Photoshop Explore Photoshop Mix on your iPad and iPhone

With Photoshop Mix, you can perform non-destructive photo enhancements, make selections, cut out and mix images, and do much more right from your iPhone or iPad.

Read more and download Photoshop Mix.


Apply a gradient fill

The Gradient tool creates a gradual blend between multiple colors. You can choose from preset gradient fills or create your own.

Note:

You cannot use the Gradient tool with bitmap or indexed-color images.

  1. To fill part of the image, select the desired area. Otherwise, the gradient fill is applied to the entire active layer.
  2. Select the Gradient tool . (If the tool isn’t visible, hold down the Paint Bucket tool.)
  3. In the options bar, choose a fill from the wide gradient sample:
    • Click the triangle next to the sample to pick a preset gradient fill.

    • Click inside the sample to view the Gradient Editor. Select a preset gradient fill, or create a new gradient fill. (See Create a smooth gradient.)

    Note:

    The Neutral Density preset provides a helpful photographic filter for sunsets and other high-contrast scenes.

  4. Select an option to determine how the starting point (where the mouse is pressed) and ending point (where the mouse is released) affect gradient appearance.

    Linear Gradient

    Shades from the starting point to the ending point in a straight line.

    Photoshop Linear Gradient

    Radial Gradient

    Shades from the starting point to the ending point in a circular pattern.

    Photoshop Radial Gradient

    Angular Gradient

    Shades in a counterclockwise sweep around the starting point.

    Photoshop Angular Gradient

    Reflected Gradient

    Mirrors the same linear gradient on either side of the starting point.

    Photoshop Reflected Gradient

    Diamond Gradient

    Shades from the middle to the outer corners of a diamond pattern.

    Photoshop Diamond Gradient
  5. Do the following in the options bar:

    • Specify a blending mode and opacity for the paint. (See Blending modes.)

    • To reverse the order of colors in the gradient fill, select Reverse.

    • To create a smoother blend with less banding, select Dither.

    • To use a transparency mask for the gradient fill, select Transparency. (See Specify the gradient transparency.)

  6. Position the pointer in the image where you want to set the starting point of the gradient, and drag to define the ending point. To constrain the line angle to a multiple of 45°, hold down Shift as you drag.

Manage gradient presets

Gradient presets allow you to quickly apply gradients that you use often. You can manage your presets in the Gradient Picker, Presets Manager, or Gradient Editor.

Save a set of preset gradients as a library

  1. Click Save in the Gradient Editor dialog box, or choose Save Gradients from the Gradient Picker menu in the options bar.
  2. Choose a location for the gradient library, enter a file name, and click Save.

    You can save the library anywhere. However, if you place the library file in the Presets/Gradients folder in the default preset location, the library name will appear at the bottom of the panel menu after you restart Photoshop.

Load a library of preset gradients

  • Do one of the following in the Gradient Editor dialog box:
    • Click Load to add a library to the current list. Select the library file you want to use, and click Load.

    • Choose Replace Gradients from the panel menu to replace the current list with a different library. Select the library file you want to use, and click Load.

    • Choose a library file from the bottom of the panel menu. Click OK to replace the current list, or click Append to append the current list.

    Note:

    You can also choose Load Gradients, Replace Gradients, or choose a library of gradients from the Gradient Picker menu in the options bar.

Return to the default library of preset gradients

  • Choose Reset Gradients from the panel menu. You can either replace the current list or append the default library to the current list.

Change how preset gradients are displayed

  • Choose a display option from the panel menu:

    Text Only

    Displays the gradients as a list.

    Small or Large Thumbnail

    Displays the gradients as thumbnails.

    Small or Large List

    Displays the gradients as a list with thumbnails.

Rename a preset gradient

  • If the panel is set to display gradients as thumbnails, double-click a gradient, enter a new name, and click OK.
  • If the panel is set to display gradients as a list or text only, double-click a gradient, enter a new name inline, and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS).

Gradient Editor overview

To display the Gradient Editor dialog box, click the current gradient sample in the options bar. (When you hover over the gradient sample, a tool tip reading “Click to edit gradient” appears.)

The Gradient Editor dialog box lets you define a new gradient by modifying a copy of an existing gradient. You can also add intermediate colors to a gradient, creating a blend between more than two colors.

Photoshop Gradient Editor dialog box
Gradient Editor dialog box

A. Panel menu B. Opacity stop C. Color stops D. Adjust values or delete the selected opacity or color stop E. Midpoint 

Create a smooth gradient

  1. Select the Gradient tool .
  2. Click inside the gradient sample in the options bar to display the Gradient Editor dialog box.
  3. To base the new gradient on an existing gradient, select a gradient in the Presets section of the dialog box.
  4. Choose Solid from the Gradient Type pop‑up menu.
  5. To define the starting color of the gradient, click the left color stop  under the gradient bar. The triangle above the stop turns black , indicating that the starting color is being edited.
  6. To choose a color, do one of the following:
    • Double-click the color stop, or click the color swatch in the Stops section of the dialog box. Choose a color, and click OK.

    • Choose an option from the Color pop‑up menu in the Stops section of the dialog box.

    • Position the pointer over the gradient bar (the pointer turns into the eyedropper), and click to sample a color, or click anywhere in the image to sample a color from the image.

  7. To define the ending color, click the right color stop under the gradient bar. Then choose a color.
  8. To adjust the location of the starting point or ending point, do one of the following:
    • Drag the corresponding color stop left or right to the location you want.

    • Click the corresponding color stop, and enter a value for Location in the Stops section of the dialog box. A value of 0% places the point at the far left end of the gradient bar; a value of 100%, at the far right end.

  9. To adjust the location of the midpoint (where the gradient displays an even mix of the starting and ending colors), drag the diamond  below the gradient bar to the left or right, or click the diamond, and enter a value for Location.
  10. To add intermediate colors to a gradient, click below the gradient bar to define another color stop. Specify the color and adjust the location and midpoint for the intermediate point as you would for a starting or ending point.
  11. To delete the color stop you are editing, click Delete, or drag the stop downwards until it disappears.
  12. To control how gradual the transitions are between color bands in the gradient, enter a value in the Smoothness text box, or drag the Smoothness pop‑up slider.
  13. If desired, set transparency values for the gradient.
  14. Enter a name for the new gradient.
  15. To save the gradient as a preset, click New after you have finished creating the gradient.

    Note:

    New presets are saved in a Preferences file. If this file is deleted or damaged, or if you reset presets to the default library, the new presets will be lost. To permanently save new presets, save them in a library.

Specify the gradient transparency

Each gradient fill contains settings that control the opacity of the fill at different locations on the gradient. For example, you can set the starting color to 100% opacity and have the fill gradually blend into an ending color with 50% opacity. The checkerboard pattern indicates the amount of transparency in the gradient preview.

  1. Create a gradient.
  2. To adjust the starting opacity, click the left opacity stop above the gradient bar. The triangle below the stop turns black, indicating that the starting transparency is being edited.
  3. In the Stops section of the dialog box, enter a value in the Opacity text box, or drag the Opacity pop‑up slider.
  4. To adjust the opacity of the end point, click the right transparency stop above the gradient bar. Then set the opacity in the Stops section.
  5. To adjust the location of the starting or ending opacity, do one of the following:
    • Drag the corresponding opacity stop to the left or right.

    • Select the corresponding opacity stop, and enter a value for Location.

  6. To adjust the location of the midpoint opacity (the point midway between the starting and ending opacities), do one of the following:
    • Drag the diamond above the gradient bar to the left or right.

    • Select the diamond and enter a value for Location.

  7. To delete the opacity stop you are editing, click Delete.
  8. To add an intermediate opacity to the mask, click above the gradient bar to define a new opacity stop. You can then adjust and move this opacity as you would for a starting or ending opacity. To remove an intermediate opacity, drag its transparency stop up and off the gradient bar.
  9. To create a preset gradient, enter a name in the Name text box, and click New. This creates a new gradient preset with the transparency setting you specified.

Create a noise gradient

A noise gradient is a gradient that contains randomly distributed colors within the range of colors that you specify.

Photoshop Noise gradient with different roughness values
Noise gradient with different roughness values

A. 10% roughness B. 50% roughness C. 90% roughness 
  1. Select the Gradient tool .
  2. Click in the gradient sample in the options bar to display the Gradient Editor dialog box.
  3. To base the new gradient on an existing gradient, select a gradient in the Presets section of the dialog box.
  4. Choose Noise from the Gradient Type pop‑up menu, and set the following options:

    Roughness

    Controls how gradual the transitions are between color bands in the gradient.

    Color Model

    Changes the color components you can adjust. For each component, drag the sliders to define the range of acceptable values. For example, if you choose the HSB model, you can restrict the gradient to blue-green hues, high saturation, and medium brightness.

    Restrict Colors

    Prevents oversaturated colors.

    Add Transparency

    Adds transparency to random colors.

    Randomize

    Randomly creates a gradient that conforms to the settings above. Click the button until you find a setting you like.

  5. To create a preset gradient with the settings you’ve specified, enter a name in the Name text box, and click New.

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