Custom Color Palettes in Inkscape

Setting up a custom color palette in Inkscape may seem a little tricky at first, but it’s actually very easy and quite effective. With a couple quick changes, you’ll be choosing your favorite colors to save in a palette in no time!

Step 1

You’ll find a little black arrow located on the bottom right of those colored swatches. A menu will pop up and you’ll select Auto.

change palette to auto

Step 2

Now all you need is a random object to color. What we want to select is the Swatch button under the Fill tab of Fill and Stroke. You can now choose the color in which to swatch.

how to pick swatches

Step 3

I just kept copying and pasting that square and changing the swatch color (as it’s a new swatch each time you copy and paste the object). You’ll notice that the color swatches on the bottom automatically update as you create new swatches.

palette colors

Step 4

You can now select objects and simply click the swatches on the bottom to color your objects. Remember, you can also shift+click to apply the color to the stroke.

applying swatches

Step 5

You can even right-click on a swatch and click Edit.

edit swatches

Step 6

It’ll bring up the Gradient Editor which will allow you to change your swatch, which will of course also change the colors of any objects with that swatch applied.

You can see below that I actually added a stop to create a gradient swatch! How cool is that?

gradient swatches

That’s How You Palette!

As you can see, it’s super easy to create a custom color palette just by adding swatches. One of the coolest features is the ability to have a gradient swatch. I should also add that if you save your document, all of your custom swatches will of course be saved as well. Hopefully this helps you with your designs, thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “Custom Color Palettes in Inkscape

  1. Hello Aaron, thanks for your post!
    Anyway, if you copy & paste any object, the auto color palette swatches duplicate as well, I wonder if you know how to avoid this.
    Cheers!

    1. Hey Martin, when you paste your object (and it duplicates the swatch), you can change the color of that new object which will also change the color of that duplicated swatch.

      If you want to avoid copy/paste all together, I’ve found that you can select a Fill color, click Swatch, click Flat color, then repeat. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for reading!

    1. As far as I know, there’s no way to save a color palette directly from Inkscape. But, in your Inkscape folder “Inkscapesharepalettes”, you’ll see that’s where the default color palettes are saved. You can copy one of these files and change the Name and Colors manually.

      1. actually, you can! I can’t imagine how hard would it be to modify the colors by their RGB code DX

        go to menu File > Save As… > *name of your palette here*.

        And don’t forget to search on the box to the bottom right, the option “Gimp Palette (*.gpl)”. To use your palette on inkscape, you have to copy that file *name of your palette*.gpl to the folder that Aaron told you 😉 (ohbtw, on linux, that folder is on /usr/share/inkscape/palette/)

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