#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:
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).
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.