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Modify the appearance of an object by using brushes

You can change the appearance of the objects that you draw on the artboard by applying a brush and then modifying the Fill, Stroke, and OpacityMask properties of the brush.

Brushes appear in the Brush category of the Properties panel. The Fill property refers to the appearance of the inside of the rectangle object. The Stroke property refers to the border around the rectangle, and the OpacityMask property can be used to make part of the rectangle object transparent. The properties displayed in the Brushes category change depending on the type of object selected.

To modify the fill of a rectangle

  1. Click Selection Cc296375.2ff91340-477e-4efa-a0f7-af20851e4daa(en-us,Expression.40).png in the Tools panel and then click the rectangle on the artboard.

    tip noteTip

    You can also select the rectangle by selecting the Rectangle object in the Objects and Timeline panel.

  2. In the Properties panel, under Brushes, select Fill.

  3. Under Brushes, select Solid Color Brush Cc296375.3a66ec96-47bb-47fc-8876-6b9456feec3a(en-us,Expression.40).png.

  4. In the color Editor, select the color that you want to apply to the rectangle. You can use the RGB value, the 16-bit hexadecimal color code, or the color picker to choose the color that you want.

    Modify the fill of an object

To modify the stroke of a rectangle

  1. Click Selection Cc296375.2ff91340-477e-4efa-a0f7-af20851e4daa(en-us,Expression.40).png in the Tools panel and then click the rectangle on the artboard.

    tip noteTip

    You can also select the rectangle by selecting the Rectangle object in the Objects and Timeline panel.

  2. In the Properties panel, under Brushes, select Stroke.

  3. Under Brushes, select Solid Color Brush Cc296375.3a66ec96-47bb-47fc-8876-6b9456feec3a(en-us,Expression.40).png.

  4. In the color Editor, select the color that you want to apply to the stroke. You can use the RGB value, the 16-bit hexadecimal color code, or the color picker to choose the color that you want.

  5. In the Appearance category, modify the StrokeThickness.

    Modify Stroke

For more information, see Apply a solid color or gradient brush to an object's fill or stroke.

You can also modify the corners of the stroke by adjusting the Stroke properties.

For more information, see the "Strokes" section of Setting colors, brushes, and masks.

To modify the opacity mask of a rectangle

  1. Click Selection Cc296375.2ff91340-477e-4efa-a0f7-af20851e4daa(en-us,Expression.40).png in the Tools panel and then click the rectangle on the artboard.

    tip noteTip

    You can also select the rectangle by selecting the Rectangle object in the Objects and Timeline panel.

  2. In the Properties panel, under Brushes, select OpacityMask.

  3. Under Brushes, select Gradient brush Cc296375.3a66ec96-47bb-47fc-8876-6b9456feec3a(en-us,Expression.40).png.

  4. In the color Editor, define at least one gradient stop with an Alpha value of less than 100 percent. In this example, the Alpha value of the right gradient stop is set to 50%.

    Modify OpacityMask

For more information, see Create an opacity mask.

To add a gradient to a rectangle

  1. Click Selection Cc296375.2ff91340-477e-4efa-a0f7-af20851e4daa(en-us,Expression.40).png in the Tools panel and then click the rectangle on the artboard.

  2. In the Properties panel, under Brushes, select Fill, Stroke, or OpacityMask.

  3. Under Brushes, select Gradient brush Cc296375.91fb0c61-7b3b-4ae7-8a59-760e625e3bd7(en-us,Expression.40).png.

  4. In the Editor, you can change the color of each of the gradient stops Cc296375.a3c9e482-e99b-4504-8a02-9507487d1791(en-us,Expression.40).png on the color bar by selecting the gradient stop, and then clicking the color that you want inside the color picker.

    A gradient brush applied to the Fill property of a rectangle

    Modify gradient

    You can add other gradient stops by clicking the gradient bar. You can also change from a linear gradient Cc296375.bd5eefed-9628-4363-be5d-29bfb5962175(en-us,Expression.40).png to a radial gradient Cc296375.4279aa9a-15c2-4435-9937-6848afc38618(en-us,Expression.40).png by clicking the buttons under the gradient bar.

    To remove gradient stops, drag them off the gradient bar.

    tip noteTip

    When Gradient brush is selected, the Color eyedropper in the color Editor becomes a Gradient eyedropper Gradient eyedropper icon. You can drag the Gradient eyedropper over an existing gradient, either inside Expression Blend or on the desktop, to apply the gradient to the existing object.

To modify a gradient applied to a rectangle

  1. With the Fill, Stroke, or OpacityMask property of the rectangle object still selected, select Gradient Cc296375.8dc54a0d-02cc-44cd-b802-5a78309f4503(en-us,Expression.40).png in the Tools panel.

    tip noteTip

    With the object selected on the artboard, press G to select the Gradient tool.

    A blue arrow appears on the artboard showing the direction of the gradient brush and its endpoints.

    Linear gradient arrow

    Linear gradient arrow

    Radial gradient arrow

    Radial gradient arrow
    NoteNote

    If you do not see a blue arrow, you might not have the rectangle object selected, or you might not have a brush property selected. The Gradient tool will only appear if a gradient brush is selected.

  2. Use your mouse to move the endpoints of the blue arrow to modify the gradient. You can lengthen or shorten the arrow, rotate the arrow, or move the center point of the arrow to modify the gradient.

    Modify a linear gradient

    Modify a linear gradient

    Modify a radial gradient

    Modify a radial gradient
  3. In the Properties panel, under Brushes, click the gradient bar to add more gradient stops and change their colors. You can also click the blue arrow on the artboard to add gradient stops or double-click to edit the gradient.

To transform a brush applied to an object

  1. With the rectangle selected on the artboard, select Brush Transform Brush Transform tool in the Tools panel.

    tip noteTip

    With the object selected on the artboard, press B to select the Brush Transform tool.

    A blue arrow adorner appears around the rectangle on the artboard.

  2. With the Brush Transform tool selected, do one or more of the following:

    • To move a brush, drag anywhere inside the object. This corresponds to the Translate tab on the RelativeTransform box in the Properties panel.

      Transform a gradient
    • To rotate a brush, put your pointer outside any corner of the bounding outline around the object and drag when your pointer changes to a rotation handle Cc296375.888cbf6b-c442-424d-977d-61d942703c4a(en-us,Expression.40).png. This corresponds to the Rotate tab on the RelativeTransform box in the Properties panel.

      Transform a gradient
    • To rescale either a tile brush or radial gradient brush, put your pointer on any handle on the side or corner of the object, and then drag. This corresponds to the Scale tab on the RelativeTransform box in the Properties panel.

      Transform a gradient
    • To skew a brush, put your pointer outside a side handle and drag when your pointer changes to skew handles Cc296375.2be41f49-8a61-4966-bf08-598f4253b610(en-us,Expression.40).png. This corresponds to the Skew tab on the RelativeTransform box in the Properties panel.

      Transform a gradient

The Brush Transform tool Brush Transform tool can also be used with the Tile brush Cc296375.14623a18-70ab-450f-af01-ae9902d60e4d(en-us,Expression.40).png.

Next steps

See also

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