Working with Photoshop CS4, I have a file with 4 shapes and some portion of the same shapes to create overlay effects, I need to color a set of shapes with color A and the other set with color B, since the shapes are in the same group to create the overlay with partial shapes I need to define a global color A and global colo B is it actually possible?

  • Sadly, Photoshop doesn't have global colors. If you are using shapes (=vector?) anyway, why don't you just use InDesign or Illustrator?
    – Wolff
    May 9, 2017 at 19:48
  • Follow this logic: Illustrator for shapes, Photoshop for pictures, InDesign to combine shapes and pictures into a finished product. You are trying to eat soup with a fork :)
    – Lucian
    May 9, 2017 at 19:51
  • @Lucian can illustrator do it? May 9, 2017 at 20:53
  • Yes. I have made this into an answer below.
    – Lucian
    May 9, 2017 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


While Photoshop does work with shapes, it is mainly a photo-editing tool. Conversely, Illustrator's main purpose is to work with shapes (not photos) and provides additional features, one of which is 'Global Colors'. See this question or just search 'global' in the official AI docs.

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  • can you have multiple global colors aswell? like shapes in set A with one color and shapes in set B with another color. By set I don't necessarily mean a group, for what I'm doing now it would be cool to define cross-groups sets of shapes. May 9, 2017 at 23:40
  • Yes. Set any swatch to be global, apply it to any number of shapes, then it updates everywhere when you edit the color code. Set another global swatch to use on another number (not group) of shapes, and so on.
    – Lucian
    May 10, 2017 at 4:33

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