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How to build multicoloured icons in Muse that can easily change colour.

In this Tutorial we show you how to build colour changing multi-layered icons with Photoshop and Adobe Muse. You can use them in your own projects or distribute them with Muse Exchange.

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You may have seen icon sets and tutorials that show you how graphics and icons can have their colours changed in Muse. But how is this achieved? In this tutorial we will take you step by step throughout the process and show you how to build your own multilayered icons for use in your designs or to distribute in the Adobe Muse Exchange.


First we need to start with a graphics file that we can separate into sections such as the pencil graphic in the image below. Its a good idea to use simple icons that have a limited number of layers and flat colours. 

Flat icons work well see examples of flat icons here -

Each layer needs to have a unique name. We have added the .png suffix to the names so that we can easily use the Photoshop Generator tool to export each of the layers. 

(See our article - Using the new Photoshop Generator tools with Adobe Muse for more information on how to use this tool)

Once you have exported the files open Adobe Muse for the next part of the process.


In Muse open the swatches pane and “Right Click” in an empty area of the swatches area. Select the “Delete All Unused Swatches” This should leave you with just the Black, White and Grey swatches. Now create four new colour swatches similar to these (or your own colours).

Call them colour1, colour2, colour3 and colour4 respectively. We use named colour swatches so that when we copy and paste the completed icon into another file (or add it to the library) to change the colours of the icon we just adjust the named colour swatches rather then applying new colours.

This means that if you have multiple items, text, blocks, widget elements and other multi-layered icons using the same named colours they are all updated at once by just changing the colour swatch. This gives you the ability to create themes in Muse that can easily be changed.


In Muse Place the icon parts onto the empty canvas so you can see all of the individual parts as below.

Now we are doing to add some effects that will allow us to modify the colours as we wish in Muse. Select one of the elements on the page and open the effects panel.

Switch on the “Glow” effect, choose opacity 100%, Blur 100 or 250 (depending on the size of the graphic element and switch on the “Inner glow” In the colour choice choose one pf the named colours we just created.

Do the same for the other elements on the page that you want to be able to re-colour using the named colours throughout.

Your parts should now be re-coloured to the named colours we created.


You can now assemble the parts to form the completed icon and group them together to create a single unit that is easy to move around the page and copy and paste.

At this point you could add the items to the Muse library.


Once you have added the item to the library. clear everything from the page.

Go to the colour swatches and “Right Click” to choose “Swatch Options” from the menu.

Now alter each of the new colour to a new colour using the colour selection tools and then click ok.

Now go to the library and drag the pencil icon onto the page.

And thats how we do it.

Download the free resource files and give it a go yourself.

Pencil Icon Demo Files - CLICK TO DOWNLOAD (you must have a FREE museGrid account to download this resource)