March 4, 2011, 10:49 a.m.
posted by spider
Select the Swatches tab on the Materials palette, as shown in Figure.
If you need to narrow the number of available swatches in order to find one, left-click the View button of the Swatches tab and hold the button down.
A drop-down menu appears, where you can choose one of four options: all swatches, colors only, gradients only, or patterns only. Choosing one hides all others until you change the view.
To find out more about each swatch, hover the cursor over the swatch; a small, informational pop-up message appears, giving you the name of the swatch in question, the RGB numbers, the types of textures in the swatch, and the names of the gradients and patterns used.
Click the swatch you want to use.
Left-click it if you want it to be in the Foreground Material box, right-click if you want it to be in the Background Material box. Whatever tool you use next is now loaded up with that swatch’s material.