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I'm trying to change the "3" to a gradient, but when I click the gradient icon it just goes black and the gradient settings to not take effect. I tried going to object > expand but that didn't do anything.

Here are screenshots.

Selecting the fill works.

enter image description here

Selecting the gradient does not work.

Gradient just turns it black

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Add a new fill to the text via the Appearance Panel. Apply the gradient there. And be certain to move the new fill so it is above the "Characters" item in the panel.


Live text can not contain a gradient fill as the primary fill (don't ask me why).

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Still no luck :( Here's a screenshot of my update. – evan Feb 6 '14 at 20:38
Move the gradient fill above the <characters> in the Appearance Panel. Note the order of things in my screenshot. – Scott Feb 6 '14 at 20:40
Awesome, thanks! – evan Feb 6 '14 at 20:45

Just 'Add New Fill' to the text from the options in the Appearance panel then gradients will work on live text.

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Please explain better. Suppose the link you gave is broken then your answer is useless ... BTW: Welcome to GD.SE! – Kurt Feb 20 '15 at 16:47

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