June 21, 2005

A fix for swatches that can’t be deleted!

You guessed it. I’m as busy as a headless chicken.

And horrified to find that InDesign does not let you replace a spot colour swatch with another one. Nor does it allow you to delete a spot colour if it’s being used anywhere in the document. How insane to expect designers to be so organised.

Here I am wondering which colour to use for a 1C throughout print job, and biting my nails at the thought of having to replace the colours manually. Well thanks to a Kirk Holz, who reposted what someone else posted at the Adobe forums, I can go to sleep soon!

Thought I’d just post it forward for the next person who find him/herself in the same fix.

Finally. Someone posted this on another thread but it is so satisfying to be able to get rid of unwanted swatches that I’m reposting the fix as a topic.

Adobe should definitely address this issue, but until they do, there is a way that doesn’t take too long:

1. Create a new document.
2. In that document, create a process color but give it the same name as your spot color that you want to remove from the reluctant document.
3. Make a book consisting only of the two documents. Be sure to deactivate Automatic Pagination in Book Page Numbering Options in the drop-down menu.
4. Use synchronization, choosing colors only.
5. Synchronize the colors with your temporary document as the source.
6. Now you should be able to delete the color in the previously reluctant document.

NB: The NEW document must be the source when you synchronize the colors. Otherwise, you end up replacing the colors in the new document with the ‘bad’ ones in the old.

Posted by Karen at June 21, 2005 09:32 PM in design

Doesn’t a swatch only get stuck if it’s used in an embedded EPS or such? I’m able to delete and replace all swatches created in the InD doc just fine.

Posted by: Stephen at June 22, 2005 01:56 PM

What about spot colours? I could not delete a spot colour.

The manual says that spot colours that are used in the document cannot be deleted until that graphic is removed. But obviously I can’t find that graphic. So no, I can’t delete a spot colour, only process colours.

Is this the case with you too?

Posted by: Karen at June 22, 2005 05:16 PM

HOTFIX! Hotfixed.

Posted by: Karen at July 4, 2005 07:02 PM

I thought that was only a problem in InDesign 2.0. That used to irritate me too, since I had to copy and paste elements in to a new document to feel like I was prepping a pristine file.

But InDesign CS eliminates that problem entirely…are you using v2?

Posted by: Enrico at July 10, 2005 02:31 PM

I’m using InDesign CS. Curious why different people have different experiences with this bug.

Btw, Hotfix (see above) fixes the problem of Macromedia applications being unable to launch from dock or finder. In dock, the icon bounces and bounces, but there’s no splash screen and the programme does not launch. In finder, double clicking the icon does nothing. This usually happens after a Software Reinstall (OSX) or an upgrade. It is a known issue and can be a real pain. Hotfix fixes the problem quickly and painlessly!!!

Posted by: Karen at July 11, 2005 10:25 AM


Posted by: Kristin Nielsen at October 20, 2005 03:48 AM

Thank you!

Mac, CS1.

Posted by: Scott Larsen at October 24, 2005 06:54 AM

I’ve never had a problem deleting spot or cmyk swatches and replacing with new ones… until today! What makes today so different than any other day? Answer – I’ve updated system software today! I’m gonna delete the preferences (old skool), and see if that fixes it!

Posted by: Steven Tomkins at May 22, 2006 07:01 PM

Old skool didn’t work… boo hoo.

My document has logos that I’ve copied and pasted from illustrator, but nothing I haven’t done before. I’ve manually changed every colour element to the new colour, but still InDesign won’t let me delete the damned rogue spot!

I’ll try the original post fix, if I can undertand it!

Posted by: Steven Tomkins at May 22, 2006 07:17 PM

Nice fix Karen. Never done a book thingy before, but simple enough to sort a ‘rite pine in d ass’ problem. InDesign’s first glitch and hopefully only gltch in my experience… so far!

Posted by: Steven Tomkins at May 22, 2006 07:26 PM
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