Swatches panel

The Swatches panel makes it easy to use predefined colours, and also to define, store and reuse your own selection of colours.

About the Swatches panel

The Swatches panel stores your recently used colours and lets you access a range of predefined palettes, each containing solid or gradient fill swatches. These can be selected for use with various tools and for applying directly to objects. You can also create and store your own swatches as custom colour palettes either for the document, application or system-wide, as well as import any exported Affinity .afpalette from other users or import Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) palettes.

As well as accessing palettes, you can create global and spot colours, and make colours overprint. Your registration colour can also be customised.

Swatches panel

Swatches panel: (A) Primary/secondary (left) or Stroke/Fill colour selectors with colour 'none' swatch and 'swap' arrow, (B) Colour picker tool and picked colour swatch, (C) Category list (showing Application, left, and Document, right), (D) Category colour palette swatches, (E) Search, (F) Panel Preferences, (G) Opacity control, (H) Recently used colours, (I) None, Black, Mid-grey and White swatches, (J) Add current colour to palette as a global colour, (K) Add current fill to palette, (L) Registration colour, (M) Global colour, (N) Overprint colour, (O) Spot colour.

Swatches thumbnail

Markings which distinguish specialist colour swatches: (A) Global, (B) Overprint, (C) Spot.

Like the Colour panel, the Swatches panel has different states depending on the active Persona and on the selected tool. The large colour swatch selectors indicate the currently selected colours.

The Swatches panel also shows None, Black, Mid-grey and White swatches, recently used colours and an opacity control. Swatches are organised into colour palettes by category.

Working with palettes

The ten most recently used colours are automatically added to the panel on a temporary basis. You can permanently store custom colours and gradients that you use most often in any of the palettes or you can create custom palettes to host them.

The following types of palette exist within Affinity Publisher:

Saving and deleting custom colour palettes

Panel Preferences To create a palette:
Add current fill to palette To save a colour or gradient to a palette:
  1. On the Swatches panel, select a palette from the palette pop-up menu.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • -click an object, then from the pop-up menu, click Add to Swatches and choose to add colour from fill, stroke or both.
    • Select Add current fill to palette, or Add current colour to palette as a global colour if you would also like to make this colour a global colour. Use the Stroke/Fill colour selector to target the colour.
To edit a saved swatch:
To delete a saved swatch:

Generating a palette from document

You can generate a palette from the colours used throughout your document.

Panel Preferences To generate a palette from document:

A new palette is created (named after the document) using all the colours currently in the document.

Sharing custom palettes

You can also share custom colour palettes for use by other Affinity users.

Panel Preferences To export a colour palette:
  1. Choose the palette you want to export from the palette pop-up menu.
  2. Click Panel Preferences and choose Export Palette from the menu.
  3. Type a name for the exported file, choose the disk location you want to save it to and click Save.

Setting default palettes

Any palette can be set as the default used for specific colour formats. For example, you can set RGB/8 documents to have a different default palette to CMYK/8 documents.

Panel Preferences To set a default palette:
  1. On the Swatches panel, select a palette from the palette pop-up menu.
  2. Click Panel Preferences and choose a colour format option from the Set as Default for from the pop-up menu.