Creating Color Palettes from Images in Photoshop


Creating a color palette from an image in Photoshop is a valuable skill for designers, artists, and anyone interested in digital art and design. This guide will walk you through the process step by step, ensuring you can easily create your own color palettes from any image.

Open the ‘Save for Web’ Page

To start, you need to access the ‘Save for Web’ feature in Photoshop. This is found under the ‘File’ menu. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open Photoshop and load the image you want to create a palette from.
  2. Click on ‘File’ in the top menu.
  3. Choose ‘Export’ from the dropdown.
  4. Select ‘Save for Web’.

This feature is essential for creating a color palette as it allows you to manipulate the image’s colors more efficiently.

Adjusting the Image Settings

Once the ‘Save for Web’ page is open, you’ll need to make some adjustments:

  1. Change the image format from JPEG to GIF. GIFs support a limited color palette, making it easier to isolate and define specific colors.
  2. In the ‘Colors’ field, change the option to ‘8’. This action reduces the number of colors in the image, simplifying your palette.

When you adjust the number of colors to 8, you’ll notice a significant decrease in the color complexity of the image. This reduction is crucial for distilling the essence of the image into a simple palette.

Saving the Color Palette

Now that your image is adjusted, you can save your new color palette:

  1. Click on the menu on the right side of the ‘Save for Web’ page.
  2. Select ‘Save Color Table’. This option allows you to export the colors that Photoshop has identified in your image.
  3. Save the color table to your computer.

Importing the Palette into the Swatch Panel

The final step is to import your newly created color palette back into Photoshop:

  1. Open the ‘Swatch’ panel. If you don’t see this panel, you can make it visible by selecting ‘Window’ from the top menu and then choosing ‘Swatches’.
  2. Click on the icon on the right side of the ‘Swatch’ panel.
  3. Select ‘Import Swatches’.
  4. Find and load the color palette you saved earlier.

When you load the palette, you will see the colors from your image displayed in the Swatch panel. These colors can now be used in your Photoshop projects.


You’ve successfully created a color palette from an image in Photoshop! This skill is incredibly useful for maintaining color consistency in your design work or finding inspiration from your favorite images.