How to Create Global Process Colors in Adobe Illustrator CS5

What is a Global color?

Adobe Illustrator uses global and non-global process colors. A global process color is one that is updated across all the instances of your document as against the non-global color, which is updated only where it is used by selecting objects and applying it. A global process color acts just like character or paragraph or graphic styles you create in Illustrator.

A global process color is visible in the Swatches panel and is illustrated with a small white triangle at the bottom right corner of the color.


How do I create a Global Process color?

Double click on any color to open ‘Swatch Options window’.


Select the Global checkbox and click OK. Notice the change in the color icon in the Swatches panel. image

Use the check box to switch between Global and Non-global process colors.

How do I use a Global Process color?

I have created two sets of rectangles. One set is colored in blue, which is a Global Process color and the other set is green, a Non-Global Process color.


Lets now select a green rectangle and change its color using the Swatch options window. Just double click on the color, switch on the Preview and modify the color using the CMYK handles. Notice that the color changes only for that particular rectangle and the others are green.


Now lets do the same thing with one of the blue rectangles, and see the change.


Isn’t this great! So now you know how to change colors for multiple instances of same color.

How can I replace a Global Process Color?

Replacing a Global Process color with another color is just as simple. Alt (Win) or Option (MAC) drag the new color and drop it onto the Global Process color and it will now be replaced with this new color. And yes it will remain a global process color. Also all the instances where the global color is used will now be replaced with this new global process color.

I hope this article is helpful and you enjoyed reading it.

Filed Under: Adobe Illustrator


About the Author: Minal is a freelance web and graphics designer. She specializes in designing Logos, Stationery, Graphics and Icons as well as website templates using graphical tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Expression Web. Twitter @saffronstroke

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