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Gradients, Blends, Vignettes, whatever you want to call them, they can be beautiful in your document or they can make your life a study in frustration. I'm going to show you how to make them in the Swatches panel first and then in the next movie we'll talk about how to apply them to object in your document and then customize them. To create a gradient swatch I first open the Swatches panel here in the dock and then from the Swatches panel flyout menu I choose New Gradient Swatch. Now it's a little tricky to make a gradient swatch just in the dialog box. So what I usually like to do is just click OK where it adds this default gradient swatch to my Swatches panel.
Then I'll apply that default swatch to any object in my document. In this case, I'm selecting a frame in the background and then clicking on the swatch. You'll see that it just fills it with that default white to black swatch. Now I'll deselect that frame by clicking on that pasteboard and I'm going to edit that swatch by right-clicking on it or Ctrl+Clicking with a one-button mouse and choosing Swatch Options. The reason I like doing that is because it's much easier to see an example in the background as I'm editing inside the dialog box. To do that I turn on the Preview checkbox and now any change I make in the dialog box will update on my page automatically.
So right now I have a gradient, a blend that goes from white to black, and you can see those reflected in these stops along the bottom, these gradient stops. If I click on one of these stops, you see the colors reflected up here in the Stop Color area. Right now this first one is CMYK white, just 0000. If I click on the other stop I can see that it's reflected as a swatch called Black. If I want to change this from Swatches to CMYK, I can do that from the Stop Color pop-up menu. I'll just change this to CMYK.
You can see that now I can type in a different CMYK value here. But in this case I am going to pick a swatch that I've already created, this orange swatch down here. That updates that selected Gradient Stop and now I have a blend that goes from white to orange. I could add additional Gradient Stops in here simply by clicking anywhere along the Gradient Ramp on the bottom. As soon as I click it, it adds a new stop. So I could add green, for example. So now it's going from white to green to orange, and I can move these Gradient Stops around to change the effect.
I can also change these little diamonds on the top. When you drag a diamond, you change where the half-way point is between. It's almost like dragging a rubber band back and forth. If I drag it to the right, I get more of the white. If I drag it to the left, I get more of the green. In this case I do only want white to orange. So I'm going to get rid of the green stop simply by clicking and dragging it off the ramp. Then I'll reset this to about half way point. I also have an option here, whether I want it to be a Linear Gradient or a Radial Gradient.
I can choose that from the Type pop-up menu. Linear of course is just one direction only and Radial makes it look kind of like a circle. It's a little bit hard to see here, because the center of the circle is in the lower left corner and it moves out from there. In the next movie I'll show you how you can put that center anywhere you want inside the object. Here I'm going to leave this set to Linear and I'm going to give it Name. I'm going to call it White to Orange and click OK. You may have noticed that there are several buttons at the bottom of the Swatches panel. The first button shows all of the swatches.
The second one shows only the solid Swatches and the third one shows only the Gradient Swatches. So if I had a bunch of different Gradient Swatches that I'd created and I wanted to find just those, I could click that button. Usually though I leave this set to all. By the way, I should point out something here. I'm going to edit this Swatch one more time, and you may notice here that there's no way to set a gradient's opacity. For example, you can't fade a blend from white to transparent. If you need that effect, take a look at the movie in an earlier chapter about the feathering transparency effects.
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