Create and modify gradients

A gradient is a graduated blend between two or more colors or tints of the same color or different colors. You can use gradients to create color blends, add volume to vector objects, and add a light and shadow effect to your designs.

XD supports linear and radial gradients.

Linear gradient

XD shades from the starting point to the ending point in a straight line.

Radial gradient

XD shades from the starting point to the ending point in a circular pattern.

The Gradient color picker

To access the Gradient color picker in XD, select an object, and click Fill in the Property Inspector. You can create linear or radial gradients in XD.

Choose Linear Gradient or Radial Gradient from the drop-down list at the top of the color picker.

The Gradient Color Picker
The Gradient Color Picker
A. Gradient editor B. Color stop C. Opacity slider D. Color field E. Save as swatch F. On-canvas gradient editor 

You can use the Gradient color picker to choose the colors and set the opacity for gradients.

The Gradient color picker has a gradient editor that shows a quick preview of all the colors used in a gradient. Checkerboards indicate the transparent parts.

The gradient editor also displays the color stops in a gradient. Small circles indicate the color stops. The colors change and mix depending on how close the color stops are to each other. The color stops are also displayed in the on-canvas gradient editor that appears on the object to which the gradient is applied. 

Two color stops are available by default. You can add more color stops by clicking the gradient editors. You can drag the color stops along the gradient editors to change the positions of the color stops and vary the spread of each color. To delete or remove a color stop, drag it away from the gradient editor in the Gradient color picker. Or, click the color stop on the on-canvas gradient editor and press Delete.

The on-canvas gradient editor helps you change the direction of the gradient.

The corner handle helps you change the origination point and angle of a radial gradient.

The slider on the right of the Gradient color picker allows you to control the opacity of the color stop.

Apply a linear or radial gradient fill

  1. Select an object and click Fill in the Property Inspector.
  2. From the color picker, select Linear Gradient or Radial Gradient from the drop-down list.
Color picker
Color picker
Color picker
Linear and radial gradient options

3. Click the color stops in the gradient editor and select the required colors using the color picker. 

  • To add more color stops, click the gradient editor.
  • To modify the color assigned to a color stop, click the color stop.
  • To move color stops, drag them along the gradient editor.
    Note: You cannot move the color stops on either end of the gradient editor.
  • To delete a color stop, drag it away from the gradient editor. If you are using the on-canvas gradient editor, click the color stop and press Delete.
  • To shift between color stops, use the Tab key.
  • To change the orientation point and the angle of radial gradients, drag the corner handle.
Working with a radial gradient
Working with a radial gradient

4. To change the direction of the gradient, drag the on-canvas gradient editor segment (on the object) as required.

You can also drag the end-points of the on-canvas gradient editor segment outside the bounds of the object. If a color stop is placed outside the bounds of an object, the color (associated with the color stop) is not shown on the object.

Note: You can move the end of the on-canvas gradient editor segment by using the arrow keys and shift-arrow keys. Once you select an inner color stop, you can move it along the segment by using the arrow keys and shift-arrow keys. You can also press Tab to change color stops along the on-canvas gradient editor. 

5. After creating a gradient, you can save it for later reuse in the Assets panel. Click an object with the gradient and click the + icon next to Colors in the Assets panel to save it.

Gradients saved in the Assets panel
Gradients saved in the Assets panel

Import objects with gradient fill

  1. Ensure that you save the file as a .svg file before importing into Adobe XD.
  2. Click File > Import, select the SVG file, and click Import.

When you import a gradient as an SVG, the color picker displays the Gradient option by default. When you copy and paste an object in XD, the gradient fill is also copied. You can modify the color and the color stops of the gradient that you import.

Note: Imported radial gradients with off-centered origin points are not editable in XD. 

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