How to Save Gradients in Photoshop

Gradients. Not only are they appealing, but they’re also fun and easy to make. And you just might be surprised what a difference they’ll make on your web page.

In a previous tutorial, we went over gradients in depth, but didn’t delve into saving the gradients. Saving a fully customized gradient will keep you from having to return to the drawing board. Instead, you can call the saved gradient to use whenever you need, and apply it to your page or an object.

Although you don’t need to create/open a document to save gradients, it’s helpful to do so if you’d like to apply the gradient once it is saved.

Saving the Gradient

Step 1: Select the Gradient tool (in the toolbox) or press G to activate it in Photoshop. Because the Gradient tool shares its space with the Paint Bucket tool, you may have to click and hold down the Paint Bucket Tool if the Gradient tool doesn’t activate right away.

Step 2: Go to the Gradient Options Bar under the menu, and click inside the Gradient Editor bar to open the Gradient Editor dialog box.

Use Gradient editor to customize colors of gradient for Web page background.

Step 3: Customize the gradient’s colors, using the color stops to select the colors you want. (See How to Create a Gradient for Your Web Page for additional help). Notice how the colors on the gradient bar change as you set each color.

Step 4: Once you are satisfied with your gradient, type a descriptive gradient name into the “Name” text field and click “New.” The new gradient is automatically added under “Presets.”

Step 5: To save the gradient permanently, click the “Save” button. This opens the Save dialog box, similar to the dialog box that appears when you save a file.

Save gradient in Photoshop presets

Step 6: Photoshop directs you to the Gradients folder. Type in your gradient’s name and click “Save.”

Reopening the Saved Gradient

Step 1: If you ever need to apply this gradient, simply reopen the Gradient Editor dialog box (by following Steps 1 and 2 from the previous section).

Step 2: Select the thumbnail under “Presets.” The gradient’s name automatically displays in the “Name” text field.

Step 3: If you don’t see the gradient you created under “Presets,” click the “Load” button. The Load dialog box (similar to the Open dialog box for files) opens.

Load saved gradients in Photoshop's gradient editor.

Step 4: Find the gradient you saved and double-click it.

Step 5: Click “OK” to close the Gradient Editor dialog box, and apply the gradient.

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