How does a Creative Cloud Library help in InDesign?

 Jun 27, 2017

A Creative Cloud Library is a collection of design assets. Several types of design assets can be added to a Creative Cloud Library. Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries allow you and your colleagues to collect and organize all of your design assets from different projects, devices, and apps.

Creative Cloud Libraries is something we cover in our Graphic Design courses, and I wanted to run through some very helpful tips when setting up and using this feature. 

Whether you’re working alone or on a team, Libraries make it easy to update, reuse, and share assets. Libraries are automatically synced to your Creative Cloud account, you can access them wherever you are, even offline. As soon as you add these new Graphics to the CC library they now become available to anyone on the team that is synced with that particular library. These assets are available to everyone on the team, can be changed by anyone on the team and can be deleted by anyone on the team. I highly recommend you inform your team beforehand of how to use this tool so you don't have to go back and change things later.

Creative Cloud Libraries help you organize, browse, and access creative assets. For example, you may want to create a Creative Cloud Library that contains all the components most frequently used in a specific project.

Aggregate: Collect components from various documents and projects. 

Organize: Categorize components into libraries that are meaningful to your workflows and projects.

Collaborate: Share assets and components from your libraries with other users. Allow others to work with items in your shared libraries or share them with more users. 

Manage/View/Access: Use your components across computers and tools. For example, between InDesign and Photoshop or Illustrator. 

Reuse: Use your components multiple times, wherever and whenever you want. 

 A   Select a CC Library from the drop-down or create a new CC library. 
B Grid view. Show CC Library asset as icons. 
C List view. Show CC Library asset in a list.
D Add InDesign objects from the active document to the selected CC Library. For details, see 'Add paragraph or character styles from text in document'. 
E Add character styles from the active document to the selected CC Library. For details, see 'Add paragraph or character styles from text in document'. 
F Add paragraph styles from the active document to the selected CC Library. For details, see' Add paragraph or character styles from text in document'. 
G Add stroke or fill colours from the active document to the selected CC Library. For details, see 'Add colours from objects in document'. 
H Launch Adobe Stock and download licensed or thumbnail graphics to your desktop or import these into your CC Libraries. For details, see 'Using Adobe Stock in InDesign'. 
I Displays the sync status of your CC Libraries.
J CC Libraries assets grouped by category. 

InDesign supports the following categories of CC Library assets:

  • Colours
  • Colour themes
  • Paragraph styles
  • Character styles
  • Graphics

Creative Cloud Libraries are displayed in the CC Libraries panel in InDesign. If you crate libraries on different computers while using the same Adobe ID, the assets and libraries are all visible in the CC Libraries panel across computers. 

Use the CC Libraries panel to:

  • Create, view, rename, remove and use a Create Cloud Library
  • Add, remove, edit and rename assets in a Creative Cloud Library
  • Sort and view assets in a Create Cloud Library

To open the CC Libraries panel: Click Window > CC Libraries.

 

Work with a Creative Cloud Library 

To create a CC Library, do one of the following:

  • Click the dropdown in the CC Libraries panel and then choose 'Create New Library'.
  • Click the flyout panel and then choose 'Create New Library'.

Then just type a  name, and click 'Create'!

To delete a CC Library:

  • Select a library using the CC Libraries panel dropdown.
  • Click the flyout panel and then choose 'Delete'.

To rename a CC Library:

  • Select a library using the CC Libraries panel dropdown.
  • Click the flyout panel and then choose the 'Rename'.

Tip: You can migrate the assets from InDesign Object Libraries to new or existing Creative Cloud Libraries. For details, see 'Migrating object library assets to CC libraries'. 

Work with Colours

Tip: Hover the mouse pointer on an available colour asset to view the name and hexadecimal code of the colour. 

Add colours from objects in a document

  • Select text or and object in the current document. 
  • To add the stroke colour to the CC Library, click the 'Add Stroke Colour' icon in the CC Libraries panel (note: The 'Add Stroke Colour' icon is enabled only if a stroke is applied to the selected object or text.) 
  • To add the fill colour to the CC Library, click the Add Fill Colour icon in the CC Libraries panel. 

The colours are added as swatches to the Colours category in the CC Libraries panel. 

Add colour swatches from the Swatches panel

  • Open the Swatches panel (Window > Colour > Swatches)
  • Select one or more swatches from the panel
  • To add all the swatches of the following types in a group to the current CC Library, select the Group title in Swatches panel"
    • Process (CMYK, RGB, Lab)
    • Spot (CMYK, RGB, Lab)
    • PANTONE, ANPA, etc.
  • Click 'Add selected swatches to my selected CC Library'.

Note: If you have chosen to add the swatches in a group, the 'Add selected swatch to my selected CC Library' button is enabled only if the group contains at least one of the supported swatches.

The swatches are added to the 'Colours' category in the CC Libraries panel. 

If you have selected a group, then all the supported swatches in the group will be added to the current library. 

Add colour themes to the CC Library 

  • Generate a colour theme from an image on the current document using the Colour Theme tool.
  • For details on generating colour themes from images on InDesign documents, see New Horizons Colour Theme Blog
  • In the Colour Theme tool, click 'Add this theme to my current CC Library'.
  • The image theme is added to the Colour Themes category in the current CC Libraries panel. 

Add CC Library colour or colour themes to Swatches panel

  • Right-click on one or more colours or a colour theme in the CC libraries panel.
  • Choose 'Add to Swatches' or 'Add Theme to Swatches', respectively from the context menu.

Apply colours to objects and text in a document

  • Select an object or text in the active InDesign document.
  • Click a colour in a library in the CC Libraries panel (the colour is applied to the active proxy - fill or stroke).
  • To apply a colour fill, right-click the colour and choose 'Set Colour'.(note: use the proxy to determine what the colour is applied to - the fill or stroke properties of an object or text.)

Edit colours in a CC Library 

  • In the CC Libraries panel, right-click a colour and choose Edit.
  • Select a colour using the Colour Picker dialog and then click OK.

 

Work with Paragraph and Character Styles

You can add InDesign paragraph or character styles to your CC Libraries and then share these across documents, devices, or users. You can add paragraph or character styles from text in a document, from the Paragraph or Character panels, or from the New Character Style or New Paragraph Style dialog boxes.

Note: Text Styles have been renamed and the assets that were categorised under the Text Styles are available under the Character Styles category.

Add paragraph or character styles from text in a document

  • Select the text (on the current document) on which the character or paragraph style is applied that you need to add to the current CC Library.
  • Click Add Paragraph Style https://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/help/en/indesign/how-to/add-para-style.png or Add Character Style https://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/help/en/indesign/how-to/add-char-style.png in the CC Libraries panel.

The paragraph or character style is added to the Paragraph Styles or Character Styles category, respectively in the CC Libraries panel.

Add paragraph or character styles from Paragraph Styles or Character Styles panels

  • Open the Character Styles or Paragraph Styles panel:
    • Window > Styles > Character Styles
    • Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles
  • Select one or more styles from the panel.
  • To add all the styles in a group to the current CC Library, select the Group title in the Paragraph or Character Styles panel.
  • Click Add selected style to my current CC Library https://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/help/en/indesign/how-to/add-to-cc-lib.png.

The selected paragraph or character styles are added to the Character Styles or Paragraph Styles category in the CC Libraries panel.

If you have selected a group, then all the paragraph or character styles are added to the current library.

Add paragraph or character styles from the New Paragraph Styles or New Character Styles dialogs

  • Open the Character Styles or Paragraph Styles panel:
    • Window > Styles > Character Styles
    • Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles
  • From the flyout menu, choose New Character Style or New Paragraph Style.
  • In the New Character Style or New Paragraph Style dialog, specify the options to create a new style.
  • Check Add to CC Library and select the required CC Library from the drop-down list or the option to Create New Library
  • Click OK to create the new style and simultaneously add it to the selected CC Library.

The newly created paragraph or character style is added to the Paragraph Styles or Character Styles category, respectively in the CC Libraries panel.

Apply a single CC Library paragraph or character style to text in a document

  • Select a text object in the active InDesign document.
  • Right-click on the style in the selected CC Library and choose Apply Paragraph Style or Apply Character Style.

The Character Styles and Paragraph styles that are applied from the CC Libraries panel will be added as styles to the respective panels in InDesign.

In addition, all styles hierarchies will be maintained. For example, say Paragraph Style 2 was based on Paragraph Style 1 and that had a nested Character Style 1. In this case, both Paragraph Style 1 and Character Style 1 will be added to their respective panels. And Paragraph Style 2 will be added to the Paragraph Styles panel.

Note: If a character or paragraph style does not have the font associated with it on the local computer, a warning icon is displayed at the lower right corner of the style thumbnail in the CC Libraries panel.

Add CC Library stylesto Paragraph or Character panels 

  • Select one or more paragraph or character styles in the CC Libraries panel.
  • Right-click on the selected styles and choose Add to Paragraph Styles or Add to Character Styles.

 

Work with Graphics 

Add Graphics from a Document

  • Drag-and-drop the InDesign asset from the document onto the CC Libraries panel, or;
  • Click an InDesign asset in the document, and click Add Graphic https://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/help/en/indesign/how-to/add-id-asset.png in the CC Libraries panel. The asset is added to the Graphics category of the CC Libraries panel as an InDesign snippet.

You can also add graphics from Adobe Stock to your InDesign CC Library.

Place CC Library graphics using drag-and-drop or the right-click menu

  • Drag-and-drop the graphic from the CC Libraries panel onto the document.

Note: If you drag-and-drop a graphic, by default, it is placed as a linked graphic. To place it as an embedded graphic, use the Alt + drag-and-drop combination.

To place one or more graphics on a document, right-click on the graphics in the CC Libraries panel and choose:

Place Copy - Place an InDesign asset as a snippet or to embed a graphic from another Creative Cloud application (such as Photoshop or Illustrator).

Place Linked - Place a graphic from another Creative Cloud application (such as or Illustrator) as a library linked graphic.

Note: You cannot place an InDesign asset as a linked graphic on a document so the Place Linked option is not available if you right-click on an InDesign asset.

  • If you have used the right-click menu to place one or more graphics, the graphics are added to the placegun. Use the placegun to selectively add the graphics to your document.

Place a CC Library graphic using the Place From CC Libraries menu option

  • Select File > Place From CC Libraries.
    • The CC Libraries panel is filtered to display only the Graphics category.
  • Click on a graphic and click Place.
    • The asset is added to the InDesign placegun.
  • Use the placegun to place the graphic on the document.

If you place a linked graphic on a document, the graphic appears in the InDesign Links panel.

The icon to the right of each graphic in the Links panel indicates if the graphic is linkedhttps://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/help/en/indesign/how-to/link-icon-linkspanel.png or embeddedhttps://helpx.adobe.com/content/dam/help/en/indesign/how-to/embed-icon-linkspanel.png.

To locate a linked graphic in the CC Libraries panel, right-click the graphic and select Reveal in CC Libraries.

Or select the graphic and choose Reveal in CC Libraries from the Links panel flyout menu.

Edit an InDesign asset in a CC Library

  • Right-click the asset and choose Edit or double-click the asset.
    • The asset is opened in an InDesign document window.
  • Make the required changes and save the asset.
    • The asset is added to the InDesign placegun.
    • The changes are reflected in the asset in the CC Library.

Relink CC Library assets

Graphics placed on InDesign documents can be relinked to graphics in a CC Library. The placed graphics can also be relinked to a graphic file on the local computer.

  • To relink a graphic to a CC Library graphic, right-click on the graphic and choose Relink to CC Libraries.
    • Or, select the graphic and choose Relink to CC Libraries from the Links panel flyout menu.
  • To relink to a local graphic file, right-click on the graphic and choose Relink.
    • Or, select the graphic and choose Relink from the Links panel flyout menu.

Use InDesign objects in other CC applications

The InDesign objects that you add to the Graphics category of a CC Library can be used in other CC applications such as Illustrator or Photoshop.

Since a copy of every InDesign object is stored in the form of a PDF file, when you use this object in Illustrator or Photoshop, these applications use the PDF rendition of the object.

Note: If you use an InDesign Character Style in Illustrator or Photoshop, those applications will attempt to map the properties of the asset with the properties for character attributes available in the host application. Any properties not found in the host application will be ignored.

If you would like any more information about our the Graphic Design courses we offer, visit our website or give us a call to speak with one of our Learning Solutions Advisors. 

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About the Author:

Alice Antonsen  

Alice is one of New Horizons’ most experienced Desktop Applications trainers. She is qualified with a Diploma of Business (Computing) and a Diploma of Information Technology. Since joining New Horizons in 2006, Alice has achieved the prestigious status of a certified Microsoft Office Master and for the past 4 years, has been placed in the Top 25 Desktop Applications trainers for New Horizons Worldwide. Throughout her career, she has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in providing training to individuals and groups of varying skill levels. Alice delivers each training session with great care and consideration ensuring each one is tailored to the learning needs of her students.

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