About tints

A tint is a screened (lighter) version of a color. Tinting is an economical way to make additional spot color variations without having to pay for additional spot color inks. Tinting is also a quick way to create lighter versions of process colors, although it doesn’t reduce the cost of printing process colors. As with non-tinted colors, it’s best to name and store tints in the Swatches panel so that you can easily edit all instances of that tint in your document.

Spot color and tints
Spot color and tints

A tint of a spot color is printed on the same printing plate as the spot color. A tint of a process color multiplies each of the CMYK process inks by the tint percentage; for example, an 80% tint of C10 M20 Y40 K10 results in C8 M16 Y32 K8.

Because colors and tints update together, if you edit a swatch, all objects that use a tint of that swatch update accordingly. You can also edit the base swatch of a named tint using the Swatch Options command in the Swatches panel menu; this updates any other tints based on the same swatch.

The tint range in Adobe Creative Suite 3 is 0% to 100%; the lower the number, the lighter the tint.

Create and edit tints

You can adjust the tint of an individual object, or create tints by using the Tint slider in the Swatches panel or Color panel. The tint range is from 0% to 100%; the lower the number, the lighter the tint will be.

Because colors and tints update together, if you edit a swatch, all objects that use a tint of that swatch update accordingly. You can also edit the base swatch of a named tint using the Swatch Options command in the Swatches panel menu; this updates any other tints based on the same swatch.

Create a tint swatch using the Swatches panel

  1. In the Swatches panel, select a color swatch.

  2. Select the arrow next to the Tint box.

  3. Drag the Tint slider, and click the New Swatch button  or select New Tint Swatch in the Swatches panel menu.

The tint appears in the Swatches panel with the name of its base color and the percentage of the tint.

Create a tint swatch using the Color panel

  1. In the Swatches panel, select a swatch.

  2. In the Color panel, drag the Tint slider, or enter a tint value in the Percentage box.

  3. In the Color panel menu, click Add To Swatches.

    Tint slider and Add To Swatches.
    Drag the Tint slider and then click Add To Swatches.

Create an unnamed tint

  1. In the Swatches panel, select the Fill box or the Stroke box.

  2. Drag the Tint slider, or enter a tint value in the percentage box.

Edit a tint or base color swatch

  1. In the Swatches panel, double-click the tint swatch.

  2. Do one of the following, and click OK:

    • To edit the tint, change the Tint value. This updates all objects using that tint swatch.

    • To edit the tint’s base color swatch, change the Color Mode or the Color Mode values. This also updates all other tints based on that same color swatch.

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