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Design

How to Create Gradients in Adobe InDesign

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following tutorial, I'm going to show you how to create gradients in InDesign. I'll then show you how to save and load gradients for future projects in your InDesign templates and projects.

1. How to Make a Gradient in InDesign

Step 1

To create a gradient in InDesign, you must first have access to both the Gradient panel (Window > Color > Gradient) and the Gradient Tool (G) (usually located in the left toolbar). 

The Gradient panel is used to define the type of gradient and the colors, and the Gradient Tool is used to apply the gradient to your objects.

Use the Gradient Tool and Panel in InDesign

Step 2

The Gradient panel will select a white and black gradient by default. To apply this gradient to an object, select the Gradient Tool and click on an object (for this tutorial we will use a square shape as an example).

Apply the gradient to an object

Step 3

To define the gradient colors in the Gradient panel, you must first open up the Swatches panelAccess the Swatches panel by going to Window > Color > Swatches.

Once you have the Swatches panel open, you need to select a color swatch that you want to use (e.g. the blue color), and then click and drag it from the Swatches panel and drop it on the color stop in the Gradient panel.

Define a color for the gradient

Step 4

Define the ending color by repeating the same steps and dragging a color swatch on the end color stop.

Define an ending color for the gradient

Step 5

Once the colors have been defined, you can choose to adjust the location of the starting point and/or the end point. This will change the look and smoothness of the gradient. To do this, click and drag the color stop left or right until you are happy with the result.

Adjust the location of the color stops

Step 6

To edit the look of the gradient further, you can adjust the location of the midpoint (represented by the diamond icon). This is where the gradient displays an even mix of both the starting and ending colors. To do this, simply drag the diamond left or right.

Adjust the midpoint of the gradient

Step 7

You can also add extra colors to your gradient. To do this, you need to drag a color from the Swatches panel into the Gradient panel.

Add extra colors to the gradient

Step 8

To delete color stops, simply click and drag the stop down until it disappears.

Remove color stops from gradient

Step 9

You can also adjust the angle of the gradient. This is done by entering a value in the Angle box.

Adjust the angle of gradient

2. How to Save a Gradient in InDesign

Step 1

To save a new gradient that you have created, you must add it to the Swatches. Select the object with the gradient that you want to save applied to it. Open up the Swatches panel and click on the New Swatch button.

Create new gradient swatch

Step 2

This will save your gradient as a swatch called 'New Gradient Swatch' by default. You can double-click on it to change the name.

Change the name of gradient swatch

3. How to Load a Gradient in InDesign

Step 1

To load the gradient in InDesign, you need to access the Swatches panel by going to Window > Color > Swatches.

Open Swatchs Panel

Step 2

If you saved your gradient previously, the gradient will appear in the Swatches panel. Simply select it and use the Gradient Tool to apply it.

Apply gradient to object

Awesome! You're Finished!

Congratulations! You have successfully completed this tutorial. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that you've learned many new tips and tricks that you can use for your future illustrations and designs. See you next time!

Creating Gradients

Learn More Gradient Skills!

Now that you have learnt the basics of creating, saving and loading gradients, check out the tutorials below! Expand your expertise by going through these in-depth guides. Happy designing!

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