I am trying to generate two gradients using color swatches in Adobe Illustrator. It took me a very long time to find out that it's possible to save the colors using "Add Used Colors", and as it can generate the swatches automatically, I was wondering: is it possible to generate a range of colors from the swatches?

I mean - is it possible to pick one color from the swatches menu, and another one, and using them generate a long gradient (including any color that is between the two)?

I already saved the range of colors that I want, but if there is any way to make my life easier and generate the gradient without really picking every color, it will be awesome.

  • Technically there could be millions of colors between them, how many colors are you talking about? (how much variation do they need to have)
    – Welz
    Jan 26, 2018 at 15:51
  • @WELZ about 12-13
    – user81523
    Jan 26, 2018 at 15:52

4 Answers 4


Apply your gradient to a shape (using the 2 colors)

enter image description here

Now go to Object → Expand and set it to the amount of colors you want (I did 15)

enter image description here

Right click → Ungroup and Right Click → Release clipping mask

Now click the new folder Icon in swatches panel (Window → Swatches) and make sure to select "from artwork" and it will make a folder of swatches using the colors from your gradient. (you will have chosen earlier exactly how many)

enter image description here

  • You learn something new every day. The option is buggy in my CS6, though: when I tell it to do a certain number, it apparently divides that number by ~4. Ah well.
    – Vincent
    Jan 26, 2018 at 16:06
  • Thanks but this is similar to what @Vincent suggested and this isn't what i'm looking for. I try to create a gradient from a color group
    – user81523
    Jan 26, 2018 at 16:08
  • @Vincent for me it sorta averages it out (ends up doing a few less than I chose)
    – Welz
    Jan 26, 2018 at 16:09

You can add colors to a gradient simply by dragging the color swatch onto the gradient palette, on the gradient line.

If you want to remove a color from a gradient, drag it down from the gradient line.

Once your gradient is done, you can drag it from the gradient palette back into the color swatch palette to create a new swatch with the gradient.

  • So my answer is valid; with 2 colors the steps in between will be automatically generated. If you want to add steps in between, you can add more colors to the gradient, for example to create a rainbow colored gradient. Jan 26, 2018 at 15:54
  • Can I drag a color group to the gradient too?
    – user81523
    Jan 26, 2018 at 15:57
  • Unfortunately not... only one color at a time. I just tried with with groups as well as by selecting multiple colors. Jan 26, 2018 at 16:10
  • 1
    Well, I'll do it manually. Thank you very much! :)
    – user81523
    Jan 26, 2018 at 16:11

I wrote a script that does that:

Illy Grad: Create gradient from selected swatches in Adobe Illustrator.

Works in CC 2019 and not in 2020.

  1. Draw to objects with a fill, some distance apart;
  2. Make the fill colours of the two objects the two colours you want to know the intermediaires of;
  3. Select both of them;
  4. Choose the Blend tool (W);
  5. Click an anchor on one of the shapes;
  6. Click the corresponding anchor on the other shape;
  7. Double click the Blend tool in the toolbox to change the blend's settings and change them to 'Smooth Color' if necessary. If it's a determined amount of intermediaries you're looking for, enter that number under the option 'Specified Steps';
  8. Object > Expand the blend and Object > Ungroup if desired.

The resulting shapes will have all intermediate colours, which you can eyedrop and store in your Swatches palette at leisure.

  • This is great for the next time (I already saved each color) but it's not what i'm looking for. Thank you for this great solution :)
    – user81523
    Jan 26, 2018 at 16:00
  • Gradient from swatch, not the other way around.
    – Webster
    Jan 27, 2018 at 1:12
  • @Webster That has been clarified in the meantime. The question was not particularly clear in its initial formulation. I left my answer because it may be useful nonetheless. I sincerely do not appreciate your comment, which I read as very smug.
    – Vincent
    Jan 27, 2018 at 8:34
  • Oh, sorry Vincent. I just wanted to explain the problem with few words.
    – Webster
    Jan 29, 2018 at 20:46
  • @Webster Thanks, sorry for sounding grumpy :)
    – Vincent
    Jan 29, 2018 at 21:15

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