How to Manage Swatch Files


Swatches are a setting that requires a bit of work to configure.  However, once configured, this could be a powerful tool to help convert customers that are looking for custom options for the product they are interested in.

This step can be done either before or after configuring your products to display swatches – but that will be a required step.


The following pre-requisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:

  • Have one or more products in mind that may require a swatch option
  • Have store administration access in your Hotcakes Commerce store
  • Have a Hotcakes Commerce store ready to modify products


If you haven’t done so already, login to your store using a CMS “admin” or “superuser” account.  This will be necessary in order to manage the files and folders that you’ll need to have access to.


Once logged in, navigate in your control panel admin menu to the File Management feature.

Select the File Manager from the Admin menu

Once in the File Manager, navigate in the folders on the left to the Hotcakes > Data folder.

First view after navigating to the Hotcakes data folder

It’s probably likely that you have a similar view as the image above, which means the swatches folder doesn't exist yet and you need to create a “swatches” folder.  Right-click on the Data folder and choose Create Folder to do so.  Otherwise, skip ahead to simply create the swatch folder.

Create Folder option

Name the folder “swatches” and save it as a Standard folder.

Create swatches folder

Now you need to right-click on the swatches folder and create a new Standard folder matching the name of the swatch folder you saved in your products.  In the swatch configuration documentation, we saved a swatch folder name of “Common-Colors-Patterns” matching the name shown below.  In your store, you can create as many folders to contain swatches as you need.

Create a folder to hold the swatch files

Now, your folder structure should match the example below.

Swatch folders created

Since the folders are all created, simply upload the swatch images to the folder you just created using the upload option on the top right of the File Manager.  Be sure that the correct swatch folder is selected before you upload.  Follow the directions in the pop-up that appears to upload your swatch files.

Upload swatch files

The swatch files you use need to be either GIF or PNG and they can be any file size that you want them to be.  The default way that swatches are displayed will scale them down to 18 x 18 pixels.  The names of each of the swatch files should match a name in the swatch choices created for your product.  For example, if a color choice is “Red” then there should be a file here named “Red.png” or “Red.gif” in order for this to work.

Here is what your swatch folder might look like after the images are uploaded.

Swatch files uploaded

If you have already configured your products to support swatches, the final step left is to update your custom view(s) to display the swatch choices to your customers.  You can find both steps in the related documentation below.


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