General site information
How to create themes
Saving and Tagging
More on titles, tags
Ratings, comments, sharing, RSS
Your personal space on kuler
Using kuler Colors
kuler and Adobe Creative Suite®2, 3, 4 and 5
kuler desktop (AIR)
Color your applications
Community Pulse (beta)
Explore Color Usage
Q: Why should I sign in?
A: Signing in with your Adobe ID allows you to save, rate, comment on, and download themes, plus access your Mykuler space. To create an Adobe ID, click Register at the upper right. A new window will open, so you will not lose a theme you may be working on. Q: How does search operate in kuler?
A: Search looks at a theme’s tags, title, and creator. If you like a theme created by a certain kuler user, you can search for all the public themes created by that person by clicking on the user’s name or avatar, or entering their name in the search field. You can also use wildcards to broaden your search—add asterisks before and after keywords to find multiword tags. For example, blue* will find themes with tag words like blue, blueberry, blues, etc. A question mark specifies exactly one character and can be used anywhere in a word. For example, defen?e will find themes with tags like defense and defence.
Q: Can I search for a theme by a color value, or a title or tag?
A: Currently you can search for hex color values by entering the hex value in the search field. For example: FF0000.
To locate a theme by specifying either a title or tag word, enter the following into the search field:
Q: How can I quickly browse themes without using the arrows?
A: You can browse themes using several approaches:
Time-based views allow you to view highest rated, most popular, newest, or random themes within rolling last 7 day, last 30 day, or all days (since the initial release) time intervals. You might use "all days" view to see longtime most popular themes, or perhaps "last 7 days" to see newer themes that have high ratings.
You can also use the following search shortcuts to jump to the n-th theme (e.g., 100th, 1000th) in the popular, highest rated, and newest theme listings by entering the following shortcuts into the search field (see examples):
p:100 - this will navigate to the 100th popular theme
r:9999 - this will navigate to the 9999th highest rated theme
n:12345 - this will navigate to the 12345th newest theme
(Note: the record count displayed at the bottom of the search results corresponds to the number of records from the first record indicated in your search query to the last record in the selected theme listing.)
Q: How do I change my kuler avatar (i.e., the theme associated with my name)?
A: To change your avatar, select one of your own themes, select More Info view to view the list of theme details, and select "Make this my avatar." The change will be effective immediately. You can only choose from your own themes, and it can be public or private
Q: How do I send feedback or ideas to the kuler team?
A: Use the kuler talk forum. Navigate to the forum through Links, then kuler talk forum.
A: Use the kuler talk forum to ask user-to-user questions. Q: How do I report a question or concern about comments on a particular theme?
A: Click "Report a concern" link that appears in the theme details area.
You can also report concerns about a theme via Kuler panel in Creative Suite 5 components. Select the theme you want to report in the browse panel, click the triangle on the right side of the theme and select ‘Report a concern’. The ‘Report a concern’ page will open in a browser window.
Q: How do I change the order of the swatches in the Create: From a Color and Create: From an Image windows?
A: Drag and drop the swatches to reorder them. Q: Can I create a theme with fewer or more than five colors?
A: Currently kuler offers a maximum of five colors for a theme. You can reduce the number of colors in a theme by rolling over a square and selecting Remove Color. A theme must have at least three colors to be saved. Q: Can I create my own custom color rules that I can save?
A: Not at this time. Q: Can I make a new theme by starting from someone else’s?
A: Yes. Select a theme you like from the public themes and choose the icon that shows the tooltip, “Make changes to this theme in the Create window.” Change the colors, retitle, and retag the theme to make it your own. You must be signed in to save an altered copy of a theme. If you are save your new theme as Public, please add your own kuler touch and make sure it looks noticeably different. Look-alike themes just confuse everybody. If you just want a copy for your use only, just save it as Private.
Q: How do I create a theme?
A: Click Create: From a Color at the left. The default theme shows a set of colors that follow the Analogous color rule. There are several ways to create a new theme:
- Change all the colors together by moving the color markers around the color wheel.
- Select another color rule.
- Select the Custom rule and use the color wheel or the sliders at the bottom of the screen to adjust colors independently and numerically.
You must be signed in to save any new theme.
Q: What does the Base Color mean?
A: The Base Color is the color that determines the other colors in your theme using your selected color rule. Set any of the five colors you see in the theme as the Base Color by either double-clicking or rolling over a square and selecting Set As Base. In the color wheel, see the color markers change—the largest color marker is the Base Color.
A: Use the color rules to experiment with color variations based on classic color harmonies. Using rules, you can shift an entire theme while maintaining relationships between colors. The Custom rule will unlink your colors so you can move the color markers around the wheel individually. Q: How do I unlink the colors in the color wheel?
A: Click the Custom color rule to unlink the color markers from each other. You can then move each one independently.
Q: What does the slider under the color wheel do?
A: The slider controls brightness. Decreasing brightness adds black, increasing brightness decreases black.
Q: What file types does kuler support?
A: kuler supports JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP.
Q: What does color extraction not support?
A: Color management is not supported by color extraction, so associated color profiles will be ignored. This feature has difficulty with CMYK-mode images or damaged image files.
Q: What does the Custom Mood do?
A: As soon as you move one of the cursors on the image, the mood setting changes to Custom. You can now select colors from your image yourself.
Q: How do I use Flickr images in the Color Extraction feature? How do I browse?
A: Select the Flickr button to browse images by time period or most interesting, or search for images by tagword. In the dropdown menu, you can either view the most interesting image, or browse other images by time period. If you have a Flickr account already, sign in to browse your own images or those of your contacts (when prompted, allow kuler to access your account to view your images). This product uses the Flickr API but is not endorsed or certified by Flickr.
Q: What happens if I sign in to my Flickr account?
A: If you sign in, you can also browse your own images or those of your contacts in kuler. When prompted, allow kuler to access your account to view your images.
Q: What is Flickr?
A: Flickr is an online application for photo management and sharing.
Q: Why does the Flickr image URL appear in my theme's More Info?
A: As a convenience, the URL for the Flickr image you used appears in More Info for that theme. It is only visible to you for themes that you created, other people cannot see it.
A: You may not be signed in. Sign in with your Adobe ID, or create an Adobe ID by clicking Register. Clicking Register will open a new window, so your work on a theme will not be lost. Save your theme as public (to share with the community) or as Private (only you can see it). Q: What should I call my theme?
A: Use a unique name that’s not too long but has some character and relates to the look of your theme. This name will appear in the public list of themes and become the theme’s filename when it’s downloaded. For example, a theme called “Warm summer” will be downloaded as “Warm summer.ase.” Q: How can I describe my theme?
A: After you save your theme and it appears on your screen, click Add Comment, and be the first to add a comment to your theme. For example, you can tell the kuler community what inspired the theme or say something about your colors to generate further comments. Q: What is a tag and why should I tag my themes?
A: Tags are descriptive keywords that people will use to search for themes. Use tags to describe your overall theme or your individual colors. See existing tags in kuler for inspiration. Be creative, have some fun, and also try to make your tags meaningful for other users. Q: How do I input multi-word tags?
A: kuler separates tags if there is a comma or a space. Use double quotes to group words into one tag. Note that kuler automatically alphabetizes your tags. Q: Why do tags sometimes appear in different sizes?
A: The size of the tag text reflects the relative popularity of that particular word as a tag. The larger the size, the more often the word has already been appearing as a tag in public kuler themes.
Q: What determines newest themes?
A: Newest themes are listed by original date created. Q: What determines popular themes?
A: The most popular themes are those that have been downloaded the most often by unique users. When you click on a theme, you can see the number of times it has been downloaded. This number represents unique users—kuler doesn’t count multiple downloads by the same user. Q: What determines theme ratings?
A: Highest rated themes are determined by weighted ratings modeled after the Bayesian Rating system. In short, the more users who vote for a theme, the more those votes count as opposed to a theme with a high rating by only one user. Q: Why do I sometimes see pink stars and sometimes blue stars?
A: Pink stars are aggregated ratings by all kuler users. While you are actively rating a theme, your rating appears in blue. When you refresh the screen, your ratings will appear as blue stars. Q: How do I use comments?
A: Use comments to tell the kuler community about your themes. Be the first to add a comment to a theme that you made public, describing something interesting about how you created it. Feel free to comment on other users’ themes, ask a question, or start or continue a discussion.
Q: How do I save themes created by other people?
A: You can do this in two ways. One, download any theme as an Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) file for permanent storage and for use in your creative projects. Two, create favorites in kuler using the Add to Favorites button. Favorites will appear in Mykuler, which is automatically retrieved and displayed when you sign in to kuler. You must be signed in to save or view favorites.
A: This counts the number of members who currently have this theme saved as a Favorite. If one person deletes this theme from their favorites, the count goes down one accordingly, and if someone adds the theme to Favorites, it will go up by one.
Q: How can I link directly to a theme (e.g. to link from my blog, to email)?
A: In the theme details area, select More Info view to see the Theme link. If you click on it, you'll open a page with that theme. You can bookmark the page, or copy the URL to use in your blog, email, or IM. If you have a delicious account, you can tag that page for delicious.
To add to delicious, simply click on the theme link, and click on the delicious icon in the new window that is opened and shows the link to theme.Q: I’d like to see older themes, so can I sort the Newest view in reverse?
A: Not at this time. Q: How do I subscribe to the kuler RSS feeds?
A: You can subscribe to RSS feeds of kuler themes by clicking the RSS icons next to these menu items. You can also receive the RSS feed via the kuler desktop, available from the Links page under kuler knickknacks (you will also need the AIR file too). For more on using custom RSS feeds, see Using kuler Colors.
Q: What can I do in Mykuler?
A: You can store, see, and retrieve all of your saved themes (both public and private) in your Mykuler space, as well as your favorites (other people's themes that you like).
Q: How do I save a theme I created, and what is the difference between Private and Public themes?
A: You must be signed in to save a theme. Sign in using your Adobe ID and click Save at the top right to save your themes to your Mykuler space. Select Private to keep it only visible to you, or Public to share it with other kuler users and make it available for ratings, downloads, and comments.
A: To change your avatar, select one of your own themes, select More Info view to expand the list of theme details, and select "Make this my avatar." The change will be effective immediately. You can only choose from your own themes.
Using kuler Colors
Q: What’s Adobe Swatch Exchange?
A: Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) is a file format that was introduced in Adobe Creative Suite® 2 that lets users easily share swatches with color consistency across components of Creative Suite® 2 and Creative Suite 3.
Q: How do I use themes with Adobe Illustrator®, Photoshop®, InDesign®, Fireworks®, and Flash® Professional?
A: For Adobe Creative Suite® 2 components:
Your kuler themes are supported as Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ase) files. To download a theme from kuler, first make sure you’re signed in. Click on the theme you’d like and click Download. This downloads the theme as an .ase file to the location of your choice. In Illustrator® CS2, from the Swatches palette pop-up menu, select Open Swatch Libraries > Other Libraries, and navigate to and select your saved .ase file. The file will open in a separate palette labeled with the theme name. To move these swatches to the Swatches palette, select the swatches you wish to move and, from the pop-up menu, select Add to Swatches. The swatch will be added to the Swatches palette. In Photoshop® CS2 or InDesign® CS2, from the Swatches palette pop-up menu, go to Load Swatches and navigate to your .ase file. Open the .ase file; your colors should appear in the Swatches palette.
For Adobe Creative Suite® 3 components:
In Illustrator® CS3, you can use the kuler panel to quickly and directly download themes from kuler into the Swatches panel. Select Window>Adobe Labs>kuler to display this kuler panel. Using this panel, you can browse different RSS feeds from kuler (Most Popular, Newest, Highest Rated), as well as custom feeds, which are explained below. When you see a theme you like, click the Add to Swatches button on the kuler panel, which downloads the theme as a Color Group directly to the Illustrator® Swatches panel.
You can also import .ase files downloaded from kuler into Illustrator® CS3. From the Swatches panel pop-up menu, select Open Swatch Libraries > Other Libraries, and navigate to your saved .ase file. The file will open as a color group in a separate panel labeled with the theme name. To move this color group to the Swatches panel, select the group and drag it to the Swatches panel.
In Photoshop® CS3 or InDesign® CS3, from the Swatches panel pop-up menu, select Load Swatches, and navigate to your .ase file. Open the .ase file; your colors will appear in the Swatches panel.
In addition, Adobe Bridge CS3, a component of Creative Suite® 3 as well as individual products, allows you to view your .ase files as visible swatches for easy selection.
For Adobe Creative Suite® 4 and 5 components:
Find Kuler panels in Photoshop®, Illustrator®, InDesign®, Fireworks®, and Adobe Flash® Professional software by choosing Window > Extensions > Kuler.
Q: How do I upload themes to kuler?
A: For Creative Suite® 4 and 5 components: Using InDesign®, Flash® Professional, Fireworks®, and Photoshop®, create a color theme using the kuler panel, and select the “Upload to kuler” icon in the lower right side. A browser window will open and you will see your theme on kuler.adobe.com. Sign in with your Adobe ID, add a title, enter tags, select Public or Private, and Save.
For Illustrator®, Creative Suite® 3, 4 and 5, first select the color group in your Swatches panel that you want to upload, then click the Upload button on the kuler panel. Your Illustrator® CS3, 4 and 5 color group will appear in your Mykuler page.
Note: kuler currently supports color themes from three to five colors. Color groups containing any extra colors will be truncated to five colors when uploaded to kuler.
Q: I saved kuler themes with the CS4 kuler panel, using the Save Theme button. How do I move them to my CS5 applications?
A: When you install CS5, there will be a one-time migration of CS4 themes saved in this way, to CS5. Beyond that CS4 applications will not see new themes saved using CS5, and vice versa.
Q: What are Custom Feeds in the kuler panel?
A: Custom feeds let you browse RSS feeds of terms that you choose, such as theme creator, theme title, or theme tag. For example, you could browse the latest posted themes from a kuler member whose themes you like by adding the member’s name to the Custom Feeds area, look for a particular theme title, or browse themes tagged with a certain word.
In Illustrator CS3, Click the Edit Custom Feeds button, add up to three terms, click OK. For Creative Suite CS4 and CS5 Components, click on Custom under Feeds dropdown, add up to three terms and click Save.
Use the RSS feed dropdown menu to select the desired custom feed. The panel will then display those themes.
Q: What are the features of the Adobe kuler desktop?
A: kuler desktop allows you to access kuler RSS feeds of themes, search for themes, load themes into your Creative Suite® applications, and drag and drop themes onto your desktop as transparent palettes. For more information, see the Feature Guide.
Q: How do I access the Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) file?
A: You need to download the ASE file. To download ASE files you must first sign in. If you just need quick access to Hex values, click the # button ("Copy Theme Values" appears on mouse over).
See Using kuler Colors for detailed instructions on downloading ASE files to the desktop for use in Creative Suite® 2 and 3.
Q: Why do some of the colors on the kuler desktop look different than in my Creative Suite® software?
A: kuler and kuler desktop both work within the Flash Player, which currently does not support color management.
Q: What kind of APIs does kuler have?
A: kuler APIs include RSS feeds of the highest, more popular, newest and randomly selected themes, as well as search. For more information on the kuler APIs and guidelines for usage and application naming, see the kuler developer site.
Q: How have people used the APIs? Where are the kuler mashups?
A: To see the applications people have created using the kuler APIs, see the kuler mashup page. They include an iPhone application, Mac OS color picker, panel for Dreamweaver, as well as generative art programs, screensavers, and more.
Q: What is Community Pulse (beta)?
A: Community Pulse is a big picture view of color usage by the Kuler community, using data visualization. Colors from downloaded Kuler themes are distributed on a color wheel. Explore color popularity using filters such as country where downloaded, time period downloaded, and/or associated tag word. Community Pulse is a beta feature.
Q: How do I interpret the color wheel?
A: Colors are grouped on the wheel in clusters (circles). Each cluster represents one or more colors, depending on the granularity of the view. Larger clusters roughly correspond to more usage (more downloads of themes with that color). Cluster sizes are approximate and are not meant to represent exact values or precise comparisons between sizes and download counts. The focus of Community Pulse is general patterns of color usage, not individual colors and values.
Q: How does the color histogram work?
A: Use the histogram to explore color usage by hue. The bars in the histogram represent hues, and each bar shows up to five colors from different saturation levels within each hue. Hovering over a bar in the histogram will select all colors on the color wheel that fall within that hue. The length of the bars reflects the popularity of the hues in the data set.
Q: Why are there differences between apparent popularity of colors as shown in the histogram and the color wheel?
A: The histogram and the color wheel emphasize different aspects of the data and often operate on different scales. For example, the histogram preserves extreme values in the data that could not be shown in the color wheel because they would obscure other color clusters. The histogram is also based on a logarithmic scale.
Q: Why is a cluster with more downloads sometimes smaller than another cluster with fewer downloads?
A: While we try to keep the relationship between downloads and cluster size, sometimes adjustments are needed to display all the data. For example, the interior of the color wheel has less space and a cluster may need to be rescaled so it doesn’t obscure other clusters in that area.
Q: What is relative scale?
A: Each color wheel is scaled to itself, so cluster sizes are relative to the highest/lowest values within that data set. When comparing two color wheels, selecting Relative Scale will scale the wheels relative to the highest/lowest values of both sets combined. If the data sets are similar, the change may not be noticeable.
Q: Why does a single color appear under multiple brightnesses?
A: To give colors more visibility, each point on the brightness slider displays colors within a range of that brightness value.
Q: How do I change the filters in the menus?
A: The plan is to change the filter options periodically to show different data sets.