You can select colors for your artwork from a variety of tools, panels, and dialog boxes in Illustrator. How you select color depends on the needs of your artwork. For example, if you want to use specific company-approved colors, you’ll want to select colors from the company-approved swatch library. If you want to match your colors with colors in other artwork, you can use the eyedropper or the Color Picker and enter exact color values.
You can use any of the following features for selecting color:
Swatches panel and swatch library panels
Provide individual colors and color groups. You can choose from preexisting swatches and libraries or create your own. You can also import libraries.
Provides a color spectrum from which you can visually select colors, color value text boxes for manually defining colors, and color swatches.
Provides a color spectrum, individual color value sliders (such as a Cyan slider), and color value text boxes. You can specify fill and stroke colors from the Color panel. From the Color panel menu, you can create inverse and complementary colors for the current fill or stroke color, and create a swatch from the selected color.
Color Guide panel
Provides several harmony rules to choose from for creating color groups using a base color that you choose. You can create variations of colors using tints and shades, warm and cool colors, or vivid and muted colors. From this panel, you can open a color group in the Edit Colors/Recolor Artwork dialog box.
Edit Colors/Recolor Artwork dialog box
Part of this dialog box provides tools for precisely defining or adjusting the colors in a color group or artwork. The other part lets you recolor your artwork using the colors from a color group, or reduce or convert your colors for output.
Add Selected Colors command or New Color Group button
Create a color group containing the colors in selected artwork. This command and button are both located in the Swatches panel.
The Color Picker lets you select an object’s fill or stroke color by choosing from a color field and spectrum, defining colors numerically, or clicking a swatch.
A. Color field B. HSB color values C. New color rectangle D. Original color rectangle E. Color slider F. Color spectrum G. RGB color values H. Hexadecimal color value I. CMYK color values
You use the Color panel (Window > Color) to apply color to an object’s fill and stroke, and also to edit and mix colors. The Color panel can display color values using different color models. By default, only the most commonly used options are visible in the Color panel.
A. Fill color B. Stroke color C. panel menu D. None box E. Color spectrum bar F. Color slider G. Text box for a color component
Drag or click in a slider.
Shift-drag a color slider to move the other sliders in relation to it (except for HSB sliders). This keeps a similar color but with a different tint or intensity.
Enter values in any of the text boxes.
Click in the color spectrum bar at the bottom of the panel. To select no color, click the None box at the left of the color bar; to select white, click the white swatch at the upper-right corner of the color bar; to select black, click the black swatch at the lower-right corner of the color bar.