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Creating Gradient Swatches

Gradients are blends that change from one color into another. InDesign creates gradients as swatches that can then be applied to objects. (See Chapter 6, “Styling Objects,” for information on applying gradients.)

To define a gradient:
  1. Choose New Gradient Swatch from the Swatches panel menu. The New Gradient Swatch dialog box appears square37.gif.
  2. Enter a name for the gradient in the Swatch Name field.
  3. Choose Linear or Radial in the Type field square38.gif.
  4. Click a color stop on the gradient ramp to define a color in the gradient square39.gif.
  5. Choose the type of color for the selected stop from the Stop Color list square40.gif:
    • Swatches shows you the list of colors in the Swatches panel.
    • LAB, CMYK, or RGB displays the sliders that let you define the color using the LAB, CMYK, or RGB values.
  6. Click the other gradient stop to define a color for it.
  7. Adjust the midpoint control to change the position where the two colors blend equally.
  8. Click ok to add the gradient to the Swatches panel square41.gif.


    Click the Add button to add the current gradient to the Swatches panel and continue defining additional gradients.

All gradients must have at least two colors. However, you can easily add more colors to a gradient by using the color stops.

To add gradient color stops:
  1. Open the New Gradient Swatch or the Gradient Options dialog box.
  2. Click the area below the gradient ramp. This adds a color stop to the ramp area square42.gif.
  3. Make whatever changes you want to the color stop.
  4. If necessary, move the color stop to a new position.
  5. Click ok to apply the changes to the gradient swatch.
To delete a gradient color stop:
To modify a gradient swatch:
  1. Select the gradient swatch and choose Swatch Options from the Swatches panel menu. This opens the Gradient Options dialog box.


    Double-click the gradient in the panel.

  2. Adjust the midpoint, color stops, or gradient type.
  3. Click ok to apply the changes.

Just as you can create colors on the fly, you can also create gradients without using the Swatches panel. These gradients are created only within the Gradient panel and are not stored in the Swatches panel.

To work with the Gradient panel:
  1. Choose Window > Gradient to open the Gradient panel square44.gif.
  2. Choose Show Options from the Gradient panel menu to see all the controls.
To create gradients from the Gradient panel:
  1. Use the Type pop-up list to choose between Linear and Radial.
  2. Select a color stop and adjust the sliders in the Color panel to define the color at that position.


    Hold the Opt/Alt key and click the name of a swatch in the Swatches panel.

  3. Select another color stop and use the sliders in the Color panel to define the color at that position.
  4. Set the angle of the gradient in the Angle field.
  5. Click the Reverse icon to reverse the positions of the color stops.

Once you have a defined a gradient in the Gradient panel, you can store it as a swatch.

To store an unnamed gradient:
  1. Create the gradient in the Gradient panel.
  2. Click the New Swatch icon in the Swatches panel.


    Drag the preview of the gradient from the Gradient panel into the Swatches panel.

  3. Double-click the name of the gradient in the Swatches panel to rename it.
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