Gradient tool explained

Gradient Tool is one great tool in photoshop . If you are a newbie then you would have definitely ignored this tool as you may have found it difficult or dint find a proper tutorial . Even I ignored this tool when i started photoshop but one day or the other i need to learn it so few days back i Google for it . I was very disappointed with the very little information available about this tool in web so i tried to figure it out myself . After few minutes i learned this tool and from then i use this tool in all my works .

Today i want to share the information which i have acquired learning gradient tool. I will try to make it crystal clear and i assure that at end of the day you will love the tool.

What can be done with gradient tool

1. Create Awesome Backgrounds

2. Apply elegant colors to fonts

How to select gradient tool ?

( a ) Create Awesome Backgrounds

1. Select Gradient tool from tools panel

( or )

2. Use Hot Key ( G )

( b ) Apply elegant colors to fonts

1. Right click on the font layer,select blending options and tick the gradient overlay from the pop up window.

2. select the layer and click on add a layer style icon and select gradient overlay

Gradient Tool options

1. Gradient Editor

2. Gradient Types – Linear , Radial , Angle , Reflected , Diamond

3. Mode

4. Opacity

Gradient Editor

One can create , load and even select from the default gradient presets. Gradients can be of two types solid and noise ,this can be set with the help of gradient type.

Gradient Types

Most of the times a linear gradient doesnt help in the projects.There should be different types of gradients .For that reason adobe photoshop has offered 5 types of gradients for its users – Linear , Radial , Angle , Reflected , Diamond


Used to set the blending mode of the gradient


Used to set the transparency of the gradient

How to create a gradient ?

Gradient editor will help us to create gradients . There will be a slider in gradient editor and 4 handles – 2 on top and 2 on bottom of the slider, 2 mid points – one on top and other on bottom by default. Bottom two handles are used to select the colors and top two handles are used to control the opacity .

For better understanding lets name the handles .

Bottom handles – Bottom left and Bottom right

Top handles – Top left and Top right

Bottom left handle covers the bottom half of the gradient, Bottom right handle covers the top half of the gradient .

By default , Handles are two at the bottom but if one want they can add multiple handles to insert multiple colors just by a mouse click on the slider

Diamond shaped object on the slider is the mid point of the handles which is used to set the color proportion in a gradient

How to fill the bottom and top of gradient

In order to fill the

Bottom Half of the gradient – Double click the bottom left handle and select the color from the pop up window and hit ok

Top Half of the gradient – Double click the bottom right handle and select the color from the pop up window and hit ok

After filling the top and bottom part of the gradient with the desired colors you can name it and hit save to save or click on ok

Gradient Tools , Options

How to apply the gradient

Let us create a gradient background with gradient text .

Part 1 : Creating a Gradient Background

Part 2 : Creating a Gradient Text

Part 1 : Creating a Gradient Background

Step 1

Create a 500 x 500 document

Step 2

Select Gradient Tool from the tools palette

Step 3

Create or select a gradient from the presets and press ok . I choose #373737 for bottom left handle and #a3a2a2 for bottom right

Step 4

You can apply any one of the 5 gradient types .I like linear so i will go with it . Select linear gradient from gradient tool box . Now left click on the document and drag the mouse downwards or upwards and release the button to apply .

Now we have created our gradient background .

Part 2 : Creating a Gradient Text

Step 5

Select Text tool from tools panel and write down your text with Arial 60pt.

Step 6

Right click on the text layer,select blending options and tick gradient overlay from the pop up window.

Step 7

Now choose any gradient from presets at gradient editor and click on ok .I choose #beb6b6 for bottom left and #fffff for bottom right.


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  1. I am a huge fan of Photoshop. Thanks for the awesome tutorial. Hoping to see more tutorial on photoshop.

  2. Good post for beginners.But what is the small diamond shaped object stands right behind the handles ? when you move the handle you could see the diamond moves accordingly .could you explain that too ? Thanks!

  3. @S.M Karthick
    Sorry dude.. i mentioned it but dint explain .. thanks for informing me.. i appreciate it ..updated 🙂

  4. @ Vector Graphics

    I m glad you liked it 🙂 .

  5. nice tutorial mate 🙂

  6. Great tutorialKannan! I like to add gradient on all of my banners, and I’ve learned new things from this beautiful tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Very well detailed and thoroughly explained tutorial on the use of Gradient Tool Kan . A very helpful tutorial for every beginner intent on using Photoshop . Thank U .
    Just awesome !

  8. Thanks for the tutorial

  9. So nice post.This will improve my skills to create more professional banners.Good Luck!!!

  10. Very nice and easy to understand tutorial. thanks

  11. george micklesavage says:

    I have Photoshop CS5
    ??? Part 1 Step 3…I choose #373737 for bottom left handle and #a3a2a2 for bottom right.HOW DID YOU ETER THOSE NUMBERS WHERE THEY SHOW IN THE INSTRUCTIONS?
    …Part1 Step 4,…show an arrow in te Gradient. No instruction on how it got there.
    …we solve these mysteries will offer a few more.

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