PI8 Basics #6: The Color Panel


Access the Color Panel by clicking its button in the Panel Manager. It's the sixth one from the top.

color panel

The Color Panel is a centralized color manager. It organizes your colors for use with Paint, Retouch, Text and Path tools. Basically, it provides you with an alternative to the Attributes toolbar and Tool Panel for selecting colors. Choose from preset colors and gradients, or easily add your own custom colors and gradients.

By default the Color Panel opens to the Color tab. Click in the rainbow at the bottom of the panel to select a color, or choose from the current Foreground or Background color. You can also mix a custom color with RGB or HSB values, or enter a Hex value directly into the Hex box. As soon as you select a color, it becomes the current Foreground color in the Tool Panel and it will appear as the selected color in the Attributes toolbar.

becomes Foreground color

The Color tab's Mode dropdown menu defaults to Single Color. (If you select an option from the Gradients tab for a Two Colors or Multiple Colors gradient fill, the Mode will change automatically to the appropriate Mode)

single color fill mode

To add a selected color to the Swatches tab, click the plus (+) button. Doing so will open the Add New Swatch dialog box.

add color swatch

Give the color a name (or it will default to a letter/number identification) and click OK. Look at your Swatches tab and you'll see that the color has been added.

swatch edited

Click on a swatch to make it the current Foreground color. Note that you can Add, Edit or Delete color swatches by selecting one and choosing an option. Click the right facing arrow in the upper right corner of the Color Panel to display a menu of options.

swatch menu

You can load and save swatches, sort them by name or color, snap them to web safe colors, list and sort them. It is very handy to be able to save custom color swatches, and you can even share them with other PI8 users.

Click the Gradients tab to view available options, which include Two Colors and Multiple Colors gradients. Make sure you have a Gradient Fill tool (Linear, Rectangular, Elliptical) selected in the Tool Panel, or the fill cannot be applied. Click on the right facing arrow in the upper right corner of the Color Panel to view its menu options. The default gradients will load initially, but you may also choose from Warm and Cool gradients.

gradient menu options

The colors in the selected gradient can be edited directly from the Color tab. Select a Multiple Colors gradient and click the Color tab. To add a color, click the Spectrum Bar and select a color from the Ulead Color Picker. Edit Hue values in the Hue Shift box and use Ring to rotate the color spectrum. To remove or edit an existing color on the spectrum, right-click the control point of the color for editing/removal. You can also delete a color by dragging its control point off the tab. Click the plus (+) sign beside the color box to add the custom gradient to the Gradients tab.

editing a gradient

Select a Two Colors gradient from the Gradient, and edit it from the Color tab.

edit two colors gradient

Just as for the Multiple Colors gradients, you can add a custom edited Two Colors gradient to the Gradients tab.

Although it takes up valuable space, you are likely to appreciate the convenience the Color Panel offers in selecting colors. Like the other Panels in the Panel Manager, the Color Panel can be resized by dragging on its borders. You can minimize or "roll it up" by double clicking on its blue title bar and drag it to a convenient area in the work place to get it out of your way. Double click on its blue title bar again to maximize it.

Uploaded 9/22/02

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