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Store and Share Your Favorite Features with Adobe's Creative Cloud Libraries

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Late in 2014, Adobe came out with a new feature called Libraries for Creative Cloud. Using Libraries, we can save project content such as graphics, text formatting, and colors, and share that same content between apps and with others. In this article, web developer Brian Wood takes you on a tour of Libraries in Illustrator CC, Photoshop CC, and a few of the Adobe iOS apps and shows you an example workflow utilizing this new Creative Cloud feature.
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For me, one of the more challenging aspects of working with Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator has been sharing content between them. I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a collection of project assets that I could use in those apps, like text styling, colors, and graphics in one easily accessible place. I’ve created workarounds in the past, but Adobe now has an answer: Creative Cloud Libraries.

In the October 2014 release of Photoshop and Illustrator CC, a new feature called Creative Cloud Libraries was introduced. Libraries (see Figure 1) are a powerful feature that lets you create, categorize, share, and store your favorite colors, brushes, text styles, graphics, and vector images in one easily accessible place. That Library content can be accessed on any machine or mobile app that supports Libraries, as long as you log in with the same Adobe ID.

Figure 1

Figure 1 My Libraries panel from Adobe Illustrator CC

Let’s take a closer look at what Creative Cloud Libraries are and how you can share them with others.

What Are Creative Cloud Libraries?

As I mentioned earlier, Libraries are a way to store and share content between desktop applications, mobile apps, online services, and other people. In the desktop applications, Libraries can be accessed in Adobe Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC (October 2014 release and later) by choosing Window > Libraries. It doesn’t take much foresight to realize that Libraries will probably be coming to other Adobe applications in the future (think InDesign).

Aside from Illustrator and Photoshop (right now), Libraries can also be accessed online in your Creative Cloud account, through the Creative Cloud Market, as well as several of the Adobe mobile apps like Adobe Shape, Adobe Sketch, Adobe Brush, and Adobe Color (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2 Libraries on Adobe.com

Let’s start by discussing how Libraries work within Illustrator and Photoshop. Libraries are found in the Libraries panel (Window > Libraries) in Illustrator and Photoshop. When you first open the Libraries panel, you’ll see that you start out with a single Library called “My Library.” You can create as many Libraries as you need, each with its own content and purpose. So if you were working on a client project, you could create a Library with that client name and store all of the associated content and styling in it.

Libraries can contain the following types of content:

  • Graphics
  • Text formatting
  • Colors (from fill or stroke in Illustrator or from foreground color in Photoshop)
  • Brushes
  • Layer Styles (Photoshop only)
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