Change the Color Picker

Instead of using the Adobe Color Picker, you can choose colors from your computer operating system’s standard Color Picker or from a third party Color Picker.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > General (Mac OS).
  2. Choose a Color Picker from the Color Picker menu, and click OK.

    For more information, see your operating system documentation.

Add and delete color swatches

You can add or delete color swatches from the Swatches panel.


You can also add a color swatch from the Color Picker by clicking the Add To Swatches button.

Add a color to the Swatches panel

  1. Decide which color you want to add and make it the foreground color.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Click the New Swatch button  in the Swatches panel. Alternatively, choose New Swatch from the Swatches panel menu.

    • Position the pointer over an empty space in the bottom row of the Swatches panel (the pointer turns into the Paint Bucket tool), and click to add the color. Enter a name for the new color and click OK.

    Photoshop Swatches panel
    Color selected from image (left), and added to Swatches panel (right)
    • (Creative Cloud only) Choose Load Swatches from the panel menu. Then, in the Load window, navigate to an HTML, CSS, or SVG file and click OK. Photoshop will read the color values specified in the documents. This feature recognizes the following HTML/CSS color syntax: #112233, #123, rgb(1,2,3), rgba(1,2,3,4), hsb(1,2,3), and hsba(1,2,3,4).


    New colors are saved in the Photoshop preferences file so that they persist between editing sessions. To permanently save a color, save it in a library.

Delete a color from the Swatches panel

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Drag a swatch to the Delete icon .

    • Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS), position the pointer over a swatch (the pointer turns into scissors), and click.

Manage swatch libraries

Swatch libraries provide an easy way to access different sets of colors. You can save custom sets of swatches as a library for reuse. You can also save swatches in a format for sharing in other applications.

Load or replace a library of swatches

  1. Choose one of the following from the Swatches panel menu:

    Load Swatches

    Adds a library to the current set of swatches. Select the library file you want to use, and click Load.

    Replace Swatches

    Replaces the current list with a different library. Select the library file you want to use, and click Load. Photoshop gives your the option of saving the current set of swatches before replacing them.

    Name of a color library

    Loads a specific color system listed in the lower part of the Swatches panel menu. You can either replace or append the current set of colors with the library you’re loading.

Save a set of swatches as a library

  1. Choose Save Swatches from the Swatches panel menu.
  2. Choose a location for the swatch library, enter a filename, and click Save.

    You can save the library anywhere. However, if you place the library file in the Presets/Swatches folder in the default presets location, the library name will appear at the bottom of the Swatches panel menu after you restart the application.

Return to the default library of swatches

  1. Choose Reset Swatches from the Swatches panel menu. You can either replace or append the current set of colors with the default swatch library.

Share swatches between applications

You can share the solid swatches you create in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign by saving a swatch library for exchange. The colors appear exactly the same across applications as long as your color settings are synchronized.

  1. In the Swatches panel, create the process and spot-color swatches you want to share, and remove any swatches you don’t want to share.


    You cannot share the following types of swatches between applications: patterns, gradients, and the Registration swatch from Illustrator or InDesign; and book color references, HSB, XYZ, duotone, monitorRGB, opacity, total ink, and webRGB swatches from Photoshop. These types of swatches are automatically excluded when you save swatches for exchange.

  2. Select Save Swatches For Exchange from the Swatches panel menu, and save the swatch libraries in an easily accessible location.
  3. Load the swatch library into the Swatches panel for Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.