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How to Apply a Gradient Fill to Strokes in Adobe Illustrator CS5 and Earlier

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Illustrator Tips / Techniques/ Comments: 1

Adobe Illustrator CS6 has a new feature that allows users to apply gradients to strokes. Is it possible to do that in earlier versions? Today I’ll show you how to apply gradients to strokes in previous versions of Illustrator.

By using the Appearance panel

Using the Pen Tool (P), create an arbitrary path.

Increase the width of the path to 40 pt for visual purposes using the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke).

Select the object and go to Effect > Path > Outline Stroke.

Keeping it selected, create a group that will include the newly created object (Object > Group).

Open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and create a new fill for this group by selecting Add New Fill from the menu of the panel.

Swap this fill with linear gradient.


You can read full version this vector tutorial on


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