Add Gradients to InDesign CS5 Shapes - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

In InDesign Creative Suite 5, a gradient is the color transition from one color (or no color) to a different color. Gradients can have two or more colors in the transition. You can apply a gradient to a shape’s stroke or fill, or to text.

The two kinds of gradients available in InDesign are radial (a transition of colors in a circular fashion from a center point radiating outward and linear (a transition of colors along a straight path).

1With the Selection tool, select the object you want to apply a gradient to and then choose Window→Color→Swatches.

The Swatches panel opens.

2Choose New Gradient Swatch from the Swatches panel menu.

The New Gradient Swatch dialog box opens.

3Type a new name for the swatch in the Swatch Name field.

Sometimes, giving the swatch a descriptive name, such as one indicating what the swatch is being used for, is helpful.

4Choose Linear or Radial from the Type drop-down list.

This option determines the type of gradient the swatch creates every time you use it.

5Manipulate the gradient stops below the Gradient Ramp to position each color in the gradient.

Gradient stops are the color chips located below the Gradient Ramp. Move the diamond shape above the Gradient Ramp to determine the center point of the gradient. Select each gradient stop to change its color by using the sliders in the Stop Color area or entering values in each CMYK text field. Move stops around to edit the gradient.

You can add a new stop to the gradient by clicking the area between gradient stops. To remove a stop, drag it away from the Gradient Ramp.

6Click OK.

The gradient swatch is created and applied to the selected object.

To edit a gradient, double-click the gradient’s swatch. This step opens the Gradient Options dialog box, where you can modify the settings made in the New Gradient Swatch dialog box.