Gradient

Replacing Art Panel

Gradiator

Gradiator Panel

Gradiator Panel Flyout Menu

Gradient Forge

Gradient Forge Panel

Gradient Forge Panel Flyout Menu

Gradient and Pattern Pickers

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > FindReplace Art

For attributes which specify a gradient or pattern (such as a path stroke or fill), clicking on the color chip will being up the corresponding picker dialog.

FindReplace Art Gradient Picker

FindReplace Art Gradient Picker

FindReplace Art Pattern Picker

FindReplace Art Pattern Picker

In the Gradient Picker, Swatch gradients only controls whether only gradients that have associated swatches are shown in the list (there are often many unnamed gradients defined but not available as a swatch).

In the Pattern Picker, Swatch patterns only controls whether only patterns that have associated swatches are shown in the list.

Gradiator Panel

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator

Menu items to show and hide the Gradiator panel can be found in the main menu under Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator.

Gradiator Panel Overview

Gradiator Panel Overview

1. Gradiator Panel Flyout Menu

See Gradiator Panel: Flyout Menu

2. Panel banner

The help button on the right opens the help documentation in the Astute Manager. If this does not automatically appear, please ensure your Astute Manager is running first.

3.4. Selection and Origin Point Specification

See Gradiator Panel: Selection and Origin Point Specification

5.6.7.8. Length, Angle, Fit and Aspect Ratio Specifications

See Gradiator Panel: Length, Angle, Fit and Aspect Ratio Specifications

9. Capture/ Apply area

See Gradiator Panel: Capture/ Apply area

10. Transform Matrix Section

See Gradiator Panel: Transform Matrix Section

11. Function Buttons

See Gradiator Panel: Function Buttons

Selection and Origin Point Specification

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator

Selection Specification

Specifies which gradients to operate on: those on the fills of the selected paths, those on the strokes, or both. Clicking on the Fill or Stroke area toggles its selection state. Previews of the gradient present in each area are shown; if multiple, different gradients are selected, the corresponding area will show “Mixed gradients”.

Origin Point Specification

Lets you specify the origin point of the selected gradients either by entering the coordinates numerically, or, after clicking the icon on the right side, by using a tool to click on the artboard to specify the position.

The first time you change the origin point of a linear gradient, Gradiator will display a message reminding you that a linear gradient’s origin is always adjusted by Illustrator so it lies on a line passing through the center of the path’s bounding box (this behavior is also apparent when using the native Gradient tool). You can suppress this message from coming up again by clicking the Don’t show again checkbox. To restore this and other messages and warnings, see Gradiator Panel: Flyout Menu.

Gradiator Panel Warning Dialog

Gradiator Panel Warning Dialog

To center the gradient’s origin, Shift-click the crosshair icon on the left. To set a gradient’s center rather than its origin when clicking with the origin setter tool, hold down Shift before clicking. After clicking, the tool will switch back to the previously-selected tool.

Length, Angle, Fit and Aspect Ratio Specifications

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator

Length/Radius Specification

Allows you to numerically specify the length (for linear gradients) or radius (for radial gradients) of the selected gradients.

Gradiator Panel Change Length Example

Gradiator Panel Change Length Example

By default, the length is adjusted from the origin (i.e., the left side, for linear gradients with no rotation). To adjust the length from the middle of the gradient, enable the preference Adjust Linear Gradient Lengths From Center (see Gradiator Preferences).

Note that Illustrator places lower limits on the length of a gradient. Specifically, it cannot be less than 0.1% of the default (fitted) length. A warning message will be displayed if the gradient length could not be changed to the length specified.

Fit to Path Button

The Fit to Path button resets the length (and origin) of each gradient to the default values that Illustrator assigns whenever the path’s geometry is edited, causing linear gradients to precisely stretch across the entire bounds of the path.

Gradiator Panel Fit to Path Example

Gradiator Panel Fit to Path Example

For radial gradients, the default fit is more complicated: its radius is set to half the hypotenuse of the bounding box divided by the square root of 2.

Angle Specification

By default, the Gradiator panel angle control is in Absolute mode; i.e., the value you enter becomes the gradient’s new angle (the same as the native Gradient panel). However, either through the preferences or by Option/Alt-clicking on the angle icon, you can change this mode to Relative. In this mode (indicated by a change in icon), the value specified is added to the current angle of each gradient when the now-visible Change button is clicked.

Gradiator Panel Relative Angle Section

Gradiator Panel Relative Angle Section

Holding Shift when clicking the Change button has the effect of reversing the sign of the angle value (thereby causing the gradient to rotate in the opposite direction).

Aspect Ratio Specification

This control is only enabled when a radial gradient is present in the selection. Unlike the native gradient panel, you can change the aspect ratio of all selected radial gradients even if there are linear gradients also present in the selection.

Capture/Apply Area

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator

Available when a single gradient is selected, the Capture button allows you to effectively take a “snapshot” of the gradient; this snapshot can then subsequently be applied to any other paths, or to the same path after it has been edited. Crucially, the gradient retains its absolute position, allowing you to effortlessly line up a single gradient across several separate paths, or to return a gradient to the position it was in before the path was changed.

Gradiator Panel Apply Gradient Example

Gradiator Panel Apply Gradient Example

If Shift is held down when the Apply button is clicked, only the captured gradient’s length and origin will be applied to the selected gradients.

Transform Matrix Section

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator

When a path with a gradient fill or stroke is subsequently transformed (scaled, rotated, or sheared), the gradient internally stores this transform using a mathematical construct called a matrix. This can lead to several issues. For example, if the path’s geometry is modified by certain Pathfinder operations, Illustrator resets the transform matrix, causing the gradient’s angle to change. Also, if the transform is non-uniform (caused by shearing or the equivalent rotation plus non-uniform scaling), the numerical values of the gradient’s length, angle and aspect ratio will not always agree with its visual appearance, even though the displayed values are technically correct in a mathematical sense. For these reasons, it is generally preferable to keep artwork free of transform matrices.

The Transform Matrix Alert icon is displayed whenever at least one gradient in the current selection has a transform matrix. Also displayed is the Reset button, which will remove each transform matrix from the selected gradients.

Gradiator Panel Reset Gradient Example

Gradiator Panel Reset Gradient Example

When Reset is used on a linear gradient, the gradient’s position is retained. Unfortunately, this is generally not possible with radial gradients. As a convenience, holding down Shift when clicking the Reset button will also reset the angle to 0°.

Function Buttons

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator

a. Distribute Stops Button: Adjusts the positions of the selected gradients’ stops (except for the first and last) so that there is equal space between them, and sets all midpoints to a location of 50%. To retain the midpoints’ positions, hold Shift when clicking the button. To use an eased distribution, where the space between stops gradually increases or decreases, hold Option/Alt which clicking.

Gradiator Panel  Distribute Stops Example

Gradiator Panel Distribute Stops Example

b. Reverse Gradient Button: Reverses the stop positions of the selected gradients. Unlike the native Gradient panel, you can do this even when there is a mix of different gradients selected.

Gradiator Panel Reverse Gradient Example

Gradiator Panel Reverse Gradient Example

c. Rotate Colors Left Button: Changes the colors of the selected gradients’ stops so the color of each stop is moved one stop to the left (and the color of the last stop becomes the color of the first stop). This, therefore, has the effect of rotating the colors to the left.

d. Rotate Colors Right Button: Changes the colors of the selected gradients’ stops so the color of each stop is moved one stop to the right (and the color of the first stop becomes the color of the last stop). This, therefore, has the effect of rotating the colors to the right.

Gradiator Panel Rotate Gradient Example

Gradiator Panel Rotate Gradient Example

e. Randomize Color Order Button: Randomizes the order of the colors of the selected gradients’ stops. The positions of the stops themselves are not changed. A new random seed is used on each press of the button, which usually results in a different look.

Gradiator Panel Randomize Example

Gradiator Panel Randomize Example

Flat Color to Gradient

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator > Panel Flyout Menu

Allows you to convert the fills and/or strokes of the selected paths from flat colors into two-stop linear gradients, according to the parameters in the Flat Color to Gradient dialog:

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Dialog Defaults

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Dialog Defaults

A. Color Adjustment Method

Specifies the method that is used to create the color of the first (or second) stop of the new gradient based on the flat color. Five of the methods — Retain, Lighten, Darken, Saturate, and Desaturate — are “presets” (although their underlying parameters can be altered), while the other two, Alter Black and Custom, require numerical parameters to be entered. The default method for the first stop is Lighten; for the second stop it is Darken.

a. Retain: The stop color is identical to the original color.
b. Lighten: The stop color is a lightened version of the original color (default change: +40 Lightness).
c. Darken: The stop color is a darkened version of the original color (default change: –40 Lightness).
d. Saturate: The stop color is a saturated version of the original color (default change: +25 Saturation). e. Desaturate: The stop color is desaturated version of the original color (default change: –25 Saturation).

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Preset Examples

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Preset Examples

f. Alter Black: Available only for CMYK documents. The stop color uses the original color with the black value changed by the specified amount (the final value, of course, being held between 0% and 100%).

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Alter Black Example

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Alter Black Example

g. Custom: Enables full control of changing the Hue, Lightness and Saturation of the original color.

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Dialog Custom

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Dialog Custom

By default the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders operate in standard HSL color space, but using the popup menu you can change this to use the HSLuv space. This is indicated by a small icon.

B. Opacity

Specifies the opacity of the first (or second) stop of the gradient.

C. Midpoint

Specifies the midpoint location of the gradient.

D. Angle mode

Specifies the method used to determine the angle of the new gradient. The default is Absolute.

a. Absolute: The gradient angle is simply taken from the provided value.
b. Relative: The gradient angle is the same as the angle from one anchor point in the path to another, using the anchor point indices provided. This can be useful if you are converting the flat colors of many paths that are the same except for their rotation.

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Angle Relative Example

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Angle Relative Example

c. Random: The angle is randomly chosen between –180° and 180°.

E. Angle (Absolute)

The value that each new gradient will be given.

F. Angle (Absolute) Visualizer

Shows the angle that each new gradient will be given, graphically. Clicking on the widget will set the angle appropriately.

G, H. Angle (Relative) Anchor Point Indices

The indices of the anchor points in each path from which to calculate the gradient angle. To specify the last anchor point, you can use an index higher than the length of any selected path, such as “9999”.

I, J. Affect Fills/Affect Strokes Checkboxes

Enables conversion of flat colors in the corresponding area of the path.

K. Convert Spot Colors Checkbox

When enabled, spot colors used as a fill or stroke will be converted to the document color model (RGB or CMYK) in order to perform the appropriate color adjustment.

L. “Before” Preview

Shows a sample flat color (taken from the selection) before being converted to a gradient. To cycle through different colors in the selection (if any), click on the preview.

M. “After” Preview

Shows a preview of the gradient into which the sample flat color will be converted.

N. Informational area

Shows a brief description of each control when the cursor is being held over it.

O. Edit Presets... Button

Allows you to change the parameters used in each of the six preset operations:

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Presets Dialog

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Presets Dialog

P. Settings Manager

The Settings Manager popup menu provides access to saving, managing, and applying Flat Color to Gradient settings.

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Settings Manager Menu

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Settings Manager Menu

a. Save Settings...

When you save the settings, all of the current settings in the dialog are captured in a file which can be recalled later.

b. Manage Settings...

Brings up the Manage Settings dialog, which lets you rename or delete existing settings files:

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Manage Settings Dialog

Gradiator Flat Color to Gradient Manage Settings Dialog

c. Settings List

Choosing a settings file from this list will change the settings to match the state of the dialog when the settings file was saved (or, the case of [Default Settings], to the default values).

Gradients to Flat Color

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator > Panel Flyout Menu

Allows you to converts the gradients in the fills and/or strokes of selected paths to flat colors using one of three different methods.

Gradiator Gradient to Flat Color Dialog

Gradiator Gradient to Flat Color Dialog

A. Use Color of Stop at Index

The flat color is simply taken from the color of the gradient stop with the given index (starting at zero). To specify the last stop, you can use an index higher than the number of stops in any of the selected path, such as “9999”.

B. Average Color of All Stops

The flat color is calculated by averaging the colors of all the stops in the gradient. When spot colors are used, they are converted to the document color model (RGB or CMYK) for the purposes of averaging. Stops which do not contribute to the gradient (e.g., a stop at location 0% when there is a second stop stacked directly above it) are not included in the average.

C. Average Visible Pixels

The flat color is calculated by rasterizing the art and averaging the colors of the pixels making up the fill or stroke. Thus, when you can only see a portion of the gradient (because its length has been changed by the Gradiator panel or native Gradient tool), only the portion of the gradient that is actually visible contributes to the flat color.

Gradiator Gradient to Flat Color Methods

Gradiator Gradient to Flat Color Methods

D, E. Affect Fills/Affect Strokes Checkboxes

Enables conversion of gradients in the corresponding area of the path.

F. Informational area

Shows a brief description of each control when the cursor is being held over it.

Gradient Fill to Lines

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator > Panel Flyout Menu

Converts the gradient in the fill of a path into a group of simple lines with the same angle as the gradient, located at the stop positions of the gradient, and having stroke colors corresponding to the stops. If the path has a stroke, the lines use the same stroke width; otherwise, they are made with 1pt strokes. If Shift is held down before the menu is opened and the menu item is selected, the item will change to “Gradient Fill to LInes (Keep Original). In this case the original art is retained behind the newly-created lines.

Gradiator Gradient Fill to Lines Example

Gradiator Gradient Fill to Lines Example

These lines may be used for creative purposes or can be duplicated and/or manipulated and turned back into a new gradient using the Build Gradient From Lines function of Astute Graphics’ Gradient Forge panel. For the latter use, it is generally advisable to have the gradient at a zero-degree angle.

Actionability

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradiator

The following operations can be recorded and played back as Actions:

  1. Gradient to Flat Color (panel menu item)

  2. Flat Color to Gradient (panel menu item)

  3. Fit To Path (panel button)

  4. Change Angle (panel value field)

  5. Distribute Stops (panel button)

  6. Reverse Gradient (panel button)

  7. Rotate Colors Left (panel button)

  8. Rotate Colors Right (panel button)

  9. Randomize Color Order (panel button)

Gradient Forge Panel

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Menu items to show and hide the Gradient Forge panel can be found in the main menu under Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge.

Gradient Forge Panel

Gradient Forge Panel

1. Flyout Menu

See Gradient Forge Panel: Flyout Menu

2. Panel Banner

The help button on the right opens the help documentation in the Astute Manager. If this does not automatically appear, please ensure your Astute Manager is running first.

3.4.5.6. Source, Type, Editing and Preview

See Gradient Forge Panel: Source, Type, Editing and Preview

7. Pocket Area

See Gradient Forge Panel: Pocket Area

8. Editing Area

See Gradient Forge Panel: Editing Area

9.10. Location and Opacity Values

See Gradient Forge Panel: Location and Opacity Values

11.12.13.14. Snapping and Deleting

See Gradient Forge Panel: Snapping and Deleting

15. Select Section

See Gradient Forge Panel: Select Section

16. Adjust Positions Section

See Gradient Forge Panel: Adjust Point Section

17. Set Colors

See Gradient Forge Panel: Set Colors/ Adjust Colors Section

Source, Type, Editing and Preview

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Gradient Source

Indicates the source of the gradient currently being edited. This may be the selected swatch, the selected art’s fill, or the selected art’s stroke. If the selected artwork has a gradient in both the fill and the stroke, a popup menu will be displayed allowing you to switch between the two.

Type Popup

Changes the active gradient between linear and radial. Option/Alt-clicking the “Type:” label is a fast way to switch the menu between its two values.

Editing Mode Popup

Determines how changes to a gradient are applied. Instance Only mode (the default) acts similarly to the native Gradient panel: edits to the gradient are only applied to the selected artwork. If the gradient is used elsewhere, it remains unchanged. Therefore, a new gradient is created. But in Global mode, changes are immediately applied to the gradient wherever it appears in the document, including all art objects (regardless of selection, locked or hidden status); symbols; swatches, etc. Because this powerful functionality can also cause unintended changes if you are not aware of how it works, a tip dialog will be displayed the first time the Editing Mode is changed to Global. Enabling the Don’t show again setting will keep the dialog from showing again (unless tips and warnings are reset; see Gradient Forge: Flyout Menu).

When editing a swatch gradient with no gradient art selected, the setting is hidden, because swatch editing is always done in Global mode.

Live Preview

When enabled, changing the active gradient by dragging (such as moving, duplicating, or deleting gradient stops) causes the affected art to be updated in real time. Because Illustrator gives priority to artboard redraw, this may cause some lag in the redraw of the panel interface elements.

Pocket Area

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Allows you to make and store up to sixty “snapshots” of the active gradient. These “pocket gradients” are retained even if you switch documents or quit and restart Illustrator.

Gradient Forge Panel Pocket Gradient Area

Gradient Forge Panel Pocket Gradient Area

A. Snapshot Button

When there is an active gradient in the main editing area, clicking the snapshot button copies it to the corresponding pocket slot. If there is already a gradient in the pocket, a dialog will come up to confirm that you want to overwrite the existing gradient. To avoid this dialog, hold Option/Alt when clicking on the button.

B. Pocket Gradient

Each pocket displays a small preview of the gradient it contains. When the cursor is passed over the preview (or the buttons to the left and right of it), the gradient’s stops and midpoints are also temporarily displayed. To delete the pocket gradient, Shift-click on it.

C. Insert/Save Button

Inserts the corresponding pocket gradient into the selected stops of the active gradient, or, if no stops are selected, replaces the entire active gradient. Insertion is only valid when the selected stops are contiguous. If the pocket gradient has stops at both ends (at positions 0% and 100%), then the outer selected stops in the main gradient are replaced by the end stops of the pocket gradient. Otherwise, they are retained and only the inner stops are replaced.

Gradient Forge Panel Insert Pocket Example

Gradient Forge Panel Insert Pocket Example

If the button is Shift-clicked, the pocket gradient is saved to a gradient swatch. A dialog will appear letting you specify the name of the new swatch. You can save a pocket gradient to a gradient swatch as long as a document is open, even if the Insert/Save button is grayed out.

Editing Area

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

This is the main area, which displays the active gradient and allows you to manipulate its stops and midpoints as with the native Gradient panel. However, unlike the native panel, you can select and operate on multiple stops or midpoints.

Gradient Forge Panel Editing Area

Gradient Forge Panel Editing Area

A. Unselected Stop

Can be made selected by dragging the marquee over it, or clicking on it. Shift-clicking or dragging inverts the selection, as per the Illustrator artboard.

B. Marquee

Dragging the cursor starting from an empty spot in the editing area creates a marquee which is used to select either midpoints or stops.

C. Selected Stop

Distinguished by a hollow blue highlight around it. While some of the function buttons will work with no stops selected (and, in general, then act as if all the stops were selected), other functions, such as setting the location/opacity value or the delete button, require there to be a stop selection.

D. Stacked Stops

Unlike the native Gradient panel, Gradient Forge lets you see stops which are “on top of each other”, i.e., have the same location value. Stacked stops create a hard edge in the gradient, and can be used to create stripes. Stops can be stacked to any depth, but only the first and last contribute to changing the color. Just as stop order proceeds from left to right, stacked stops should be read from bottom to top. In the example shown, the second, orange stop blends to the black stop; the color then changes abruptly to dark red, and then blends to the lighter orange of the right-hand stop.

E. Gradient Preview

F. Spot Color Stop

Stops with spot colors are indicated by the small triangular badge at lower right with a dot (similar to swatches).

G. Midpoint

As per the native Gradient panel; indicates the midpoint of the gradient between stops to its left and right. Selected midpoints are solid while unselected ones are hollow.

H. Global Color Stop

Stops with global colors are indicated by the small triangular badge at lower right (similar to swatches).

I. Ruler

Indicates the positions to which stops are snapped when snapping is enabled (up to 1.0% snapping increments; 0.5% increments are not shown).

J. Opacity Grid

Per the native Gradient panel; the opacity grid is drawn below the gradient, and therefore shows areas where the gradient’s color is not fully opaque.

K. Stop With Opacity

Stops with non-100% opacity are indicated by a small checkered badge below. This is useful for spotting opacities that close to but not exactly 100% (and would therefore leave the opacity grid almost invisible).

Editing Area: Midpoint Operations

Midpoints may be repositioned by dragging them. When a single midpoint is selected, it may be reset to its default 50% location by doubleclicking it.

Editing Area: Stop Operations

Stops may be repositioned by dragging them. If the stops are dragged far enough below the gradient preview, they will deleted when the mouse button is released (as per the native Gradient panel). Various modifier keys can by used when dragging stops to change functionality:

Shift: “Ripples” the locations of unselected stops, i.e. moves them proportionally in the drag direction. This essentially stretches the gradient around the selected stops, retaining stop order:

Gradient Forge Panel Stop Drag Modifiers Example 1

Gradient Forge Panel Stop Drag Modifiers Example 1

Option/Alt: Duplicates the dragged stop(s), as per the native Gradient panel.

Command/Ctrl: Temporarily disables snapping, if enabled (see below).

Space: Applicable only when a contiguous selection of two or more stops is being dragged by either the first or last stop in the selection; scales the selected stops proportionally (in effect, stretching them out or together). Can be combined with Shift to ripple the other stops.

Gradient Forge Panel Stop Drag Modifiers Example 2

Gradient Forge Panel Stop Drag Modifiers Example 2

By default, clicking just below the gradient preview will add a new stop at the clicked position, with its color and opacity automatically set to match that of the gradient at that position (interpolating adjacent stops). If you find yourself accidentally adding stops, you may enable the preference Require Option/Alt to Add New Stop (see Gradient Forge: Preferences). In that case, you must hold down Option/Alt when clicking in order to add a new stop. After the stop is added it may immediately be dragged.

Location and Opacity Values

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Location Value

As per the native Gradient panel; allows you to specify the absolute position of the selected stop(s), or the relative location of selected midpoint(s). Midpoint locations can range between 13% and 87%.

Opacity Value

As per the native Gradient panel; allows you to specify the opacity of the selected stop(s).

Snapping and Deleting

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Delete Button

As per the native Gradient panel; deletes the selected stop(s), with the limitation that gradients must contain at least two stops.

Snap Checkbox and Value

When enabled, the dragged stop will have its location snapped to multiples of the Snap Value (0.5%, 1%, 2%, 5%, or 10%), except when it is being snapped to a centerpoint. Unselected stops, when rippled, are not snapped. If multiple stops are being dragged, their “non-snap” locations are calculated and then rounded to the nearest snap location. Thus the spacing between dragged stops may change if they were unsnapped to begin with. To snap selected stops without dragging them, see Adjust Positions Section: Snap Button. To temporarily disable snapping, hold down the Command/Ctrl key when dragging a stop.

Snap to Centers Checkbox

When enabled, the dragged stop will snap to locations that are halfway between the stops on either side of it, with magenta arrow annotations indicating this. Snapping to a centerpoint takes precedence over the grid snapping (i.e., the center snap value may not lie on the current snap grid).

Select Section

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Contains controls which select stops or change the current selection.

Gradient Forge Panel Select Section

Gradient Forge Panel Select Section

A. Select All Button

Selects all the stops in the gradient. If Option/Alt is held, every other stop (starting with the first) is selected instead.

B. Select Inverse Button

Inverts the stop selection (stops which were selected become unselected, and vice versa).

C. Select Previous Button

Selects the previous stop(s), wrapping around the end of the gradient if necessary. To extend the selection, hold Shift when clicking the button.

D. Select Next Button

Selects the next stop(s), wrapping around the end of the gradient if necessary. To extend the selection, hold Shift when clicking the button.

E. Select Same Color Button

Selects all stops with the same color as the selected stop. If multiple stops are selected, all of their colors are included in the matching.

F. Select Same Opacity Button

Selects all stops with the same opacity as the selected stop. If multiple stops are selected, all of their opacity values are included in the matching.

Adjust Positions Section

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Contains controls which change the positions of one or more stops.

Gradient Forge Panel Adjust Positions Section

Gradient Forge Panel Adjust Positions Section

A. Distribute Button

Available when three or more contiguous stops are selected (or when no stops are selected, in which case it acts as all stops are selected); distributes their positions equally. The first and last selected stops are not moved. If Option/Alt is held, a dialog is shown allowing you to specify an eased distribution. In this case the stops are not distributed evenly, but gradually get closer together or further apart.

Gradient Forge Panel Distribute Stops Example

Gradient Forge Panel Distribute Stops Example

B. Reverse Gradient Button

Available when two or more contiguous stops are selected (or when no stops are selected, in which case it acts as all stops are selected); reverse the order of the stops, as per the native Gradient panel Reverse Gradient button. Affected midpoints will have their locations inverted to keep the look of the gradient identical.

C. Snap Button

Snaps all selected stop locations to multiples of the Snap Value.

D. Crop Button

Available when the stop selection is contiguous (or, when no stops are selected, if the first stop is not at 0% or the last stop is not at 100%); removes all unselected stops and scales the remaining stops such that the gradient runs full-length (0% to 100%).

Gradient Forge Panel Crop Example

Gradient Forge Panel Crop Example

E. Mirror Button

Mirrors the entire gradient along its right-hand side. Stop selection is ignored.

Gradient Forge Panel Mirror Example

Gradient Forge Panel Mirror Example

F. Move Left Button

Moves the selected stops’ locations to the left by the amount specified in the Move Value. Holding Shift moves them by ten times the specified value. Once a stop reaches the start of the gradient, it (and any additionally selected stops) cannot be moved any further left.

G. Move Value

The amount by which selected stops are moved using the Move Left and Move Right buttons.

H. Move Right Button

Moves the selected stops’ locations to the right by the amount specified in the Move Value. Holding Shift moves them by ten times the specified value. Once a stop reaches the end of the gradient, it (and any additionally selected stops) cannot be moved any further right.

Set Colors/Adjust Colors Section

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Contains controls which set or adjust the colors of selected stops. To switch between Set Colors and Adjust Colors, click the header text.

Gradient Forge Panel Set Adjust Colors Section

Gradient Forge Panel Set Adjust Colors Section

A. Swatch List

Shows all of the flat color swatches (i.e., no gradients or patterns) in the document. Each swatch’s name is shown below the grid when the cursor is hovered over it. Clicking on a swatch will change the color of the selected stop(s). Holding Option/Alt while clicking automatically advances the stop selection to the right after recoloring. A swatch may be dragged upwards into the Editing Area just below the gradient preview to add a new stop or recolor an existing stop without having to select it first.

B. Swatch Scroll Arrows

If more 42 swatches exist, these arrows are enabled, allowing you to scroll the list up or down to reveal additional rows of swatches.

C. Color Sliders

Similar to the native Color panel; display and allow editing of the color of the currently selected stop(s). When a global or spot color is being edited, the single slider specifies the tint of the color.

D. Color Value Inputs

Reflect the same color values as displayed in the sliders but allow precise numeric input of these values.

E. Color Model Popup Menu

Available when all selected stops have colors using the same color model; allows switching the color model for editing the color(s), choosing between Grayscale, RGB, HSB, HSLuv, and CMYK. Unlike the native Color panel, switching the color model will immediately convert the color(s) to the chosen model, which may change the color when the gamut of the new color model does not include the original color.

F. Rotate Colors Left/Right Button

Changes the colors of the selected stops (or all stops, if no stops are selected) so the color of each stop is moved one stop to the left/right (wrapping around for the end stops). This, therefore, has the effect of rotating the colors either to the left or right. The positions of the stops themselves are not changed.

Gradient Forge Panel Rotate Example

Gradient Forge Panel Rotate Example

G. Randomize Color Order Button

Randomizes the order of the colors of the selected stops (or all stops, if no stops are selected). The positions of the stops themselves are not changed. A new random seed is used on each press of the button, which usually results in a different look.

Gradient Forge Panel Randomize Example

Gradient Forge Panel Randomize Example

H. HLS Sliders

Control the Hue, Lightness and Saturation values which modify the colors of the selected stops when the Adjust button is pressed. While the sliders are dragged, the gradient preview will change in real-time to show what the color would look like with the current adjustment. The H, S and L labels may be clicked to reset each corresponding value to zero.

I. HLS Value Inputs

Reflect the same values that are displayed in the HLS Sliders, but allow precise numeric input of these values. Hue change can vary from -180 to 180; Lightness and Saturation can vary from -100 to 100.

J. HLS Popup Menu

Allows you to use the HSLuv color space instead of the default HSL colorspace (see https://www.hsluv.org).

K. HLSuv Indicator

When visible, indicates that the HSLuv color space is being used.

L. Adjust Button

Applies the adjustment specified by the HSL values to the color(s) of the selected stop(s) (or all stops, if no stops are selected). Stops with spot colors are not affected. When the cursor is hovered over the button, the gradient preview will change to show what the color(s) would look like after adjustment with the current values, but the gradient will not actually be changed until the button is pressed.

Swatches to Gradient

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge > Panel Flyout Menu

Available when one or more swatches are selected in the native Swatches panel (and no gradient artwork is selected). The menu item brings up a dialog showing the gradient that would be created with equally-spaced stops from each selected flat-color or gradient swatch:

Gradient Forge Panel Swatches to Gradient

Gradient Forge Panel Swatches to Gradient

A. Swatch Name

The user-specified name of the new gradient swatch.

B. Reverse Order Checkbox

Reverses the order of the stops.

C. Linear/Radial Buttons

Specify whether the new gradient will be linear or radial.

D. Preview Area

Previews the new gradient with the current settings.

E. Save Button

Saves the new gradient as a swatch when clicked; the new swatch is automatically selected and displayed in the Gradient Forge panel, and can be edited further.

Artwork Fills to Gradient

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge > Panel Flyout Menu

Similar to Swatches to Gradient..., but uses the fill colors of the selected artwork rather than swatches to determine the stop colors. The stacking order of the artwork determines the order of the stops. If any fill has a non-100% opacity value, this is retained in the resulting stop.

Gradient Forge Panel Artwork Fills to Gradient

Gradient Forge Panel Artwork Fills to Gradient

Build Gradient From Lines

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge > Panel Flyout Menu

Creates a new gradient (saved as a swatch, with the same dialog as the previous two functions) from a selection of vertical, stroked two-point paths, with the leftmost line representing the first stop, the rightmost line representing the last stop, and the relative distances between the lines preserved as distances between stops. Stroke weight is ignored. The paths may have been manually created, or may be the result of using the Gradiator panel’s Gradient Fill to Lines function. Lines which are at the same horizontal position will be stacked in the resulting gradient.

Gradient Forge Panel Build Gradient from Lines Example

Gradient Forge Panel Build Gradient from Lines Example