Create a Personal Color Palette

There are so many beautiful color choices available in Corel Draw Essentials that it's less of a problem trying to find a color you have in mind, and more of a problem trying to decide between 15 variations on the exact one you were seeking!

In case you haven't already placed the Outline and Fill Menus on your desktop, now would be a good time. In the Tool Menu click on the Outline Tool (the pen tip), this opens the Menu. Go to the left side and on the gray part click, hold and drag the menu to above the horizontal ruler. This will place it on the desk top where it will always be open and ready. Do the same with the Fill Menu (the tipped bucket).

Now they will be very handy to work with!

Color Accuracy

First of all you also need to keep in mind that no matter how much you calibrate your monitor to printer, what you see on the screen is rarely what ends up on the page. This is the purpose of the Personal Color Palette Index. With it you know exactly what your printer output will look like and be able to go to the exact color you are looking for each time. If you change printers, you will want to print a new set of indexes from the same Personal Color Palette Index. You will be surprised how different it may look. If there is a lot of change then you may have to redo you color choices.

Different Color Choosing Methods

There are also several ways to approach your color selections. I will guide you through the options and share with you the method I am most comfortable with. Then you may want to experiment until you find your best method to find colors, please don't feel locked in to mine.

What To Include In Your Palette

You will want to include a set of options in each of the different color families and a selection of very light to darker in each tone. Many times I am working on a project and I want a particular shade, but I want it very light, I will show you how to achieve this. This is one of the great advantages to printing your own background pages, you can be as subtle or vivid as YOU choose, all with the same color.

Serious About Color!

One last comment before we get started. If you are really serious about color you can take the extra time (it may take you all day!) to make and print a full set of colors, then pull your favorites from that master palette. This does take some work, but there are advantages to taking all that extra time at the start. For one, accuracy because you choose your colors off the printed page. Two, in the event that you DO have to change printers, you can print a whole new master palette and find the new matches to your former Personal Color Palette Index. Also, an occasion may arise where you need a new color that you don't have on your Personal Color Palette yet. Searching on the printed page is much easier than playing hunt and print with the monitor colors. I will show you how to make a Master Palette Index and of course you have the option whether you want to make one or not. For instructions on how making this index see Create your Personal Color Palette Index.

1. Getting Started
2. How to find a color for the Clipart
3. Color Finding Options
      A. Choices
      B. Models Tab
            Color the Clipart in the Models Tab
      C. Mixers Tab
            Color the Clipart in the Mixers Tab
      D. Fixed Palettes Tab
            Changing the Intensity of a Color
            Color the Clipart in the Fixed Palettes Tab
      E. Custom Palettes Tab
4. Set up your Personal Color Palette
      A. Add your Personal Color Palette to the Corel Desktop
      B. Add colors to your Personal Color Palette while you are working
      C. Using your Personal Color Palette from the Corel Desktop

Be sure to see Create a Personal Color Palette Index.

1. Getting Started

To avoid repeated typing of the same directions I created the Legend and General Directions for Corel Draw Essentials. Please print that document and refer to it while following these directions. Each task on the General Directions are numbered so when you see (see D#2), go to the Legend and General Directions for Corel Draw Essentials #2 for the directions.

  • Open a New Page (see D#1).
  • Import a Clipart Image (see D#3).

    Click hold and drag the image to the place you want it on the page.

    2. How to find a color for the Clipart

  • Make sure your clip is selected (see D #4).
  • On the Tools Menu, click on the Outline Tool (see D #8).
  • Then click on the Outline Color Dialog (see D #8).

    3. Color Finding Options

    A. Choices

          Models Tab
          Mixers Tab
          Fixed Palettes Tab
          Custom Palettes Tab

    B. Models Tab

    The default tab is the Models choice. We will call the large colored box the Color Box. Notice the rainbow Color Strip to the right of the Color Box. The default will be orange. With orange selected the color box shows a map of all the tints, tones, and shades in that particular color. Here you can click, hold and drag the little white box around until you find the color you want. In the upper right under the word Reference are two rectangles. The top one contains the default color, the one underneath is the new shade that appears as you move around the color box. If you move the rectangle up and down the color strip you can bring up a Color Box in any color. Just this tool alone would meet your every color need.

    Another feature with the Models Tab is your choice of the Color Models. At the top is a box entitled Models. Click the arrow at the right and view the different choices. This gets into complicated value amounts. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. Briefly if you had a blue color chosen and wanted it to be a little greener you could up the Yellow number. The Corel manual recommends CMYK if you are printing, so this is the model I choose. The second value amounts listed in the default are RGB. This stands for Red, Green and Blue and works in the same manner as CMYK.

    At the bottom of the Models Tab is a box entitled Options. Click on that, then click on Color Viewers. Try some of those to see if you like them better. Click on the top one HSB - default to go back to the original Color Box.

    Color the Clipart in the Models Tab

    Choose a color on the Color Strip, then move the square on the Color Box to a shade you like. Click OK. Your clipart will now print in the new color.

    If you like, copy and paste several images of your clipart (see D #5) and color each one from a different place in the Color Box. Then Print.

    C. Mixers Tab

    This is an option I haven't worked with much, but it looks interesting. Try playing with it and see what you think!

    Color the Clipart in the Mixers Tab

    Click on any of the colors in the circle or the colored squares. Click OK. Your clipart will now print in that color.

    D. Fixed Palettes Tab

    This is the one I use the most. I am familiar with the Pantone Color systems. So I usually use the first option: Pantone Matching System - Coated. But I am currently experimenting with the TruMatch Colors, simply because it is arranged in rainbow order and in order of intensity, which to me is easier to search through. Another advantage to working with these palettes is that each color has a number which you can write on your index and always come back to the same number.

    Changing the Intensity of a Color

    In the Pantone Matching System - Coated palette you also have another feature that I find very valuable. Choose a color by clicking on it. Underneath the Color Box is a sliding arrow labeled Tint. It is set on 100. Move the sliding arrow to the left and you change the percentage of the intensity. Now you can print the very same color as pale or as vivid as you need!

    Color the Clipart Image in the Fixed Palettes Tab

    Scroll down through the Color Strip until you find some that appeal to you and choose a color by clicking on it in the Color Box. Then click OK. Your clipart will now print in that color.

    E. Custom Palettes Tab

    Here is where your Personal Color Palette will be stored. But first we need to get your palette set up and begin to add to it.

    4. Setting Up Your Personal Color Palette

  • Close the Outline Color window by clicking on Cancel.
  • Start from a page with a clipart image on it.
  • Select the image (see D#4).
  • In the Pulldown Menu, click Window, then click Color Palettes, click Palette Editor.
  • In the upper right click New Palette (the blank page icon).
  • In the filename box type: (Your name)'s Personal Color Palette. Then click Save.
  • Now click on Add Color. The Outline Color window will open again.
  • Go to the Tab you choose. For example, the Fixed Palettes Tab. Choose a palette such as Pantone Matching System - Coated or Trumatch. For test purposes, find a color you like, click on it. Click Add to Palette. Click Close. Now you will see the first color in your color palette. If you don't like it, click on it then click Delete Color. A window will come up asking if you want to delete it. Click Yes if you do, No if you don't.
  • To leave the Palette Editor, click OK.

    Color choosing tip - be sure to find colors that match your pens, and stamp pads. This may be easier done with a printed palette - see Create a Personal Color Palette Index, Serious About Color.

    Now that you have a color palette saved you can add to it by going back to the Palette Editor and add colors as described above, or you can add to it while you are working on you projects.

    A. Add Your Personal Color Palette to the Corel Desktop

    In the Pulldown Menu click on Window, click on Color Palettes, click on Color Palette Browser. If you would like only YOUR Personal Color Palette to be visible on the right side of the Corel Draw desktop, then remove the checkmarks from any other palettes and click to put a checkmark on yours. Notice on the gray bar to the right of the browser any colors you may have added to your palette will appear there. If there are no colors, let me show you another way to add colors without going to the Palette Editor. To close the browser click on the X in the upper right corner of the browser.

    Once your palette is at the right bar in the desktop you have some more choices, if you would like. Click, hold and drag from the gray area at the top of your palette. You can pull your palette all over the desktop. You can put it in the upper toolbars, or you can have it open right near your page. Pull it to the middle of your desktop, then point to the lower right corner, click and drag it open until all of your colors are visible. You can make it tall and skinny or wide and square. You will have to decide what will be your most used position and shape, then label your indexes for that shape. For instance, I made mine 12 squares across and 17 squares down (I have a large palette.) Then I labeled it in rows 1-1 through 1-12, 2-1 through 2-12, etc. If I close Corel Draw with my Color Palette sitting open like that on the desktop, it will be there exactly as I left it when I open the program the next time.

    B. Add Colors to Your Personal Color Palette while you are working

    Click on an image to Select. On the Tool Menu click Outline Tool, click Outline Color Dialog. Go to the tab of your choice and find a color. Click Add to Palette. You have just added that color to your Personal Color Palette, it should appear in your color palette on the gray bar to the right of the Corel desktop.

    C. Using Your Personal Color Palette from the Corel Desktop

  • Click on an image to Select. Choose a color from your Personal Color Palette on the desktop.
  • To change the outline color, point to the color and click the right button on your mouse.
  • To change the background color, point to the color and click the left button on your mouse.
  • Your image is now colored and ready to print.

    If you change the outline color of a clipart from your desktop palette then decide you would like a lighter tint of that color, be sure your clipart is Selected, then go to the Outline Color Dialog and go to Fixed Palettes. The color should already be selected. Slide the arrow to the left until you find the tint you are seeking, then click OK.

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