Interactive Pattern Swatches and Symbols in Adobe Illustrator

Frequently asked questions about LivePresets

What is Artlandia LivePresets?

Artlandia LivePresets lets you interactively edit pattern swatches and symbols in Adobe Illustrator. For example, when you edit a pattern swatch, all the artwork painted with that swatch updates automatically as you edit.

What are those pattern swatches and symbols? Why do I need them?

Pattern swatches let you apply repeating patterns. With symbols, you can spread copies of the same object arbitrarily. See examples of applying a pattern swatch here and a symbol here.

How easy is it to create a live pattern swatch?

Very easy. Select a path painted with a pattern swatch and click Make in the LivePresets palette. Edit the swatch and delete it when done (by double-clicking the Current swatch in the LivePresets palette or by any other means). Click here to see how this works.

What other objects can LivePresets edit?

LivePresets can also edit symbols in exactly the same way. Click here for an example.

Can I add other objects to a live swatch or symbol?

Yes, you can use Edit > Paste in Front and Edit > Paste in Back commands to paste in front of or behind the selected element. Or use the insertion mode. Click here for an example.

Is there a way to change the repeat size in patterns?

Yes, LivePresets gives you easy access to the pattern's bounding box that determines the repeat size. An example is here.

Illustrator expands complex objects in a pattern swatch. Doesn't LivePresets?

Yes, eventually. But your live copy can contain editable brushes, blends, symbols, meshes, and other complex objects. You will conveniently edit them in their original, non-expanded form. And the expanded object will be shipped to the Illustrator swatch behind the scenes. This is a very simple and powerful technique. See an example here.

What if I do NOT want to update the entire Illustrator artwork after each edit?

LivePresets lets you link or unlink to the artwork at any time.

How is LivePresets different from SymmetryWorks?

SymmetryWorks makes sophisticated patterns and lets you create a pattern swatch. LivePresets lets you edit a pattern swatch and interactively apply the swatch to your artworks. The plug-ins are not substitutes for each other, but really are complementary. Click here for a comparison chart.

How is LivePresets different from SymmetryShop?

SymmetryShop, a Photoshop plug-in, is better compared with SymmetryWorks, its Illustrator counterpart. In Illustrator, a combination of SymmetryWorks and LivePresets (called SymmetryWorks LP) creates the best pattern design/application workflow. Click here for a comparison chart for all three plug-ins.

I am a textile designer. Can I use LivePresets to interactively modify a pattern and try it on a model garment?

Absolutely. Here's an example.

Will LivePresets create standard textile repeats for me (for example, spot or drop repeats)?

No, this is what SymmetryWorks does. You can then interactively edit swatches that you created with SymmetryWorks using LivePresets.

Does the plug-in work in Illustrator X?

LivePresets runs natively on Windows and Mac OS and is fully compatible with all versions of Illustrator starting from Illustrator 10 and including the latest releases of Creative Cloud. Detailed system requirements are here.

Is there a user guide for LivePresets?

Of course! A PDF file is included with the distribution or you can download it here (PDF, 1.8 MB).

Is there a tryout version of LivePresets?

Yes, you can download the free demo version here.