Use and creation of samples.

Pattern Making Definition

On this page

  • About samples
  • Overview of the sample palette
  • Using sample libraries
  • Creating color samples
  • Adding colors from the illustration in the Samples palette
  • Importing samples from another document
  • Sharing samples between different applications
  • Sample management

Applies: Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator

About Samples

Samples are named colors, shades, gradients, and patterns. Samples associated with the document appear in the Samples palette. Samples can be displayed separately or in groups.

You can open sample libraries from other Illustrator documents and different color systems. The color libraries appear on separate palettes and are not saved with the document.

The Patterns palette and color library palettes can contain the following types of samples.


Triad color is a color that is printed using a combination of four standard triad inks: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. By default, Illustrator defines new specimens as process colors.

Global process colors

Global color is automatically updated throughout the illustration when editing it. All solid colors are global and the process colors can be global or local. Global color samples can be recognized by the global color icon (when the palette is a list) or by the triangle at the bottom (when the palette is a thumbnail).

Plate colors

Plate colors are pre-mixed colors that are used in place of or in addition to CMYK process colors. Solid samples can be recognized by the solid color icon (when the palette looks like a list) or by the point in the bottom corner (when the palette looks like a thumbnail).


The gradient is a gradual transition between two or more colors or shades of the same color or different colors. Colors in the gradient can be CMYK process colors, RGB colors, or solid colors. The transparency applied to the gradient node is maintained if the gradient is saved as a gradient sample..
The proportions and values of elliptical gradients (gradients that are created when the proportion or angle of the radial gradient changes) are not saved.


Patterns are repetitive (mosaic) contours, composite contours, text with or without solid fill.


When using the Colorless sample, the stroke or fill of the object is removed. This pattern cannot be edited or deleted.

This is a built-in sample, and when you apply a filled or stroke object, it is printed on each color separation obtained from the PostScript printer. For example, the matching color is used for register tags so that you can precisely align printing forms when printing. This pattern cannot be deleted.

Note . If the matching color is used for text and the file is color-separated and printed afterwards, the text may not be aligned correctly and the black ink may appear grayish. To prevent this from happening, use a black ink for the text.

Color groups

Color groups may contain process, solid or global process colors. They cannot contain pattern samples, gradient samples, no samples, or register samples. Color groups are created based on harmonization rules using the Color Catalogue palette or the Edit Colors / Rewrite Graphic Object dialog box. To merge existing patterns into a color group, select the desired patterns and click the Create a color group icon in the Patterns palette. The color group can be recognized by the folder icon

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