I am having a problem when using gradient tool, when I create a gradient map layer, photoshop shows "Could not use the gradient tool because the content of the layer is not directly editable."

Here is a 26 seconds video about the problem: https://youtu.be/jbKbvHF6evs

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I am following the instruction below, it works at the past but it is not working now

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Thanks in advance.

  • Well, the thing you are doing with the Gradient tool seems like an extra step and I'm not sure why you are doing it. Are you trying to use it on the Layer Mask? You can use it on that layer only if you first click/select the Layer Maskon that layer (the white box next to where you clicked in the video). — Maybe I missed something, but I don't understand why the gradient map doesn't visibly fill the document as soon as you make it... That's the real mystery.
    – Joonas
    Mar 2, 2018 at 11:23

1 Answer 1


That's an adjustment layer, it's not an editable layer, and you can't use any tools on it, including the Gradient tool. That's why you have that error warning. You could use tools on the layer mask, but not the Adjustment layer itself.

You need to select the gradient in the Properties panel instead. Click on the drop down box, to select a gradient.

enter image description here

  • Thank you for your answer :) . I think I misunderstand gradient map and gradient tool.
    – riz
    Mar 2, 2018 at 16:53

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