Home / Articles / Adobe Creative Suite / Mastering Vector Design: How to Create Illustrator Patterns When you save an Illustrator file, you also save all swatches in the Swatches panel. So, if you create custom pattern fills, you can save them by dragging them into the Swatches panel before saving your AI file. Alternatively, you can save a Swatch panel as an AI file by itself. This is a great way to build a library of your favorite pattern fills. Do this by choosing Save Swatches from the Swatch Libraries menu (see Figure 8). The library actually will be a (blank) Illustrator file that you can open at any time. If you want to import your swatch library in another Adobe application, use the Save Swatch Library as ASE option on the Swatches panel menu. However, since neither patterns nor gradients are supported by the ASE exchange format, this feature is of limited value for Illustrator designers. After you save a set of pattern fills as a swatch library, you can access those custom pattern fills for use with other Illustrator projects. To do this, choose Window >, Swatch Library >, Other Libraries and navigate to the Illustrator file with the Swatches panel you want to access. You don’t need to open the Illustrator file, you can simply access just the Swatch library of that Illustrator file. You may find that your Swatches panel gets full of all kinds of swatches—including colors, color groups (in CS3), or gradients. You can filter the set of displayed swatches to display only pattern fills (see Figure 9). Source.