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Creating Color Sets

Flash stores a default set of colors and gradients in the system color file, but it stores the colors and gradients used in each document with that document. Flash lets you define what colors and gradients make up the default set. In addition, you can create and save other color sets and load them into the Color Swatches panel. This practice makes it easy to maintain a consistent color palette when you are creating several documents for use in a single movie or on a single Web site.

To access the Color Swatches panel:

  1. If the Color Swatches panel is not open, from the Window menu, choose Design Panels > Color Swatches or press mac.jpg-F9 (Mac) or Ctrl-F9 (Windows).

    The Color Swatches panel appears.

To define a new set of colors:

  1. Define all the colors and gradients you want to use in your special color set (see the "Creating Solid Colors" and "Creating New Gradients" sections earlier in this chapter).

    You don't need to define all your colors at the same time, but after you have a set that you want to save, move on to step 2.

  2. From the Color Swatches panel's Options menu, choose Save Colors (Figure 3.90).
    Figure 3.90

    Figure 3.90 The Options menu in the Color Swatches panel offers commands for working with color sets.

    The Export Color Swatch dialog appears (Figure 3.91).
    Figure 3.91

    Figure 3.91 To save a set of colors for reuse, in the Export Color Swatch dialog choose Flash Color Set from the Save As menu (Mac, top) or Save As Type menu (Windows, bottom).

  3. Navigate to the folder where you want to store your color set.
  4. Enter a name for your color-set file in the Save As (Mac), or File Name field (Windows).
  5. From the Format (Mac) or Save As Type (Windows) pop-up menu, choose one of two formats:

    • To save colors and gradients in Flash's proprietary Flash Color Set (CLR) format, choose Flash Color Set.
    • To save the colors in Color Table (ACT) format, choose Color Table.

    The ACT format saves only colors (not gradients) but allows you to share color sets with other programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Fireworks.

  6. Click Save.

To load a set of colors:

  1. From the Options menu in the Color Swatches panel, choose one of the following:
    • To add to the color set currently displayed in the Color Swatches panel, choose Add Colors.
    • To replace the entire set currently displayed in the Color Swatches panel, choose Replace Colors.
    The Import Color Swatch dialog appears (Figure 3.92).
    Figure 3.92

    Figure 3.92 To reload a saved set of colors, in the Import Color Swatch dialog, choose Flash Color Set from the Show menu (Mac, top) or Files of Type menu (Windows, bottom).

  2. To determine what types of files to display, from the Show pop-up menu (Mac) or Files of Type (Windows) pop-up menu, choose one of the following:

    • All Formats, which displays CLR, ACT, and GIF files.
    • Flash Color Set, which displays only CLR files.
    • Color Table, which displays only ACT files.
    • GIF, which displays only GIF files.
    • All Files, which displays files of any format.

    Note that the Color Table and Gif formats are for color import only; these formats do not handle gradients. Flash Color Set handles both colors and gradients.

  3. Navigate to the file you want to import.
  4. Click Open.

To define the default set of colors:

  1. From the Options menu in the Color Swatches panel, choose Save As Default.

    A warning dialog appears, giving you the chance to cancel the operation at this point (Figure 3.93).

    Figure 3.93

    Figure 3.93 This warning dialog gives you a chance to change your mind after you've chosen Save As Default from the Options menu in the Color Swatches panel. You can't undo this operation.

  2. Do one of the following:
    • To cancel the operation, click No.
    • To go ahead and create the new default color set, click Yes.
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