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A Script to Create a Grid of Color Swatches

The folks at Rorohiko never cease to amaze me with the cool and useful add-ons they create for InDesign. One relatively new such item is SwatchWatch, a free script you can use with InDesign CS5 and later to create a grid of color swatches in your documents.

SwatchWatch by Rorohiko

Interestingly, SwatchWatch also serves as a “Case Study” in custom script development. The download page for the script details the steps in the process of working with Rorohiko to create a customized solution to fit a need in your workflow. Issues like establishing a budget, understanding requirements, working with a prototype, sign off, and purchasing source code are discussed.

The script itself is a nifty piece of work. When you run it, a grid of labeled frames showing the swatches in the current document (along with their names and color values) is created. The grid is placed on newly created pages at the end of the document. If you make changes to your swatches you can simply re-run the script to update the grid.

The swatch grid is very customizable. By editing a companion text file, you can set options like the frame size and gutter width, plus object and paragraph styles to format the grid, and more. And you can even tell the script which swatches to ignore if you don’t want them to be part of the grid. The default ignored swatches are None, Paper, Registration, and Black.

So check out Rorohiko’s SwatchWatch, learn about the process of custom script development, and add the ability to instantly create and update grids of the swatches in your documents.

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of courses on InDesign and Illustrator. Husband. Dad. Dog walker.
Mike Rankin

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6 Comments on “A Script to Create a Grid of Color Swatches

  1. This is a wonderful script. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I will use this a lot! In fact, I have used it twice since reading this post. Saves so much time.

  2. Kris C. at Rorohiko created this script at my request. I offered to pay him to write it (Kris has done other custom scripting for me and it has really saved me time and money!). But, he went the extra mile by offering it for free.

    I have had several projects where we had to build new InDesign documents (college viewbooks) and all we had to start from were a variety of 80-page PDF files. So, after I converted the PDFs to InDesign, I had a lot of color swatches in use and wanted to have a way to see what they all were and organize & consolidate them. I described what I was looking for and Kris made it work.

    It’s also very helpful if you have a lot of similar corporate docs, such as data sheets, that may have been done by different people, and you want to quickly see if they’re using the same color formulas across them all.

    After we tested a couple versions of it, Kris decided to release it free as an example of how custom scripting can save you time & money. Thanks again, Rorohiko!

  3. This script would be incredibly helpful . . . but Rorohiko’s website is down. Would anybody be willing to send it my way?

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