I use a mixture of InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to produce the vast amount of printed media I design at my current position and I find myself faced with copy/pasting color values from one program to another almost all the time, I have tried to find a quicker way but have been unsuccessful. I use a program called Colorpic to copy and store my most used colors, but still, it’s not the same as being able to select it from the swatches palette in Adobe CS.
So the main meat of the question is:
Can I share my colors/swatches between InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator and if so, how?
Actually, this is fairly straightforward. I’ll give you the steps to save swatches in Photoshop for Illustrator / InDesign, but it works pretty much the same way in any direction.
In the Swatches palette, click the top-right menu and select “Save Swatches for Exchange”. Save your file somewhere you can find it. In Illustrator, go to the Swatches palette, click on the top right menu, select “Open Swatch Library” and then select “Other Library…”. Navigate to where you left your swatches file and it’ll open up in Illustrator.
I like to keep stuff organized by client / project; that way I’m not trying to remember which palette I used for which client. So I’ll have a palette for “ABC Software Company” and one for “Project Arcturus”.