Q. Is there a way to have a gradient (e.g. fill) applied to a text element without having it be converted to a path based object?
Q. Can text with a gradient be a Rich Text element so that it can be controlled via url?
A. No, fills, strokes and other transforms are path based. Please see:
Text is rendered as a graphic element similar to paths and shapes, but with a restricted subset of rendering options. Full details on supported options can be found here: