I have a design in Photoshop that I am transferring into Illustrator so I can have a vector version of the graphic. Everything is done except for the last step: the Photoshop file has a layer style that puts an Angle gradient on a stroke.

Photoshop gradient

In Illustrator, it seems only Linear and Radial gradients are supported.

Illustrator gradient

What's the easiest way to replicate the Angle gradient in Illustrator? If replication is not possible, is there a close approximation?

3 Answers 3


The closest you'll get (easily) is on a stroke....

enter image description here

But... as you can see the angle is always 45° and always in the lower left. Even adjusting gradient stops won't change that....

enter image description here

(Note the 90° angle in the above created by color stops.)

You can then rotate the object so the angle hits the upper right corner.... but you can't really move it from that corner and retain any sort of angle in the gradient.

So, the best you can do is use a shape rather than a stroke, and configure a Gradient Mesh on that shape...

enter image description here

Then apply a clipping mask to the mesh object if necessary.

Mesh with clipping mask... enter image description here

Nowhere near as editable or easy to apply.

Don't yell at me.... Adobe should address stuff like this. It's mind-boggling why Illustrator doesn't have conical or angled gradients in 2018.

These screenshots are from AICS6, but CC2018 offers no additional improvements in this area. (tested and confirmed)

  • Good point about Adobe not picking up the slack. Adobe is solely focused on making AI, PS, etc. look cute/trendy and more social media friendly. Why should they focus on making it more functional when they've got us in their monthly death grip. They know we can't go anywhere else (yet) and that's why they don't care. Still gotta love Adobe though for some reason. Dec 28, 2017 at 21:47
  • Thanks @Scott. Did you have to do anything special to be able to select the Stroke option on the Gradient panel? I think the middle option would work for me ("Apply gradient along stroke"), but I'm in Illustrator CC and it's stuck on the first option. Clicking on either of the other 2 doesn't do anything. Dec 28, 2017 at 22:48
  • Aha! For anyone else reading, these other options are only supported for center-aligned stroke gradients: forums.adobe.com/thread/1141240 Dec 28, 2017 at 22:58
  • 1
    Glad you figured that out @ZachRattner -- You need to leave the stroke on the default alignment... which is center aligned.
    – Scott
    Dec 28, 2017 at 23:33

One workaround, which can be useful, if stroke along a path or gradient meshes are not close enough:

You can make a circle with fake conical gradient fill. Actually it's a circle with diameter-wide stroke which have gradient along the stroke, but no fill. It can be also a pattern brush stroke. The pattern brush is a rectangle with linear gradient fill which is expanded. Both are discussed in several cases in this site. One link:

How to create a simple grayscale image with conical gradient?

Ok, lets have a circle with fake conical gradient:

enter image description here

The circle is splitted at eleven o'clock to put the start and endpoint there.

Move your stroke onto the circle and outline it. It's no more a stroke, but a filled shape:

enter image description here

Finally use the outlined stroke as a clipping mask for the circle:

enter image description here


Typically I will create the vector in illustrator then open as smart object in PS and add the Layer style. That way you can change your ppi to what ever you want for output. However if the file needs to be vector, here is a workaround for Illustrator: 1.> create a mask for the shape. 2.>Place simple strokes around the shape using different colors and then use the blend tool. use blend options to create gradient effect

Apply the mask

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