How To Save A Color In Illustrator

Did you accidentally create a spectacular color swatch you do not want to let go of? What if we told you that you could use the swatches again, possibly in every new document you create? Yes, let us get into how you can save the colors. 

To save a color swatch for the same document, select the swatch, go to the Swatches panel, and click the icon that looks like a plus sign. Name the color whatever you want in the window that pops open. To save multiple colors and create a palette, select all the colors on the canvas and go to the Swatches panel. Here, click on the icon that looks like a folder. Name the palette in the window that appears.

Please continue reading this article to get into further details and learn more about saving color swatches in Illustrator. 

Turn on The Swatches Panel In Illustrator

Before we begin saving color, we must ensure that your Illustrator is perfectly equipped for the process. One major prerequisite for us is displaying the Swatches panel on the right side of the screen. 

To get the Swatches panel to show:

  1. Open up, Illustrator.
  2. In the top panel, go to Windows.
  3. In the drop-down menu that appears, select Swatches.
  4. The swatches window will appear on the right side of your screen above the layers panel. 

Save A Color For Use In The Same Document

If you wish to continue using a color you created in the document you are working on, you can save it in the Swatches panel and return it when needed. This swatch will not be available for use in any other document. 

To save a swatch:

  1. Make a swatch that you wish to save.
  2. Select the swatch by clicking on it.
  3. Now, go to the swatches panel on the right side of your screen.
  4. Click on the icon, which indicates creating a new swatch. This icon looks like a plus sign. 
  5. A window will appear. Name your swatch here and click OK.
  6. This swatch will be available in the document while you work on it. 

Save A Color For Future Use In Illustrator

To save the same swatch for future documents, follow these steps. 

  1. Make a watch and then select it in Illustrator.
  2. Look for the “Swatch Libraries Menu” icon in the Swatches panel. 
  3. Click on the icon, and click on Save Swatches in the drop-down menu that opens.
  4. In the window that appears, name the swatch and click Save. 

How To Save Multiple Colors In Illustrator

You may have more than one color you wish to keep for a document. To save multiple color swatches:

  1. Open the document.
  2. Swatch all the colors that you wish to save. 
  3. Please select all of them by dragging your cursors across them and making a selection. 
  4. Go to the Swatches panel on the right side of your screen now. 
  5. Click on the icon that indicates New Color Group. The icon looks like a folder. 
  6. In the window that opens, name the group of colors or the color palette. 
  7. Click OK.

How To Save A Color Palette For Future Use

You would not want a color palette that you curated to go away. It may be a good idea to save it for future purposes. 

To do so:

  1. In the same document, go to the color palette you created in the Swatch panel.
  2. Select each swatch and click on the icon representing the Swatch Libraries Menu.
  3. In the drop-down menu, choose Save Swatches. 
  4. A window will appear. Name the color palette here to what you prefer. 

For a guided tutorial, watch this Youtube video:

Using Color Swatches Or Palettes In The Future

You have saved the swatches and palettes for future use, but they still would not show in the Swatches panel. To be able to use the custom colors and palette, follow the instructions given below. 

  1. Open up a new document in Illustrator. 
  2. Enable the swatches panel.
  3. Go to the icon that represents the Swatch Libraries Menu.
  4. Scroll down to the option that says User Defined. Click on this. 
  5. Another drop-down menu will appear. 
  6. All the saved swatch names are present here. Look for the one that you saved earlier and click it.
  7. The swatch will appear in the swatches panel now. 
  8. To use it, click on the color.


Making colors, in itself, is a highly complex process that requires focus and repetition of tasks. To save all the progress you make through this process, we have made sure that our guidelines are simple and easy to follow.