You can apply a gradient (otherwise known as a blend or vignette) to any vector object as a fill or a stroke. You can customize a gradient in many ways, including adjusting its color, angle, transparency, and shape (radial or linear).
To apply an existing gradient
Select one or more shapes or paths.
In the Properties panel, in the Appearance category, do one of the following:
To fill with a gradient, click the Fill button, or press X.
To stroke with a gradient, click the Stroke button.
Click the Gradient swatch. To use a previously made gradient swatch, select one from the Swatch library , or click the More swatches button to see more options.
If you do not want to use the gradient swatches in the Swatch library, you can modify an existing gradient or create your own.
To modify an existing gradient or create a new one
In the Properties panel, in the Appearance category, at the bottom of the Color Picker, click a gradient stop to select the gradient bar.
Use the Color Picker to change the color at this point. To apply a swatch to a selected gradient stop, hold down the ALT key when you click the swatch.
While the gradient stop is still selected, adjust the transparency at this point of the gradient by using the Stop Alpha slider. To make the point completely transparent, drag the slider to 0 percent.
To modify the gradient, do one or more of the following:
Drag the gradient stops along the gradient bar to position them.
Select a different stop to change its color and transparency settings.
Click the gradient bar to add a new gradient stop.
Remove a gradient stop from the gradient bar by dragging it away from the bar until it disappears.
Between each two gradient stops sits a midpoint marker (above the gradient bar). You can drag these midpoint markers to specify the position of the halfway mark in the transition from one color or transparency setting to another.
You can decide how your gradient is displayed.
To apply the shape of a gradient
Next to the gradient bar, click one of the following:
The Linear Gradient button creates a gradient that moves from side to side in the fill or stroke.
The Radial Gradient button creates a gradient that moves from the center to the edges of a fill or stroke.
After you apply a gradient to an object, you can modify the appearance of the blend by using the Fill Transform tool, the Gradient Transform tool, or the Fill Transform menu. For more information, see Transform gradients.
You can also save your gradients as swatches to use them again later. For more information, see Use color and gradient swatches.