How to Adjust Gradients in Illustrator

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In Adobe Illustrator, you can enhance shapes, backgrounds, lines and text by adding gradients. A gradient style is usually composed of two or more "stops," which are shown as small colored squares in the display panel. Gradients can be either linear or radial; you can change their sizes and angles to suit your design needs. Adobe Illustrator's gradient panel has all the tools you need for creating and adjusting gradients. You may open it by pressing ">" on your keyboard.

Changing the Colors in a Gradient

  • Press "V" to activate the selection tool and click on the shape that you'd like to edit.

  • Press ">" or "Ctrl-F9" to open the gradients panel.

  • Double-click one of the gradient stops to edit it and then choose a color from the palette. Press "Esc" once or click on an area outside the palette to close it. Follow the same steps to change the colors of the other stops.

  • Create another stop by clicking the area right below the gradient bar once.

  • Delete a gradient stop by selecting it and then clicking the trash icon beside the gradient bar.

Changing the Type of Gradient

Changing the Angle or Direction of a Gradient

  • Press "V" to activate the selection tool and click on the shape that you'd like to edit.

  • Press ">" or "Ctrl-F9" to open the gradients panel.

  • Enter your preferred angle into the text box above the gradient bar. For example, entering "90" or "-90" into the text box will give your gradient a vertical color transition. You may also use the scroll bar to select an angle.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can save your gradient style for future use. Select the shape that contains your custom gradient style, open the "Window" menu and then click on "Swatches." Click the "New Swatch" icon (left of the trash icon) to add your gradient to the palette.

References

  • Photo Credit Chad Baker/Photodisc/Getty Images
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