The topic of color takes the central stage in all projects concerning design and Illustration. We make it possible for you to easily edit the color and style properties of your path, shape, or image in the Color Panel and Widget.
✨ New Color Palettes – You can now create and save multiple Color Palettes in Vectornator on your Mac, and add or delete singular colors including gradients from your Color Palette. Additionally, you have the option to set a Primary Palette in the Color Picker menu.
In the Vectornator Mac App, you can set and change your color properties with the Color Widget Tool (1) and the Color Picker Tool (2). The Color Widget Tool is located at the bottom of the Toolbar on the left screen side, whereas the Color Picker is accessible inside the Inspector to the right side of your Mac screen.
Any vector object in Vectornator has adjustable color properties. You can access and change these color properties by using the Color Panel inside the Inspector to the right side of your Mac screen. The Menu of the Color Picker Tool is divided into three sections, with each section controlling separately either the Fill, the Stroke, or the Shadow color options of the selected shape.
The name of each section signifies the feature that will be altered by its control options.
- The first section is labeled Fill (1) and controls the fill properties of your selected object.
- The second section is labeled Stroke (2) and here you can control the Stroke Width and change between Regular Mode and Brush Mode.
- The third section is labeled Shadow (3) and controls the shadow casting options of your selected object.
Each of these sections displays different context-aware options depending on which object you've selected.
In Vectonator you can find the basic elements of the Color Menu inside the Inspector, such as the Color Fill options, the Stroke options, the display of the HEX code, and the Eyedropper.
A – This section shows the current Color Fill or Stroke Color of the selected element. By clicking it, you will open up the Color Picker. You have the option to fill your shape with a gradient or a solid color.
B – This Tool is the Eyedropper. It allows you to copy any color on your canvas.
C – This section displays the HEX code for the selected color. Click it to open the Keypad, which allows you to change it. Right-click to copy or paste your value.
D – This button allows you to Swap your fill and stroke colors, or alternatively your shadow and stroke colors.
E – This button will enable or disable the fill or the stroke of the selected object.
F – Click this button, to collapse or expand the color section.
Inside the Fill section of the Inspector, you can access the Color Picker by clicking the Color Well (A) inside the first subsection. To change the color of your shape, you can either set the color value by using the Color Well (A), the Eyedropper (B) on your Canvas, or by changing the value in the HEX Code (C) field.
Changing the Opacity
To change the opacity of your Fill, open the Appearance section (1) and click and slide along the Opacity slider (A).
Vectornator implemented the option to blur shapes on your Mac too. Select the shape and open the expandable menu Appearance (1) inside the Style Tab. Go to the Blur Slider (A) and by clicking and holding the mouse button you can drag the handle either to the left or the right to control the intensity of the Blur Effect. The Blur effect will affect the stroke outline and the fill content of your selected shape simultaneously.
Inside of the Stroke Section of the Inspector, you can change the color of your path, access the Color Picker, set the HEX color, control the Stroke Width of your path, switch between Regular Mode and Brush Mode, create a dashed path-line, edit the end segments and intersections of your selected path.
The Stroke Section of Vectornator is located inside the Inspector Menu. Inside the Stroke Section, you can modify several parameters of your Stroke.
Here, you can edit the Stroke Width, change the Color parameters via the Color Picker, swap your Brush modes, change the HEX Color and even create a dashed line along your path. Additionally, you can modify here the End Segments and Intersections of your path.
A - Here you can change the color of your path, access the Color Picker, set the HEX Color, or use the Eyedropper.
B – Here you can set the Stroke Width of your selected path.
C – Switch between Regular and Brush Mode.
D – Change the Arrows at the end segments of your selected path.
E – Edit the Cap and Join intersections of your selected path or shape.
F – Create a Dashed Line along your selected path (you can specify the length of the dashes and the number of gaps between dashes)
In the Vectornator App for Mac, you have two separate dropdown menus (D) available to change either the Start Segment or the End Segment of your path. You have the option to choose two different End Segment Styles for one single path.
Pro Tip – If you want to swap the style of the End Segments of your path, you can go over to the Path Section and use the Reverse button to swap the End Segment styles.
Stroke and Fill Memory
With the 4.10.5 update, Vectornator now remembers the last stroke and fill status of your tools. That means you don’t have to manually reset the color properties every time you change tools. This speeds up your workflow and helps to keep designs consistent.
Inside the Shadow Section ~ic-shadow~~ic-shadow~, you can find the following Shadow Controls:
Set the Shadow Color (1) using the Color Widget Tool or the Color Picker Tool. You can control the Shadow Angle (2) by entering a numeric value into the Angle Field.
Define the Shadow Blur Intensity (3) by entering a numeric value into the Blur Field
The Shadow Offset (4) can be set by entering a numeric value into the Offset Field.
Learn More – How to create a Drop Shadow in Vectornator →
The Color Picker
The Color Picker allows you to change the color of the Fill, Stroke, or Shadow of your selected object inside the corresponding sections within the Style Tab.
To open the Color Picker, simply tap the Color Well (1) for any Fill, Stroke, or Shadow you want to change.
The Color Popover contains two different tabs which allow you to choose the color depending on the Color Space you prefer to use. You can switch between the Color Picker and the Color Slider tab by simply clicking on one of the displayed options on the popover menu at the top.
Here you can set your colors by either using the Color Picker (A) or by entering a value numerically inside the Color Slider (B) Menu.
Color Picker Space
In the Color Picker Popover Menu you have the following options available:
- The Fill Options – At the very top of the Popover menu, you can switch between Solid (A) and Gradient (B) to change the fill of your selected shape.
- The Preview (Solid color space) – It shows the final result (C) of your color settings. On the right side (D) it will preview the previous color you used.
- The Preview (Gradient color space) – On the left you can select the Linear Gradient (C) fill option, and with the button to the right, you can select the Radial Gradient (D) fill option.
- The Color Picker (E) – Drag the point around to pick your color. If you move from left to right you can change the color’s saturation, and up or down can change its brightness. It uses the HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) Color Model. If you have an object selected, the new color will change immediately as soon as you release your finger/pencil from the picker.
The RGBA values of your sampled color are always displayed at the bottom of the Color Picker Window. The RGB numbers signify the separate color ID and value of the channels R (red), G (green), and Blue (B) of your currently selected color. The number A signifies the current opacity value (Alpha channel) of your currently selected color.
- The Color Slider (F) – The Color Sliders control the color hue of your selected shape.
- The Alpha Slider (G) – The Alpha Slider controls the opacity (the Alpha Channel) of your color. The lower the value is, the more transparent the fill of your shape will be.
- The Hex Field (H) – The Hex Field displays the Hex Value of your selected color. You can copy and paste the Hex Number from this box to save the color information for later use, or manually set a Hex number with the keyboard to change the current color value.
- Color History (I) – Below the Alpha Slider, you can see a palette of eight small boxes that displays the last eight solid colors with their contained alpha values you have previously used. (Previously used Gradients will not be displayed in your History Palette.)
- Color Palette (J) – The Personal Color Palette displays your previously saved Colors, Gradients, and contained Alpha Values.
⚠️ When you enter a color’s HEX code in the field, its Alpha value will return to 100%.
To close the Color Picker, simply click on the Color Well again.
Color Slider Space
When you are in the Color Slider Space, you have the option to manually set a specific color using the RGB (red, green, blue) Color Space and Alpha values. Alternatively, you can use the Color and Alpha Value sliders. Click the HSB label (D) below the sliders to switch to the HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) color controls. Click on the RGB button (C) to switch back to the RGBA slider menu.
The Eyedropper ~ic-eyedropper~~ic-eyedropper~ allows you to pick & copy a color from any image or vector path you have on your canvas. Just click the Eyedropper ~ic-eyedropper~~ic-eyedropper~ (1) in the Inspector, which you can find close to the Fill, Stroke, or Shadow, or press ~key~I~key~ on the keyboard. A magnifying circle (2) will appear on top of your artwork. Hold and move it around until you find the color you want to sample.
If you have an object already selected, simply click on the color you want to sample and the eyedropper will apply automatically the sampled color to the selected object.
With the 4.7.0 update, you can now create and save multiple Color Palettes in Vectornator, and add or delete singular colors including gradients from your Color Palette. Additionally, you have the option to set a Primary Palette in the Color Picker menu.
You can also import a Color Palette by selecting the file directly from the Color Picker menu.
You have two options available to access the Palettes Tab. You can either click on the Color Well of the Fill or Stroke Mode inside the Color Widget, or on the Stroke or Fill Color Well inside the Inspector.
⚠️ The new Color Palette feature is only accessible for you if you have macOS 12 installed.
The Default Color Palettes
After you’ve installed the 4.8.2 version of Vectornator, you will automatically get twelve new Default Color Palettes: Essentials, Rainbow Power, Cotton Candy, Tokyo Neons, Lost in Space, Mother Nature, Sunset Burn, Ocean Blue, Hot Desert, Vintage Dream, Berlin Grays, and Skin Deep.
The Default Palettes are accessible in the Palettes Tab ~ic-palettes-tab~~ic-palettes-tab~ . The Default Palettes can’t be restored from the Vectornator app once deleted.
How to Create a Color Palette
To add a new Color Palette in Vectornator on Mac, move to the Palettes Tab by clicking the button “Palettes” (1) inside the Color Panel.
At the top right corner of this window, the + button (2) is located. This button enables you to create a new Color Palette. Click on the + button and then choose Create (3) in the popup menu.
A new empty, greyed-out Color Palette (4) appears at the bottom of the Palettes Tab. To add the first color to your newly created Color Palette, click the + button (5) at the beginning of the Palette bar. The color displayed in the Color Well will be then automatically added to your Color Palette.
To add new colors to your Color Palette, switch to the Color Picker (or Sliders to enter specific colors in HEX, RGB, or HSB Space). After selecting the color, go back to the Palettes Tab and click again the + button inside the palette you just created. A new color swatch will appear automatically inside the palette. Repeat the process to add more colors to your Color Palette.
Pro Tip – If you want to add a gradient to your Color Palette, repeat the steps above but set a gradient with the Gradient Slider menu instead of picking a monochromatic color.
Create a Custom Color Palette from a Photo
You can create a custom Color Palette by extracting colors from images in the Photos App since the 4.8.2 update.
Open the Color Panel, and in the Palettes Tab ~ic-palettes-tab~~ic-palettes-tab~ , you can see your Palettes. Click the ~ic-create-doc~~ic-create-doc~ symbol in the top right corner and select the option From Photo.
When you click From Photo, you can access the Photos App, where you can view all your saved images. Click on an image to extract a palette from its colors.
Vectornator extracts six randomly chosen color swatches from the selected image. Vectornator automatically adds a new custom-made palette with the 📷 icon as its title. You can rename the palette by clicking on its title.
How to Set the Primary Palette
To optimize your workflow when using colors, you can set your new Palette as the Primary Palette. That way, the colors will be directly displayed at the bottom of your Color Picker.
To set a Color Palette as the Primary Palette, click on the ~key~... ~key~ button in the Palettes Tab and choose the option Set as Primary. A “star” icon will appear on the right of the palette’s name so that you will immediately recognize which one is your Primary palette.
In this menu, you can also rename the Color Palette. In order to do so, click the ~key~... ~key~ button in the Palettes Tab once more and choose Rename.
How to Delete a Color Palette
You can delete a specific Color Palette by clicking the ~key~... ~key~ button on the right of your Palette and then selecting Delete.
Remember that this is a destructive action. Once you click Delete, the complete data of the Color Palette inside Vectornator will be deleted. The only option to restore the palette is by reimporting the previously saved Color Palettes in the swatches or ASE format.
If the Color Palette was directly created in Vectornator, the Color Palette will be irrevocably deleted and thus cannot be restored.
How to Import a Color Palette
With the 4.7.0 update, you can import Color Palettes in swatches and ASE formats.
To import a Color Palette on your Mac in Vectornator, click the + button at the top right corner of the Palettes Tab and then click Import. Select the file from which you want to import the Palette and then click open.
Remember that Vectornator supports only swatches or ASE file formats.
Search for Color Palettes
You can now search for specific Palettes within the Palettes Tab menu, thanks to our new Search Bar. Just click on the search bar and type the name of the Palette you are searching for.
This feature comes in handy when you have multiple palettes saved in your Palettes Tab. That’s why we always recommend naming your palettes so that it will be easier to find them later.
Video Recap | Color Palettes
In this video, learn with Ben how you can create, rename, import, save, and delete as many palettes as you like inside Vectornator. And there’s no limit to the number of color swatches and gradients you can save inside a single palette.
Inside the Color Effects Tab (1), you'll find the Color Blending (A)controls.
If you select multiple objects with different colors, you can use these buttons to blend the colors of your selected objects horizontally, vertically, or from the back to the front.
How to create a Color Palette by using Color Blending
In Vectornator, you can use Color Blending to create with just one click on a button a beautiful color palette.
 To do so, create a circle shape with fill, and then duplicate it by pressing the ~key~ ⌥ ~key~ key while dragging the shape.
 Then use ~key~ ⌘D ~key~ to duplicate the shape with the same offset. Duplicate the circle shape at least 5 times.
 You can also use the button Repeat & Duplicate ~ic-duplicate-repeat~~ic-duplicate-repeat~ placed at the bottom of the Arrange section inside the Inspector. If we click “Repeat & duplicate”, the circle will be duplicated and the duplicated circle will be moved horizontally with the identical offset value.
 Select the first circle and set a color in the Color Picker. Repeat the previous operation with the fifth circle. The colors can be opposite, complementary, monochrome, black, white, whatever you choose, as long as the colors reflect your design concept.
 Select all five shapes and open the Color Effects Tab in the Color Blending section. In the last step, click on the Blend Horizontally button.
Voila! You have created a Color Palette with Color Blending in Vectornator! You can now save and name your Color Palette in Vectornator.
Read our blog on How to Create a Color Palette in Vectornator →
Beneath the Color Blending controls, you can find the Color Adjustment controls. These two buttons allow you to Desaturate (A) or Invert (B) the colors of your selected object.
This feature (A) comes in handy if you want to convert your artwork into black & white in just one step.
Invert (B) allows you to easily check the contrast levels by inverting the Colors of your selected object and can help those with impaired vision.
Video Recap | Color Adjustments
The Gradient Editor
In Vectonator you have two gradient options available to fill an object. To enter the Gradient Mode (1), simply click the button at the top of the Color Picker. Here, you can either select a Linear or a Radial Gradient.
Linear & Radial Gradients
When you are in the Gradient Mode, you have two Gradient Style options available to choose from. On the left (A) you can select the Linear Gradient fill option, with the button to the right (B), you can select the Radial Gradient fill option.
Linear gradients are the most commonly used gradients. In this case, two colors appear at opposite ends of the color spectrum and blend into each other.
Radial gradients blend radially from the central point of an object outwards.
Click on one of these options to choose the type of gradient that you wish to apply to your selected shape.
Each of the colors in your gradient is represented by a Color Slider on the Gradient Bar. A Color Slider looks like a teardrop with a circle in it. Your selected Color Slider will appear slightly larger than the deselected ones.
You can either click on a Color Slider to set its color via the Color Picker or slide. Updating the color of a Color Slider will immediately update the gradient live in your selected shape.
You have two options to set the Color of your Gradient Color Slider. You can either set its color via the Color Picker, by using one of the colors saved in your Palette or use the Eyedropper to sample the color directly from the canvas.
Pro Tip – You can apply gradients to stroke paths that were previously converted into shapes by using the Outline feature.
Add a new Color to your Gradient
If you want to create a new Color Slider, click on the Gradient Bar between the two already existing Color Sliders to create a new one.
Hold and drag in the middle of the Gradient Bar to distribute the Color Sliders evenly.
Swipe the Color Sliders in their opposite direction along the Gradient Bar to flip the Color Points.
If you want to reverse the direction of your gradient, simply drag the color sliders to their opposite side.
Removing a Color from a Gradient
Click and drag a Color Slider down and off the Gradient Bar to delete it.
Change the Direction Angle of a Gradient
When you apply a Gradient to your shape, a line with circular, orange-colored handles will appear on top of it. You can click and then drag on the small orange dots to change the position and the angle of your gradient.
The Color Widget
A helpful new feature in Vectornator 4.5.0 is the Color Widget. It is located at the bottom of your Toolbar on the left side of your screen.
The Color Widget allows you to change fast and easy the color properties of your selected shape. These two new additional buttons allow you to select and change easily and fast the Fill (1) and the Stroke (2) colors of your Vector Paths without the need to open the Inspector menu.
Click on the Stroke Widget to open the Color Picker. The Stroke Widget can be used exactly the same way as the Color Picker in the Style Tab. The functions and properties are identical to the Color Picker.
Click on the Fill Widget to open the Color Picker. Here you can choose between a Solid and a Gradient Fill.
You can find the Eyedropper at the top left corner of the Color Picker which allows you to pick any color from the canvas. When the Eyedropper is active, a magnifying circle will appear on top of your artwork. Hold and move it around until you find the color you want to sample.
By right-clicking on the widget, a context menu will appear from which we can:
1 – Open the Color Picker,
2 – Use the Eyedropper,
3 – Swap between Fill and Stroke options.
4 – Disable the stroke/fill color. When disabled, the circle will appear with a diagonal red line on top.
When the Stroke Color or the Fill Color is disabled in the Color Widget, a diagonal red line will appear on the corresponding circle to show its deactivation.
Mastering color is something that many might consider a privilege reserved for advanced creators. But with Vectornator's Color Picker and Color Widget Tool on Mac it's easier to become a color Jedi than you think.
Especially with the latter, aka the Color Widget. As we've seen above, using this tool, you can quickly modify the hue of an object by selecting it, then tapping one of the two new buttons below the Toolbar on your Mac. Instead of going back and forth between the Style Tab and your design, you can now access the Color Picker straight from the canvas. You can also access more options in the Color Picker, like interacting with the newly-redesigned Eyedropper or swapping the Fill and the Stroke.
All functionalities are revealed in this video so be sure to watch it in full.
If you are an iPad user and wish to get additional info on how to use the aforementioned Tools on your iPad device, please go over to our iPad Manual for additional information ->