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Using Creative Cloud Libraries

  • Published on March 16, 2016
Using Creative Cloud Libraries

Understanding Creative Cloud Libraries

A Creative Cloud library is a centralized location for storing design items that you may re-use across different Creative Cloud applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. A Creative Cloud Library can be shared across different computers where a user works, or with other users who have Creative Cloud subscriptions. Items such as logos, pictures, and styles can be placed into a Creative Cloud Library and access from the different Creative Cloud applications. American Graphics Institute has started to include the use of Adobe CC libraries in related Adobe Creative Cloud training classes.

How to use Creative Cloud Libraries

Whether creating a document, or organizing assets, a Creative Cloud Library can be useful. Regardless of the tool being used, the process starts by opening the CC Libraries panel from within the Adobe Creative Cloud app. For example, using InDesign choose CC Libraries from the Window menu, and the CC Libraries panel opens. Regardless of the CC app being used, the process is then the same once the CC library panel is open:

1.       From the My Library drop-down menu at the top of the CC Library panel choose Create New Library. Name the library, then press Create.

2.       Open the documents where you have assets from which you want to collect, such as existing documents with logos and color swatches. Use the CC library to start collecting art and styles in one central location. Items placed in the CC Library can be used online and offline.

3.       To add elements to the library click on the asset in your document. If an image is selected the Add Graphic button, at the bottom of the CC Libraries panel becomes active. A character style, paragraph style, and colors, are also recognized when selected, and the appropriate button is activated.


Using Adobe CC Libraries

The Adobe CC Library panel recognizes selected items to make it easy to add them to your own Library.


inserting items into CC libraries

The CC Library after selecting items to be added from the sample style tile.

Once a CC library has been created, it can be used immediately in other apps. A library created using InDesign can be used within Adobe Illustrator for instance. When working in Adobe Illustrator the same command is used to access the libraries as was used within InDesign. From the Window menu, choosing Libraries then selecting the appropriate library from the Library drop-down menu. With the Library panel open any of the following are possible:

  • Drag graphics onto an Illustrator artboard or InDesign layout
  • Select colors directly from the Library pane;
  • Select type styles directly from the Library panel
  • Add additional artwork into the Library and have it synchronized for access in other CC apps.
  • Delete and update graphics.

placing Adobe CC library items into Illustrator

Drag and drop elements from a CC library in an Illustrator artboard.

An Adobe Creative Cloud Library is a dynamic, editable, resource for finding the latest assets without hunting across a computer or server.  

Using Creative Cloud Libraries with Photoshop

For designers that work with Photoshop, the same CC libraries can also be accessed in an identical way to the way they are within Illustrator and InDesign. Assets that are usable are displayed, yet items that can’t be used within a certain apps are not visible. For example, text styles are not accessible within Photoshop, but will display within InDesign.

 using Adobe CC libraries in Photoshop

Use the CC Library to access your graphics and colors in Adobe Photoshop.

Using CC Libraries to access Stock Images

Adobe’s CC library also provides access to Adobe Stock imagery. It can be used to search for the appropriate images without even leaving the application, such as InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator. To access stock images using a CC Library:

1.       Enter the search term in the Search Adobe Stock textbox and press Return/Enter.

2.       The results of the search are provided within the content area of the Library panel.

Adobe CC libraries for stock photos

3.       Click on the Save Preview to…library cloud button to add a watermarked image to your library. You can use this image right away as a preview, and buy it if desired.


Creative Cloud Libraries Panel Won’t Close

The Creative Cloud Libraries panel can become intrusive, and there may be times you want to shut the panel, but the Creative Cloud Libraries panel doesn’t close. At times the Creative Cloud libraries panel opens on its own, re-opens, simply won’t stay closed. If you are using the Creative Cloud libraries panel, the best way to deal with this is to keep the library open, but place it out of the working area. If you have a large enough monitor, it can be pushed to the bottom or side of the workspace. Alternatively, the Creative Cloud Libraries plug-ins can be removed from the various apps if you find that you don’t use them at all. The libraries are useful, despite their persistent behavior. Before removing them, try using the libraries in a workflow and they are likely to be a useful addition to most design environments.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.