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

3 Answers 3


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).

  • Still no luck :( Here's a screenshot of my update.
    – evan
    Feb 6, 2014 at 20:38
  • 2
    Move the gradient fill above the <characters> in the Appearance Panel. Note the order of things in my screenshot.
    – Scott
    Feb 6, 2014 at 20:40

Mike is right. Just open your file, ensure you are on the right layer. (if you can't see Appearance on your right panel, goto window on the menu-bar and chose Appearance from the drop-down list)

Select your text, click on the little arrow next to the four lines on your right hand-side in Appearance. From the list select Add new fill, click the arrow next to the colour on fill and chose your fill.

Same thing for stroke.


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


  • 1
    Please explain better. Suppose the link you gave is broken then your answer is useless ... BTW: Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Feb 20, 2015 at 16:47

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