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How to Use Gradient Tool in Photoshop

The Gradient tool is used to create a fill smoothing two or more colors. The colors and opacity changes during the gradient effect lasts. It can be applied to an entire layer or some selected area on the image.

The tool is situated in the Tools panel and can be hidden behind the Paint Bucket tool.

  • Select the Gradient tool at the tools panel clicking on it or press G button for faster access. If you don’t see this tool at the panel, hold a mouse on the Paint Bucker tool for a second and it will appear;
  • Set the parameters of the gradient in the options bar. Press the arrow icon near the gradient preview bar. If you press on the bar itself, you will open the Gradient Editor;
  • Choose the type of the gradient: linear (shades the color in a direct line), radial (shades the color from the central point to all directions equally), angle (gradient is going clockwise), reflected (two gradients are moving in the opposite directions) or diamond (you will receive the gradient similar to a diamond’s structure);
  • Set the blending mode, available ones will be offered at the pop-up menu, and opacity which is measured in percentage;
  • If you tick Reverse option, it will reverse the color display order;
  • Select Dither to make a gradient smoother and minimize possible lines appearing;
  • Check Transparence box to fill the transparent areas;
  • Then click on the image at that point where you want to start the gradient and drag to indicate the ending point. The colors will be blended in that direction;
  • If you want to remove the gradient, delete the element in the History palette.

There is an opportunity to create a personal customized gradient using the Gradient Editor, but this useful option deserves a separate tutorial.