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Applying gradients

From: InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Video: Applying gradients

In the last movie, I talked about how to make a gradient swatch in the Swatches panel. Now let's look at applying gradients to stuff on your page and how to fine-tune those gradients. Because I reverted my file at the end of the last movie, I'm going to have to create a new gradient swatch now. That's no problem, easy to do. Choose New Gradient Swatch and why don't we choose these from swatches that I already have in here. I'll do maybe this orange to a yellow color that I've got here. Here we go. A linear swatch from orange to yellow, and I'm going to call this sunrise, click OK, and it adds the sunrise gradient to the bottom of my Swatches panel.

Applying gradients

In the last movie, I talked about how to make a gradient swatch in the Swatches panel. Now let's look at applying gradients to stuff on your page and how to fine-tune those gradients. Because I reverted my file at the end of the last movie, I'm going to have to create a new gradient swatch now. That's no problem, easy to do. Choose New Gradient Swatch and why don't we choose these from swatches that I already have in here. I'll do maybe this orange to a yellow color that I've got here. Here we go. A linear swatch from orange to yellow, and I'm going to call this sunrise, click OK, and it adds the sunrise gradient to the bottom of my Swatches panel.

Let's go ahead and apply that to this object back here. Looks pretty good. However the gradient goes from orange on the left to yellow on the right. That's not what I want. I actually want it to be orange on the bottom, and yellow on the top. How do I do that? Well, I need to apply local gradient formatting to this object. To do that I need the Gradient panel right here. The Gradient panel lets me control all kinds of local formatting for gradients including the type. I can change this from Linear to Radial if I want to.

Now it's a little bit hard to see here, but it's orange in the middle and yellow on the outside. I don't need that. I'm going to set it back to Linear. I can also reverse the order by clicking on the Reverse button. Now it's orange on the right and yellow in the left, but that again is not what I want. So I'll choose it again to set it back to the way it was. What I want is to rotate the angle inside that frame. To do that, I change the Angle value. Right now it's 0 degrees. I'm going to set it to 90 degrees. That means rotate the right edge of this up 90 degrees, so that it goes straight up.

Let's press Enter or Return and see if it worked. It did. Orange is now at the bottom and yellow is now at the top. So I've applied some local formatting to this object with the gradient. Let's make some more changes here. I'd like that orange to be a little bit darker at the bottom, so I'm going to click on that gradient stop on the left side here and change its color. To do that, I need the Color panel. So I'll go to Window > Color > Color, there is the Color panel, and now I can choose either a tint out of here, but that's not going to help me because I want it darker.

So I'll choose CMYK and I'll just darken this color up a little bit. This could have a darker color there. You can see that as I make this change here, it's making it darker at the bottom of my frame. That looks pretty good and now at the top, I'd like it to be kind of a lighter yellow, so I'm going to click on this end of the Gradient Ramp, change this to CMYK, and let's make it a little bit more pure yellow. There we go. That's a nice almost pure yellow. How about if we go all the way pure yellow at the top and sort of dirty orange at the bottom? So I've set up my own custom gradient here.

I could even add additional color stops if I want to, or change the mid-point slider if I want to. How about if we do that? That looks pretty good, but once I have done all of this work, it would be nice if I could save this as a new gradient swatch, after all I might want to use that later. To do that I need to show both the Gradient panel and the Swatches panel at the same time. So I'm going to drag the Gradient panel out to float it. Now I can see the Gradient panel and the Swatches and to add this gradient to the Swatches panel, it's as simple as drag-and-drop.

I'm simply going to drag this little icon here to the bottom of the Swatches panel. As soon as I see that dark black line, l let go and there it is. Now, it gave it a dumb name, New Gradient Swatch, so that's not helpful. I'll right-click on that or Ctrl+ Click with a one-button mouse, and that opens the Gradient Options dialog box, and I'll give this another name. I'll say sunrise 2. It's not a very descriptive name, but you got the idea. Click OK. I now have a second gradient swatch in here. But when I did that, what happened to my gradient? It reverted back to Linear left or right. How about that? Gradient swatches are always left to right.

It's a frustrating thing about InDesign's gradients in my opinion. I wish that it would remember the angle inside my swatch, but it can't. So I'm going to close the Swatches panel, move this out of the way so I can see it better, and once again change this to 90 degrees. There we go. Now I've got my 90-degree angle again. So the angle is always a local format. That is, it is always applied to a single object. It cannot be saved in a gradient swatch. Now there is another feature you can use to fine-tune gradients, and that's the Gradient tool here in the middle of the Tool panel.

If I choose the Gradient tool, I can really fine-tune exactly the way I want my gradient to be inside this frame. For example, I could say start at this point here. I'm going to click there and hold-down the mouse button, and drag up to end it here. And when I let go, it re-does my gradient from here to here. Let's try it again in a different angle. How about from here to here? You get the idea. You can very quickly make all kinds of interesting effects just by clicking-and-dragging with your Gradient tool.

The Gradient tool is also very useful when applying gradients to text. Let me show you what I mean. I could apply my gradient, my sunrise gradient, to this text here by selecting the text, and then going to my Swatches panel, and clicking on sunrise. I'll deselect this so you can see that it's now orange on the left and yellow on the right. Now the way gradients work in text frames is kind of a little obscure, so I better explain it to you. It is always based on the width of the frame, not the text that you've selected.

For example, if I make this text frame wider, I'm going to get a very different effect. The blend inside the text has changed, so that I'm mostly seeing the yellow, not so much the orange. The orange is going to be on this side of the text frame, which we don't even see. Let's go ahead and make that smaller again. If you want to fine-tune the gradient inside of text, first select the text that you want to apply it to. For example, I'll just choose these two words up here. Then grab your Gradient tool, and then drag over your selection. For example, I'm going to go from the bottom to the top here.

I held down the Shift key to make sure that it was perfectly vertical. When I deselect, you can now see that the gradient inside this text is vertical, and this is horizontal. These kind of blends are certainly the trickiest color feature in InDesign to get right, but practice fine-tuning them using the Gradient tool and the Gradient panel and you'll soon become a blend master.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89247 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. What is InDesign CS5?
      2m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 51s
  2. 54m 49s
    1. Understanding the Application window
      6m 0s
    2. Navigating pages
      6m 39s
    3. Zooming and magnifying
      6m 57s
    4. Managing more than one document window
      3m 36s
    5. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 9s
    6. Positioning panels correctly
      6m 28s
    7. Saving time by making workspaces
      3m 24s
    8. Setting the view quality of artwork
      4m 9s
    9. Adjusting View and Preview settings
      4m 56s
    10. Rotating pages and spreads
      3m 2s
    11. Displaying a new view with the New Window feature
      3m 29s
    12. Setting application and document preferences
      4m 0s
  3. 21m 31s
    1. Using the Tool panel
      8m 1s
    2. Learning and editing keyboard shortcuts
      6m 24s
    3. Working with spring-loaded tool shortcuts
      1m 17s
    4. Using contextual menus
      2m 51s
    5. Choosing menu items with Quick Apply
      2m 58s
  4. 45m 25s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 28s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      3m 41s
    3. Using multiple Undo and Revert
      4m 28s
    4. Setting margin and column guides
      5m 16s
    5. Using ruler guides
      8m 10s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 29s
    7. Saving objects in libraries
      4m 49s
    8. Exporting and importing page snippets
      4m 29s
    9. Saving for CS4 with IDML
      2m 35s
  5. 31m 18s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      7m 23s
    2. Changing page size
      6m 14s
    3. Adding page numbering
      3m 43s
    4. Changing page numbering with sections
      5m 58s
    5. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 20s
    6. Overriding master page items
      2m 40s
  6. 1h 21m
    1. Understanding text frames
      4m 6s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 36s
    3. Filling with placeholder text
      2m 38s
    4. Inserting special characters
      4m 43s
    5. Importing text
      7m 49s
    6. Threading text frames
      4m 1s
    7. Setting text frame columns and insets
      6m 32s
    8. Setting vertical justification and first baseline position
      6m 9s
    9. Putting text on a path
      6m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      8m 43s
    11. Checking spelling
      7m 42s
    12. Using Find/Change
      9m 25s
    13. Tracking text changes
      8m 1s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 11s
    2. Importing from Mini Bridge
      5m 27s
    3. Using the Links panel
      6m 34s
    4. Embedding links
      2m 37s
    5. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 14s
    6. Fitting graphics to a frame
      6m 12s
    7. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 53s
    8. Adding live captions
      5m 56s
    9. Colorizing images
      2m 1s
    10. Turning image layers on and off
      4m 45s
  8. 46m 15s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      8m 18s
    3. Using advanced strokes
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 38s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      6m 41s
    6. Applying feathering
      4m 25s
    7. Copying formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      4m 35s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 50s
    9. Making polygons and starbursts
      3m 48s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Making interactive documents
      2m 6s
    2. Adding hyperlinks
      5m 52s
    3. Building bookmarks
      3m 38s
    4. Creating buttons
      8m 57s
    5. Animating an object
      2m 23s
  10. 23m 29s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 47s
    3. Building tint swatches
      2m 18s
    4. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 56s
    5. Applying gradients
      6m 36s
  11. 50m 0s
    1. Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool
      2m 53s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 13s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      3m 53s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 37s
    5. Nesting objects
      2m 46s
    6. Editing frame and path shapes
      4m 6s
    7. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      3m 57s
    8. Grouping objects
      3m 14s
    9. Locking objects
      2m 39s
    10. Aligning and distributing
      5m 43s
    11. Understanding text wrap
      8m 13s
    12. Using anchored objects
      6m 46s
  12. 18m 49s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 39s
    2. Rotating objects
      3m 3s
    3. Scaling objects
      3m 57s
    4. Mirroring objects
      3m 46s
    5. Using the Transform Again feature
      2m 24s
  13. 25m 52s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 8s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 54s
    3. Changing case
      2m 51s
    4. Understanding OpenType features
      3m 19s
    5. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      3m 18s
    6. Using Find Font
      4m 22s
  14. 45m 27s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 14s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      3m 5s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      2m 1s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 16s
    5. Adjusting text hyphenation
      3m 21s
    6. Fine-tuning justified text
      4m 19s
    7. Setting tabs
      5m 54s
    8. Aligning to a baseline grid
      4m 24s
    9. Controlling orphans and widows with Keep Options
      2m 39s
    10. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 14s
    11. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 39s
    12. Working with numbered lists
      4m 21s
  15. 31m 3s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 34s
    2. Using character styles
      5m 43s
    3. Applying styles automatically with Nested Styles
      7m 19s
    4. Using object styles
      3m 27s
    5. Using Quick Apply with styles
      2m 49s
    6. Cleaning up a local formatting mess
      5m 11s
  16. 37m 0s
    1. Creating a table
      5m 54s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      6m 35s
    3. Formatting a table
      8m 5s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      1m 58s
    5. Applying table styles
      5m 32s
    6. Adding Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 56s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Checking your document with the Preflight panel
      2m 54s
    2. Creating a custom preflight profile
      4m 45s
    3. Checking color with the Separations Preview
      2m 47s
  18. 31m 7s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Print dialog box
      10m 22s
    3. Exporting a PDF
      8m 47s
    4. Exporting an interactive PDF
      3m 59s
    5. Exporting text
      1m 36s
    6. Exporting SWF files
      2m 10s
  19. 1m 32s
    1. Finding more information and help
      1m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      20s

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