There are a few different ways to change the color of an object in Adobe Illustrator. We’ll cover the simple methods here.

If you’d like to be able to pick any color in the universe, use the shift method.

If you’re only working with a set list of colors, use the swatch method.

Objects in Illustrator have two kinds of colors fill color and stroke color. Find out about them in fill vs stroke color.

Picking any color with the shift method

It’s a little tougher to pick any color than a color you’ve already saved as a swatch.

  1. Select the object you want to change the color of.
  2. Hold down shift, and click either the fill color or stroke color button up on the control panel (more details here)
  3. If you need to, change the Color Type menu using the so-tiny-its-almost-secret menu on the top right of the color picker. The color picker changes with each option. You’ll need to do this if you only see shades of grey.
  4. If you have an HTML color/hex color (like #ff80cc) you’d like to use, type it in the box.
  5. Once you have finished picking a color, hit the Enter or Esc key to finish.

Picking from a swatch

If you’ve already imported a swatch or saved your colors to a swatch, you can use this simpler method to change an object’s color.

  1. Select the object you want to change the color of.
  2. Click the fill color or stroke color button.
  3. Select the color you’d like from the swatch listing.