in my swatch options, it doesn't actually affect any objects in the artwork, just the swatch itself.

Kind of silly, but I need to GLOBALLY change the swatches to local colors. When I change the swatches to non-global, then "add used colors" from my artwork in the swatch panel, illustrator continues to add the global swatch back into my swatch panel. This lets me know that all the colors in the art are still global.. I have even tried changing the objects one-by one to the local swatch, but alas, "add used colors" still finds instances of global color. Is there a way to see what objects are using local color and what are using global color? I have viewed a ton of resources dealing with how to change local colors to global colors in illustrator, but is there a way to reverse this process? changing swatch to localAdding used colors to swatch panel - Illustrator repopulates global colors :(

ANY help is appreciated! Thanks.

  • 1
    I'm confused why you're using "Add Used Colors." If you leave out that step, do you not accomplish what you're aiming for?
    – Geoff Ball
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


To create local swatches of the colours used in your artwork, select the artwork, go to the Swatches panel flyout menu, and select New Colour Group…. Create from Selected Artwork and ensure Convert Process to Global is deselected.

New Color Group...

To see where your swatches are used in your document, ensure your artwork is deselected. Choose the color swatch, and go to Select -> Same -> Fill Color.

  • Why will adding used colors always populate global colors? Maybe this is what i don't quite understand. In step 3 of your guide, you've said if you edit one of your objects, it is no longer tied to any swatch. That is the result I'm getting without editing any objects. When I change my swatches to local, they are no longer connect to my objects. Although you changed the grey to a local color - when you highlight the object, shouldn't illustrator still recognize that this is that color? instead it creates a new global swatch all together.
    – user84072
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 21:47
  • Okay. I don't think I've answered the right question for you. Let me try this again.
    – Geoff Ball
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 22:05
  • I believe the Add Used Colors command creates global swatches because doing so provides you as the artist with greater control. From there, you can quickly change swatch colours (which impacts your artwork), but you can also quickly convert to local colours in a few clicks if that's what you desire (as it seems you do). If the command instead created local swatches, to then convert to global swatches would not maintain the connection with the objects' appearances.
    – Geoff Ball
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 22:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.