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Using the Color Panel

There are three different models for defining colors: CMYK, RGB, and LAB. Each model is used for different purposes. You choose the color mode and mix colors in the Color panel. (See Chapter 6, “Styling Objects,” for how to apply colors to objects and text.)

To choose the options in the Color panel:
  1. If the Color panel is not visible, choose Window > Color to open the panel square1.gif.

    or

    If the Color panel is behind other panels, click the Color panel tab.

  2. If the color sliders are not visible, click the panel tab or choose Show Options from the Color panel menu square2.gif.

The CMYK color model is used primarily for print work. CMYK colors are mixed using percentages of the four inks used in process printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

To define CMYK colors:
  1. Choose CMYK from the Color panel menu. This opens the panel in the CMYK mode square3.gif.
  2. Choose one of the following methods to define the amount of cyan, magenta, yellow, or black ink in the color:
    • Type a value from 0 to 100% in each of the four color fields.
    • Drag the sliders for each of the four color fields.
    • Click a color in the CMYK spectrum area.

The RGB color model is used primarily for onscreen work such as presentations and Web sites. The RGB colors—red, green, and blue—are mixed using representations of the three colors of light. This is what you see on television screens and computer monitors. RGB colors have a wider range of colors than CMYK colors.

To mix RGB colors:
  1. Choose RGB from the Color panel menu. This opens the panel in the RGB mode square4.gif.
  2. Choose one of the following methods to define the amount of red, green, or blue in the color:
    • Type the value from 0 to 255 in each of the three color fields.
    • Drag the sliders for each of the three color fields.
    • Click a color in the RGB spectrum area.

The LAB color model defines colors according to a luminance (lightness) component, and two color components, a and b. The a component defines green to red values. The b component defines blue to yellow values. LAB colors are device-independent so that colors don’t change from one source to another.

To mix LAB colors:
  1. Choose LAB from the Color panel menu. This opens the panel in the LAB mode square5.gif.
  2. Choose one of the following methods to define the three components of the color:
    • Type the value from 0 to 100 in the L field or type the value from -128 to 127 in the A or B field.
    • Drag the sliders for each of the fields.
    • Click a color in the LAB spectrum area.

The out-of-gamut symbol appears if you choose an RGB or LAB color that cannot be printed using process inks square6.gif.

To convert out-of-gamut colors:
  • Click the small square next to the out-of-gamut symbol. This converts the color to the closest process-color equivalent.

You can use the Color panel to apply colors to selected objects.

To apply colors to a fill or stroke:

You can add colors from the Color panel to the Swatches panel so you can easily reuse them.

To transfer colors from the Color panel:
  1. Define the color in the Color panel.
  2. Choose Add to Swatches from the Color panel menu. The color appears as a new color swatch in the Swatches panel.
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