23 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2017 12:39 PM by jane-e

    Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")


      I sure hope I can get some answers to this one - I posted another question regarding leading in Paragraph Styles two days ago and by now it has 28 views and 0 answers! Such support.


      Just designing a two-color gradient in CS5 InDesign is headache enough...click on Swatches control panel, see that there is no "New Gradient Swatch" button at the bottom (despite what the books and online help say), click the microscopic menu at the upper right of the panel, select "New Gradient Swatch", only to find that there are only two choices - Linear or Radial - and fiddle with every feature in the window to finally get the color range you want.


      Frankly, five very expensive versions of Creative Suite later, I am both amazed and disgusted at the fact that:


      - There is no horizontal gradient, only "Linear" (and that is vertical; that is, each color within the range goes top-to-bottom; the range itself is left-to-right)

      - There is no seeming way to get a horizontal gradient, or a vertical gradient with the colors reversed. InDesign decides the orientation and polarity (in this instance, dark (left) to light (right) ) of your gradient


      And before anyone launches into a lecture about the Window > Color > Gradient option, I already tried that. I don't know what your copy of CS5 InDesign displays on your system, but on mine, that window has no OK button. In other words, you can play around all day long with the Window > Color > Gradient window but you cannot apply what you've settled on to your current project because there is no way to tell the program that "OK, I'm done, please apply the options I've selected to my project or selected swatch."


      So, tell me truly, how can a newly-bald user design a simple two-color gradient that has vertical range, where lightest color is at the top and darkest color at the bottom?

        • 1. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          The easiest way to do it is to create the swatch with the gradient you want, then use the Gradient tool (now apparently renamed the Gradient Swatch tool to differentiate it from the Gradient Feather tool which is right next to it in the toolbox) to drag the gradient in any direction you like, and to set the start and stop points. If you start or stop inside the object, everything before or after the start or stop, respectively, will be the end color.


          If you just want to fill the object, select it and choose the gradient swatch as the fill, then open the Gradient panel and you can set any angle you like, or press the reverse button to switch directions.


          None of this, by the way is new.


          I did look at your other thread the yesterday, but I'm not quite sure I understand the question, and my only conclusion was there is some sort of user error in how you are defining the styles, but without a lot more information I can't tell you what.


          And this is NOT tech support, it's a user forum staffed by ordinary users like you who volunteer their time and expertise. If they have nothing to say, most don't bother to answer.

          • 2. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
            Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            It's not really that hard. To make a new gradient Select New Gradient Swatch from the Swatches flyout. You should get a dialog that looks like this


            Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 4.43.18 PM.png


            When you click on one of the gradient stop at thebottom of the ramp you will activate the ability to choose a color for that stop in the color mode you want


            Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 4.43.44 PM.png


            If you choose CMYK you can mix the color or you can choose Swatches and choose from existing swatches in the file.  This is how it looks with both selected


            Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 4.44.19 PM.png


            When youOK the dialog a new swatch is added to the Swatch panel. You can apply it by drawing or selecting an object in your file and making the fill box active . It should look like this


            Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 4.45.03 PM.png


            In the Gradient window shown to the right of the object you can change the angle by using either the Reverse button or the angle window like this


            Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 4.45.17 PM.png


            Or you can use the Gradient tool from the tool box to drag across the gradient to change it as you want


            Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 4.49.13 PM.png


            If you want here's the difference in a radial gradient changed with the gradient tool from the tool box


            Screen shot 2011-09-13 at 4.49.48 PM.png

            • 3. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
              TechShell Level 1

              Actually, it really is that hard.


              What I tried to communicate in my original post was that in this window:



              There is no way for me to make the changes I make in this window show up in the document. Where is the OK button? I really, really tried. Everything. I switched the Angle. I played with the Reverse. Nothing I did reflected itself in the actual document or the swatch.


              So what am I missing here?


              Incidentally, when the Gradient Options window is open:



              The smaller window is inaccessible. I have to close the Gradient Options window to do anything in the smaller window, and like I said, anything I do in the smaller window does not manifiest itself in any way in the document or the swatch.


              It's one thing to tell me "You can change the angle, you can reverse the flow, etc." but how do I tell InDesign to take what I've selected and actually implement it in the document or swatch?


              Three different books on CS5 InDesign couldn't provide the answer, either.

              • 4. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                You can't make those changes to the swatch itself. You make them to a selected object.


                So, if you select an object and apply the gradient, then open the gradient panel, any changes you make will be reflected in the selected object. You can also set the gradient angle as part of an Object Style definition.

                • 5. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")

                  I understand the effects option when trying to achieve a vertical gradient for an object.

                  But what if you are trying to use a vertical graident effect for alternate rows in a table.

                  Something that looks like this, but in a table.

                  vertical gradients in cells.jpg

                  • 6. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Have you tried defining it as part of a cell style?

                    • 7. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                      mpc999 Level 2

                      Define your gradient in the small Gradient window. Then click on the square in that window and drag it into your swatches palette.


                      You can then apply that swatch to fill any object. Use the gradient tool to drag across your object in the direction you want the gradient to run.

                      • 8. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                        lilia@ Level 2

                        Hi, I'm going to mention two things...


                        1. The colours panel and gradient panel make colour on the fly and are not saved swatches. Once used, the only way to duplicate another object with that colour is to use the Eyedropper tool from the original object to the new. However, in order to reuse them (which is mighty handy) you need to save the swatch. You can do this via the options menu on each panel.
                        2. In regards to keeping angles, etc on gradients. The solution to reusing that same angle etc on other objects is to create an Object Style. The best way to do this is to have your object selected > create the gradient exactly as you please > save the gradient as a swatch > save an Object Style. You can then apply it to any object you like. If you want to use it on another document, you can load swatches from other files.



                        • 9. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                          freecondomap Level 1

                          Thanks guys! More than one way to slice a pie.


                          • 10. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                            casinclaire Level 1

                            Hi, TechShell.


                            Simplified (despite all my extraneous verbiage), here are the steps.


                            1. Select the object to which you want to apply the gradient. (Alternatively, create a free-standing rectangle or circle, etc., just to have a temporary place to apply the gradient and observe its appearance while you develop it.)
                            2. With your object selected, double-click the Gradient Swatch Tool (not the Gradient Feather Tool).
                            3. Drag colors from your swatch collection onto those stops to change their colors or to any empty space in between to create a new stop. You can also click anywhere along the color stop line to create more color stops (but you will see no difference when you do until you apply a different color, as the new-click stops will just pick up a nearby current color).
                            4. Slide these stops around, past and over each other, or drag in more or different colors, until you have what you like (your efforts will be reflected in your selected object, so keep an eye on that -- and btw, make sure you are editing the fill and not the outline of the object -- I do this accidentally all the time). (And don't forget, you can play with angles while you're at it, but you really won't notice that result unless you do have an object selected where you are watching the development of your swatch, so be sure to make your working object big enough to tell what you're doing.)
                            5. Once you have developed a swatch, and like what you see in your selected/working object, right-click on the thumbnail in the Gradient Swatch Tool palette (it should have been changing all along as you created your gradient) and choose "Add to Swatches" (that's the only option when you right-click anyway). In this palette, this is equivalent to "OK."
                            6. Now your new swatch is in your gradient swatch color palette.
                            7. To quickly create the mirror image of it, draw a freestanding object (rectangle, etc.) and apply your new gradient. (You may still have your working object selected, in which case, you can use that.)
                            8. With your object selected, again open your Gradient Swatch Tool (if it is not still open), which should reflect the gradient in your selected object (in this case, the one you just created and saved).
                            9. Click the "Reverse" option in the palette, again right-click on the thumbnail and again select Add to Swatches. I usually call my reversed gradient by the same name as the previous one and just add "Rev" onto the end of it.


                            Now you have two new gradients, customized to your liking. These can also be the basis for other gradients, if you drag them over the "New Swatch" button at the bottom of the Swatches panel. You can edit them the same way as before, opening the Gradient Swatch Tool and applying to an object while you play with them, then saving with a new name.


                            Oh, and don't miss the cool effects you can get by also applying Directional Feathering (under the Objects>Effects> menu) to your gradient. You can create it and then, using directional feathering to fade it from various directions, can use it as a partial fill instead of a complete one. Of course, you can just put white on one end of your gradient and create that same effect. But for on the fly and if you don't want to alter your gradient or create a new one, Directional Feathering is very handy.


                            I hope this helps.

                            • 11. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")




                              • 12. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")


                                SHOUTY STUDENT your caps are too much. You can't just wade into Indesign and expect it all to work, you need to learn the interface. Applying a gradient to an object isn't difficult, and some of the people here have tried to help - sorry if it's TOO COMPLICATED. Check you have the stroke and fill options selected appropriately (make sure you have the fill one selected,) and choose  or draw an object like a rectangle to view it as you build it, and no clashing object styles. If you don't like black to white click on the colour in the slider and change it or drag a colour in from your swatches. Once you've made the gradient you like, drag it from the gradient to the swatches panel and you should be able to apply it to whatever object you want.


                                My problem is similar but i'm starting to suspect there's no easy fix - I have a cell style for table Header rows set up for this big directory I'm working on, and I'd like to apply a a vertical (90 degree) gradient to just that cell style so every instance of it changes but the rest of the table and contents of those text boxes remain unchanged. I can get as far as having the gradient in there but can't figure out how to make it a 90 degree gradient (high to low, rather than left to right) without individually dragging the gradient tool south through every row individually - which sucks, because this is a 300 page directory! I won't have time before we go to print. You can't apply an object style to a table cell can you (?), and you can't save a gradient swatch in an orientation other than left to right can you?

                                So is there a workaround for this I wonder, or if I'm wasting my time and need to alter the design please I'd rather know now!?

                                many thanks


                                • 13. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                  Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  @Grebe – I think, you are wasting your time (and losing your mind), if you want to control gradients in table cells.


                                  Apply a gradient to a cell, use the Gradient Tool to make it 90° from top to bottom. Everything is looking fine.

                                  Then add some new table rows below. Blam! The gradient fill of untouched cells has changed.


                                  Step 1 of going mad with gradients in table cells; everything is looking perfect after dragging the Gradient Tool from top to bottom of a selected row using a gradient from 100 Cyan to 0 Cyan:




                                  Step 2: The same table just after adding two rows below (Arrrgh!):





                                  • 14. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                    Eavisgrebe Level 1

                                    Hi UWE. Many thanks - I think you're right, and it's a shame - I'll have to think of a new design as this directory is already built and populated almost entirely with tables. I'm using CS5.5 - have Adobe fixed this nuisance in later versions?



                                    • 15. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")

                                      Just so you know. You are not crazy and I am having the same problem.

                                      • 16. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                        X1-Bot Level 1

                                        Good to see that 5 years later and the gradient interface is still a confusing piece of #$#@. They really want you to use illustrator to make this kind of thing.

                                        • 17. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          It's probably confusing because you're not willing to learn how it works!


                                          It's almost identical between InDesign and Illustrator. INDESIGN below:


                                          InDesign CC341.png

                                          ILLUSTRATOR below:


                                          Adobe Illustrator CC 2017006.png

                                          • 18. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                            Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            Incidentally, Illustrator came first, and InDesign copied Illustrator's Gradient panel interface to make it familiar to Illustrator users.

                                            • 19. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Hi Steve,

                                              the real problem is using linear gradients that are rotated with table cells.
                                              And not with doing gradients on regular objects like rectangles, ovals, polygons or text frames.


                                              See my post #13 in this thread above.



                                              • 20. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                                Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                Hi X1-Bot ,


                                                Do you mean the usage of applying gradients to table cells?
                                                Yes. This is a big problem. But otherwise? I don't think, that Illustrator's interface for handling gradients is so much better…
                                                Though, I admit that I did not see into this the last few versions of Illy.



                                                • 21. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                                  X1-Bot Level 1

                                                  It's more a rant related to the original post. If you spend a lot of time working in illustrator with gradients and then switch to indesign the swatch colours work differently. In illustrator you get a swatch selection popup if you double click on a colour in the gradient window. In indesign it simply highlights the swatch that has already been applied. So then it seems like it is suggesting that you can change the colour of your gradient by selecting a different swatch in the swatch palette. But click on a different colour there and it will just erase your gradient swatch and apply a flat swatch. Anyhow my explanation is probably not making sense.

                                                  • 22. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                                    X1-Bot Level 1

                                                    Try actually using those windows you took a screenshot. Click on the colours. Trust me I did learn how to use them which is why I ended up ranting here. The fact the windows look the same is WHY they are confusing. It implies they should function in a similar way. But they don't. It's not the end of the world. But it is confusing.




                                                    • 23. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                                      Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      I teach both InDesign and Illustrator classes. Illustrator has been around longer (since 1987!) than InDesign. And it's used more for gradients then InDesign is. The Illustrator team has added some additional enhancements for the Gradient panel and the Gradient tool that the InDesign team has not. That's the main reason they differ. Hang in there!

                                                      • 24. Re: Gradients in CS5 InDesign ("How the...")
                                                        jane-e Adobe Community Professional



                                                        When many of us who are answering started using these programs, they were all stand alone applications. When Creative Suite came out, Adobe tried to standardize somewhat, but all the applications have different teams and they develop separately.


                                                        As an example, when InDesign came out and had gradients on strokes, people screamed and said, we need gradients on strokes in Illustrator! Far too many years later (imho), Illustrator got gradients in strokes and also three ways to apply them. (Yay!) InDesign was then behind because there is only one way.


                                                        Please put in a feature request. Both applications could stand a little improvement! The engineering team will read the feature requests. They will not read these posts.