I have quite a simple problem but after much searching I can find how to do it.

Basically, I have a folder of shapes and a Gradient Overlay applied to the folder to apply to all shapes. This looks all well and good but if I then move the shapes folder anywhere else on the page the shapes' color changes. This makes me think the shapes are moving but the Gradient Overlay isn't so they are basically moving to a different place on the gradient and changing color.

I don't want this to happen, I just want to move the shapes folder to the other side of the image but keep the same colors. I tried doing "Create Layer" but that creates a massive rectangle for the gradient overlay that makes transforms hard to do on the shapes (the shapes take up much less space than the gradient overlay layer in the transform rectangle). And turning the folder into a smart object did very strange things to the gradient overlay.

Does anyone know a way to keep the colors the same as I move the shapes folder?

Thanks for your time.

  • This is still an issue as of Photoshop CC 2017. Extremely frustrating, and the "align to layer" approach does not seem to accomplish the desired effect.
    – Chazbot
    Apr 28, 2017 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


There is an option for gradient styles to "align to layer." Ensure that it is checked.

  • 1
    I tried it ticked and not-ticked and it doesn't seem to make a difference, still having the problem :(
    – poncho
    May 28, 2013 at 16:25
  • what version of PS? Is the effect applied to the group or each shape layer?
    – horatio
    May 28, 2013 at 16:30
  • is there a way to move gradient and not have it aligned with layer as is done layer options> graient.
    – user8795
    Sep 22, 2013 at 17:45
  • I will write "Align to Layer" to remind myself.
    – Dave
    Nov 23, 2015 at 11:00

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