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Design Snack #10: Manage colors in Photoshop like a pro

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Here’s the deal: your designs probably don’t use that many colors. But as projects grow, it’s really easy for slight inconsistencies in color to sneak in. Maybe you accidentally sampled color from an antialiased pixel, or maybe you were eager to get out the door on a Friday afternoon and just estimated the text color for a new paragraph.

These mistakes are relatively harmless when you’re working by yourself, but they’re awful once others get involved. The next thing you know, a developer’s interpreted your inconsistencies literally and hard-coded them into the live site—or they’re asking you which shade of orange they should use because you have 3 in your PSD. Yikes!

How to manage color with Creative Cloud Libraries

To get started, go to Window > Libraries, then create a new Library via the dropdown at the top of your Libraries panel.

Then, as you select different elements on your design, you’ll see little color blocks at the bottom of the panel. Just click a block to add it to your library. It’s also helpful to give them names, so go to list mode at the top right of the panel, and double-click the color’s hex code to rename it.

Now you can select one or multiple items on your design at once, and when you click a color in your Library—it will be applied immediately. Take that, eyedropper-tool-option-delete!

Sharing CC Libraries with your team

To me, this is the biggest benefit of using Libraries. When you’re all working on the same product or projects, it’s great to know you’re all working from the same foundation.

There are 2 ways to share libraries: read-only share links, or inviting people to collaborate on the libraries with you, giving them read-write access.

To start sharing, click the menu icon at the top right of the panel and choose either Share Link… or Collaborate…, and follow the directions on the screen. You’ll be converting teammates to CC Libraries in no time.

While we’re just discussing color in this post, there’s a lot more to CC Libraries that can make your design workflow easier. But perhaps that’s best left to another Design Snack.

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Author

Andy Orsow
Designer and product marketer at InVision, resident GIF-ologist and video maker.

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