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How to make a gradient in Photoshop

If you want to create a smooth transition from one colour to another in Photoshop, the gradient tool is the easiest way to achieve it. Read on to learn how to use it. 

There are a number of different types of gradients you can create in Photoshop, including linear ones that go in a straight line, radial ones that form a circle and angular gradients that shade in a counter-clockwise sweep. There are also reflected gradients that mirror linear gradients and diamond gradients that shade from the middle to the outer corners of your image. 

All of these shapes can be created using one button – the Gradient tool. Scroll down to learn how to use the Gradient tool in Photoshop. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Adobe Photoshop 
  • A Creative Cloud subscription 

The Short Version 

  1. Hold down the Paint Bucket tool 
  2. Select the Gradient tool 
  3. Pick your colours 
  4. Choose a type of gradient 
  5. Click on your image and drag your mouse to create a gradient

How to make a gradient in Photoshop

  1. Step

    Click and hold the Paint Bucket tool

    You may be able to skip this step if you can already see the gradient tool in the sidebar. how to make a gradient in Photoshop

  2. Step

    Select the Gradient tool

    The icon resembles a gradient. how to make a gradient in Photoshop

  3. Step

    Pick your colours

    Double-click on either colour to change it or skip step 4 if you’re happy with the colours selected. how to make a gradient in Photoshop

  4. Step

    Click OK

    You can use the colour picker to choose any colour. how to make a gradient in Photoshop

  5. Step

    Choose a type of gradient

    You can pick between linear, radial, angular, reflected and diamond-style gradients. how to make a gradient in Photoshop

  6. Step

    Click on the image and drag to create a gradient

    You can drag in any direction to create different results. how to make a gradient in Photoshop


How to create a gradient that starts transparent

To create a gradient that goes from colour to transparent (or vice versa) just click the drop-down arrow next to your colours at the top of the screen.

How to redo a gradient

If you don’t like the gradient you’ve created, simply click Edit then Undo Gradient and try again.

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