Section 75. Using Gradients

#75. Using Gradients

A gradient is a smooth transition from one color or tint to another color or tint. A well designed and well placed gradient adds movement and contrast to a pageboth of which add visual appeal. InDesign lets you create multicolor gradients and apply them as fills and strokes to text and objects.

Creating Gradients Using the Swatches Palette

The most efficient way to use a gradient is to first add it to the Swatches palette list, after which you can apply it to text and objects.

To create a gradient:


Open the Swatches palette (Window > Swatches) and choose New Gradient Swatch from the Swatches palette menu.


In the New Gradient Swatch dialog box (Figure 75a), enter a name for the gradient in the Swatch Name field and choose Linear or Radial from the Type menu.

Figure 75a. The controls in the New Gradient Swatch dialog box let you choose a gradient's colors.


The Gradient Ramp displays the gradient. Below the ramp, color stopsthe small, colored squaresshow the colors in the gradient. Above the ramp, small diamonds indicate the midpoints between pairs of colors. To specify the start color, click the white square at the left end of the Gradient Ramp, and then use the controls in the Stop Color area to assign a color. Click the black square at the right end of the Gradient Ramp to specify the end color. The controls in the Stop Color area vary, depending on the choice you make in the Stop Color menu. If you choose Lab, CMYK, or RGB, the controls let you create new colors. If you choose Swatches, the document's swatches (spot and process colors, gradients, tints, and mixed ink colors) are listed.


To add a color to a gradient, click just below the ramp. A color stop is added where you click. Use the controls in the Stop color area to change the color.


To delete a color from a gradient, click its color stop and drag downward. You can also modify a gradient by dragging color stops and midpoints or by selecting a color stop or midpoint and changing the Location value.


When you're ready to save a gradient, click OK to add the gradient to the Swatches palette and close the dialog box, or click Add to add the gradient to the Swatches palette and keep the dialog box open so you can add more gradients. After you create a gradient, you can apply it to text and objects, and fills and strokes in the same way you apply spot and process colors (Figure 75b).

Figure 75b. In this example, a linear gradientnamed "Three-color Gradient"is used to fill an empty frame.

Creating Gradients Using the Gradient Palette

In addition to creating gradient swatches that are displayed in the Swatches palette list, you can use the Gradient palette (Window > Gradient) to create gradients on the fly. If you create a gradient using the Gradient palette, the gradient is applied to the fill or stroke of selected text or objects, depending on whether the Fill box or the Stroke box is selected in the toolbox. If nothing is selected when you create a gradient, it becomes the default stroke or fill for new objects created with the drawing tools (with the exception of the three frame tools).

Creating See-through Gradients

Although you can't use None (transparent) as a color in a gradient, it is possible to create a gradient that goes from opaque to transparent. Create a gradient that includes white (Paper color), for example, a simple black-to-white gradient. Fill a frame with the gradient, and then apply the Multiply blending mode to the frame (Window > Transparency; Blending Mode menu > Multiply). Place the frame in front of another object. White areas in the gradient are transparent, and as the blend gets darker, it becomes less transparent.

The controls in the Gradient palette are similar to the controls in the New Gradient Swatch dialog box, though not identical. The gradient ramp works the same as the gradient ramp in the New Gradient Swatch dialog box with one exception: To add a color stop, drag a swatch from the Swatches palette and release it on the ramp. Release the swatch on an existing color stop to replace it. The Type menu and Location fields are the same as those in the New Gradient Swatch dialog box. The Reverse button lets you flip a gradient, and the Angle field lets you rotate a linear gradient.

Gradients you create with the Gradient palette are not automatically added to the Swatches palette list. If you want to save a gradient you create with the Gradient palette, drag the Fill box from the Gradient palette to the Swatches palette.

Using the Gradient Tool

The Gradient tool provides another option for applying a blend. To use the Gradient tool, first apply a gradient to the fill or stroke of an object or text. With the object or text still selected, select the Gradient tool, and then click and drag on the page. The spot where you click is the start point of the blend; the spot where you release the mouse is the endpoint of the blend (Figure 75c).

Figure 75c. In this example, clicking and dragging with the Gradient tool produces a slightly off-center radial blend. The white/highlight spot is the start point; the crosshair pointer indicates the endpoint.

Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos(c) 100 Essential Techniques
Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques
ISBN: 0321321901
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 142

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