Monkey Dog Design

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Keynote hacks, Squarespace how-to's and other awesomenesses.

Customize default colors in Keynote

 

Customizing the default colors in Keynote speeds up your design process, giving you instant access to your colors without opening the color box.

Unlike the custom palettes, which are blank, the defaults are made up of six colors with four shades varying from light to dark, and a gradient- and image fill for each color.

Here's how to change the default colors to your own palette of shades, gradients and an image fill.

 

Step 1

Create a custom palette with shades of color.

  • Start by creating and renaming a custom palette in the color pop up box.
  • Add your main color to the palette. Copy and paste the hex code, or use the color sampler.
  • Copy the main color hex into a color tool like coolors.co that generates alternate shades.
  • Grab the hex codes for darker and lighter shades (use every second or third shade) and add these to your custom palette.
  • Name or number colors in order from dark to light.

Don't feel like copy+pasting hex codes? Take a screenshot of the shades, and use the color sampler tool.

You don't have to use shades—you can use any colors you want—this is to illustrate an easy way to create shades like the default colors.

 Copy original hex code in color slider in color box.

Copy original hex code in color slider in color box.

 Paste hex code in coolors.co

Paste hex code in coolors.co

 Alternate shades in coolors.co

Alternate shades in coolors.co

 Custom palette with shades of color

Custom palette with shades of color


Step 2

Add and fill a shape.

  • Add a shape to your slide. I'm using the mustache shape in Keynote 7.2, but you can use a simple square.
  • Fill the shape with a single, flat color from your palette.
  • Make sure the color wheel icon next to the fill setting is selected—it will be blue. 
  • You will see the color in both boxes in the menu—to the right of Fill & under Color Fill.
  • Click on the top box to reveal the default color palette.
  • Your shape color will show up as the Current Fill, above the rest of the colors.
 Add and fill a shape with a simple Color Fill

Add and fill a shape with a simple Color Fill

 Color wheel turns blue when color is selected

Color wheel turns blue when color is selected

 Default color palette with Current Fill

Default color palette with Current Fill


Step 3

Drag Current Fill color over default colors.

  • Click & drag the Current Fill box down to replace the default colors.
  • This is a finicky process—make sure the color you want to replace is highlighted by a white border before you drop your color.
  • If the incorrect color is replaced, just undo (⌘ + Z) and try again.

Note: You can only have one box of each color in the default palettes. If you drag & drop the same color twice, it will simply relocated the block, rather than duplicate it.

 Drag over the default colors — watch for the white border

Drag over the default colors — watch for the white border


Step 4

Fill shape with next color and repeat.

Repeat steps 2 & 3 until you've replaced all the colors you've replaced all the flat colors in your column or row. 

I've created a new collection of green shades in the third column from the right, starting with dark green.

 Replaced column of green

Replaced column of green


Step 5

Replace default gradient fill.

  • Select your shape and choose gradient fill in the menu.
  • Using your color palettes, create your gradient.
  • Repeat step 2 & 3, dropping your current gradient fill in the default Gradient Fills row.

The Color and Image Fill rows will be greyed out when you drag a gradient fill.

 Fill shape with gradient

Fill shape with gradient

 Gradient default replacement

Gradient default replacement


Step 6

Replace default image fill.

  • Select your shape and choose image fill in the menu.
  • Choose your image and upload
  • Set the fill to Scale to Fill (stretch or original size also work).
  • Repeat step 3, dropping your current image fill in the default Image Fills row.

Like with gradient, the Color and Gradient Fill rows will be greyed out when you drag an image fill.

Where do I find good image fills? Look for textures on a site like pexels.com. Search by color and experiment with adding 'texture' to the search.

 Choose image 

Choose image 

 Scale image to fill the shape

Scale image to fill the shape


author:ina

Dog tiger-mom. Keynote junkie. Won't shut up about Squarespace and South Africa.