Color management in Adobe Captivate is improving slowly but steadily. Too bad: the Help documentation is not offering much explanation about color workflows at all. Have a look at what is explained about enhancements in Captivate 8.0.0 and 8.0.1 and tell me if this is sufficient? It is not for me, and I have a 25 years history as a Photoshop trainer. Do you know about the relationship between the Swatches panel, the Color schemes that appear in a lot of dialog boxes (not only for Fill/Stroke, but also in learning interactions), the Theme colors and the colors applied by default in the Object Style Manager, Master slides and Skin? Since many months I'm trying to figure out a good practice using the enhancements in Captivate 8. In previous versions I created color swatches in the scratch area (outside of the stage) to use with the color picker in order to achieve a consistent color use. That is at the least cumbersome compared with color management in applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. Since October 2014 for those CC applications I'm able to create and use my Adobe Color palettes (ase), stored in the cloud, on any device and system. Adobe Color is installed on my tablets and smartphone, allowing to create color themes at any moment, often from a shapshot. That new sharing feature (Libraries) is not available (yet?) for Adobe Captivate.
In the help you'll find a lot of screenshots where it is labeled 'Swatches'. But in CP8 title was changed to 'Swatch Manager'. I'm working in Expert UI, and have that panel always available in the right docking station, and make it floating when necessary. If you prefer the default newbie UI, there is a video in the Help that explains how you can open this panel: http://helpx.adobe.com/captivate/using/whats-new.html
Captivate and Adobe Color
I am using the Swatch manager to create a custom color palette, starting with an Adobe Color scheme. The buttons at the second row, from right to left, are:
Clear: this will delete all color swatches in the panel - not really necessary if you use Load
Reset: will revert to the original 8x15 palette, any added individual swatch, or loaded custom palette will be cleared
Save: the present palette will be saved in the Adobe Color format, extension 'ase' (Adobe Swatch Exchange). The default name will be the project name (you can change the name of course); this can be useful if you created a custom color palette in Captivate, for import into another Adobe applications like Photoshop.
Load: allows you to load an 'ase' file created in another Adobe application like Adobe Color. Captivate also accepts 'aco' (Adobe Color, have more information like Pantone color) files but I seldom use that palette format. You get a warning that the existing palette will be replaced by the new, but can still revert to the last option:
- Append: will add color palette described by an ase or aco file to the existing colors.
Color dialog box
- "Theme Colors": this look will appear by default if the selected object's Fill (or Stroke) has a default Object style using a Theme color, or if its color has been applied from the Theme Color palette.
The top row shows the Theme colors (see later), under them you'll find 5 extra tints for each theme color. I regret that it is not possible to see the color code of any of the colors directly, it would be great if they showed up on hovering over a color (as hexadecimal code) or even better if you could have full info in the color wheel when clicking on a color. That is not the case (yet?). When exploring, I found that all tints have the same hue (in HSB), different Saturation and Brightness.
At the bottom you'll find the colors as they were last used, last used color is the first in that sequence. Not that useful (my personal opinion). That row is dynamic, changes whenever you use another color.
- "Swatches": this look will will appear by default if the selected object's Fill (or Stroke) color has been applied using the Swatches Manager.
You will see the swatches in the upper section, and the 'last colors' palette at the bottom
- "Color Wheel" will never show up by default. It allows you to choose a different color, either by picking it (click first on the right vertical bar to choose a hue, then you can change saturation and brightness in the big rectangle) or by entering a Hexadecimal or RGB code. Contrary to the dialog box for adding a swatch, HSB is not available here. It also shows the last used colors.
- "Color Picker" is the last button, no look on itself. It allows to pick a color somewhere outside of the dialog box. While moving the picker you'll see the Color Wheel showing up in the dialog box.
- Open the Themes list with the big button on the top bar
- Click on the Theme Colors button, bottom right
- Theme Colors dialog box, in its Basic view only gives you the dropdown list with color palettes
- Click the Customize button (bottom right) to open a hidden part of the Theme Colors dialog box (with Basic button you can hide that part again)
- You'll see the 10 colors, and clicking on a color will open the Color dialog box in its "Swatches" look. You can now customize that color. The names of the colors are not really relevant. Some colors are not really used in most themes but that is another story, which you'll discover in a later blog post.
- When you are ready, first change the name of the theme: blue text 'White' can be edited; there is no Save as (at least I couldn't find it).
- Click the Save button: custom Theme Colors palette is created and immediately applied to the present project. You'll find its definition in a XML file with the same name in the public folder I showed before.
- Import the 'ase' file in the Swatch Manager, using the Load button
- Add more swatches to the default 5 colors of the scheme, using Color Wheel or Color picker in the Swatch Manager
- Save that extended scheme as an 'ase' file (because custom color schemes in Swatch Manager cannot be saved); that way you can reload it if necessary
- Open the Theme Colors dialog in its extended version, customize the 10 colors.
- Change the name of the default theme
- Save the custom Theme Colors palette