Learn the basics of working with colors in Adobe InDesign, including how to change color, create swatches, and add effects like drop shadows.
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Change the color of content
Explore how to apply color to content using existing colors and colors you create.
What you learned: Change the color of content
Content in InDesign can have a color stroke (border) and a color fill.
Clicking the fill color or stroke color in the Properties panel reveals colors saved in a document, called swatches.
- Click the fill color in the Properties panel and select the Swatches option at the top of the panel. You can then select a default color swatch from the list of swatches that appears.
- Click the fill color in the Properties panel and select the Color option at the top of the panel. You can then mix a custom color. Choose CMYK from the panel menu, if necessary, to see the CMYK sliders. Click in the color spectrum to choose a color, and then adjust the color values using the CMYK sliders.
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (K) are the colors represented by CMYK. These are printing inks that are mixed to create the final color on a printer.
- To sample formatting and apply that formatting to other content, click and hold the Color Theme tool in the toolbox to select the Eyedropper tool. The Eyedropper tool captures formatting from an object you click and applies that same formatting to the selected content.
Save colors as swatches
Learn how to save a color you create as a swatch for later use.
What you learned: Save colors as swatches
- Click the fill color or stroke color in the Properties panel and, with the Swatches option selected in the panel that appears, click the New Swatch button at the bottom of the panel that appears.
- Double-click the new color swatch in the list of colors, change the name (if necessary), and set options in the Swatch Options dialog box. Click OK to save the color swatch.
- Apply the new swatch by selecting artwork and clicking the fill color or stroke color in the Properties panel and selecting the swatch.
Add effects like a drop shadow
Apply creative effects to your content.
What you learned: Explore effects like drop shadows in InDesign
Transparency effects include drop shadows, bevel and emboss, and more, and are found in the Properties panel and Effects panel.
To apply a drop shadow effect to an object:
- Select the object with the Selection tool.
- Click the fx button in the Properties panel to open the Transparency and Effects drop-down menu. Choose Drop Shadow to open the Effects dialog box. You can also open the Effects panel by choosing Window > Effects.
- Adjust the drop shadow options. You can also explore other effects by turning them on or off in the panel on the left. Click OK to apply the effect.