Learn How to Use the Color Swatches Palette in Macromedia Flash 8
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Now, there is one another panel I want to take a look at while we are on the subject of selecting colors and that is the color swatches panel. Now, if you do not have that in your current default set, once again, you should be able to find it right in here under the windows pull down menu. I can just switch to the tab over here and we will take a look at it. Now, at first glance, we have seen that palette before. In fact, we have seen every time we have pulled out something and made a selection on one color or another. We see the same colors dropped in here. This palette is not a color selector. It is really a color saver. So we are going to use it to store our colors for use later. And, here is the way this palette is going to work. I am going to select the grass and change it to a specific color. I am going to look for one that is not in the standard color palette as we pull it down. So I am going to look for a color maybe kind of a deep olive color. Let us see. I will work something in there. There we go. It is kind of a deep medium olive color and I am pretty sure that that one is not in a standard palette. So if I am happy with the color, I may want to save it specifically for re-use later. And, that is where the color swatches palette comes in. Here is how this palette is going to work.
It is basically keying off whatever my currently active color is and in this case, you can see that my fill color is active. If I go into the swatch palette, it will allow me to manipulate these colors up in here at the top but if I go down to the empty space, you can see I get paint bucket tool. With that tool, I can simply click. It will take whatever the currently active color is and make a swatch. Now, that is important because this panel controls what all the other panels that pull the swatches down look like. So from this point on, if I grab any color panel and pull it down, there you can see my newly saved swatch that I have built. This is a very easy procedure and I actually recommend during production that whenever I make a color especially a special color selection that I might want to use later, I just go right ahead while I have it selected and active make a new swatch for it.
In addition to setting swatch colors to whatever your active color is, you can also set it to any color that you have used in the presentation so far. Now, with my color swatch window open, I can use the eyedropper tool to selectively go around and pick up different colors. If I pick up this background color that I have used in the background later here, you will notice that that color is already in the swatch palette and it has identified it for me. So that is really useful. I know where that one came from. It is the same thing with the white color of course. Now, let me see if I can find the color in here. Perhaps we can look at the red color. Now, there is a color that was not in the existing swatch palette and by picking it up with the eyedropper tool, I automatically went in and made a custom swatch for it. So I could save that color later.
So we have got two methods of dumping color into the palette. One is picking with the eyedropper tool and the second one is taking whatever the current active color is and just making a swatch manually with the paint bucket tool. Our swatch palette saves those colors nicely for us. Now, if I take a look at the options for this swatch palette, you can see we have got a lot of options for manipulating those swatches directly. What we have been looking at is the web 216 color set. I can reset that at the click of a mouse just by clicking right here. I can also clear all the colors out of the palette. Probably most importantly out of all of these sets of options is the ability to save colors and replace colors is the action of loading another color set in. If I choose save colors, I am going to save these in my Lesson Six folder so that they are with the rest of the lesson files. I can give this color palette any kind of name I want. It is going to be saved as a flash color set with a .clr extension and that file is now in my Lesson Six folder. If I needed to, I could take that and e-mail it to a colleague or pass it around to any other computer where I needed to use the exact same color palette and I could load it straight in here. So that all my colleagues could be using the color set as I am.
Now, just so we can see how this works, I am going to clear the colors out of here which wipes out every color except black and white. And, if I just check my swatch palette, you can see that that directly manages which color is going to be in here. And, just for practice, I will load in some colors using the replace colors command. There is my garden colors file and once I open it up, my swatch file is loaded and it is ready for use. This is a great way to not only save your colors for later use in the same project but passing amongst other projects or amongst other people working on the projects with you as well.