Gradient editing

The Gradient tool does a great job in drawing a simple colour gradient across layers (pixel layers, fill layers, adjustment layers, live filter layers, layer masks) as well as vector and text content. However, you might want to apply a more complex fill, introducing more than two colours along the gradient path, adjust where each colour is positioned and/or control colour transitions. You can do this in two ways.

Using the former, you modify the gradient by eye; the latter lets you design with precision and absolute control.

If you apply a gradient directly to your image's layer you'll destroy the layer content. Instead, apply gradients to a separate pixel, fill, adjustment, filter, mask or vector layer. With Fill layers, your gradient path will additionally remain editable.

Colour gradient examples

Elliptical (showing gradient path), radial, linear and conical path examples.
To modify a gradient (directly on an layer):

With the Gradient tool selected, click the content with a gradient fill applied and then do any of the following:

To modify a gradient (via the tool's context toolbar):
  1. With the Gradient tool selected, click page content.
  2. From the context toolbar, select the colour swatch.
  3. Click the Gradient option which lets you modify your gradient using the following settings:
    • Type—determines the gradient type (linear, elliptical, etc.) via a pop-up menu.
    • Position—controls the position of the stop along the gradient from left (0%) to right (100%), with 50% representing the central point.
    • Mid Point—adjusts the spread of colours between the selected colour stop and the stop to its right.
    • Colour—click the colour swatch to display a pop-up panel where you can modify the selected stop's colour (including noise value).
    • Opacity—controls how see through the stop is. 100% represents fully opaque, 0% represents fully transparent.
    • Insert—adds a new stop between a selected stop and the stop to its right. The stop adopts the colour at its new position.
    • Copy—duplicates the selected stop, positioning it between the selected stop and the stop to its right.
    • Delete—removes the selected stop from the gradient. Deleting an end stop shortens the path back to the adjacent stop.
    • Reverse—the gradient is reversed, i.e. like a mirror image.