I want to make a simple gradient in GIMP. The left edge and right edge should be white, the middle 100% transparent. The rate of change shouldn't be linear, I want the transparent part to be much wider than the left and right parts, giving the impression of the edges of the picture fading away when placed on a white background.

I went into the Gradient editor, but couldn't figure out how to use it. I could only add new segments by replicating existing ones, and then changing the endpoint colors at one of them also changed the colors of all other replicas.

I also tried opening copies of existing multi-color gradients for editing, such as Abstract 2, but I couldn't figure out how they are made. Whichever segment I selected, the context menu insisted that the end points are red and magenta, even when I was in the middle of a segment transitioning from sandy yellow to green.

I tried looking into the documentation, but if the solution is in there, I didn't find it.

Any ideas how I'm supposed to use the editor to get my gradient?

1 Answer 1


Custom Gradients in Gimp

Designing our custom gradients in Gimp (2.8) can be done from the gradients menu (CtrlG).

Here are steps to create a gradient with center transparent, white left, white right sides:

  • Create a new gradient enter image description here
  • Choose actions from the right click context menu:

    enter image description here

  • Select Left Endpoint's Color white and Right Endpoint's Color transparent:

    enter image description here

  • Select Replicate Segment... - choose 2:

    enter image description here

  • Mark the right segment as active with a mouse click on the bottom bar:

    enter image description here

  • Select Flip Segment for Symmetry:

    enter image description here

  • Define Blending Function for Segment:

    • left Spherical (increasing)
    • right Spherical (decreasing)

    or any other setting to meet your needs.

  • Adjust segment handles (bottom triangles) with mouse until distribution as desired:

    enter image description here

  • Give the gradient a sensible name (default Unitled), save, and done.

Of course other actions on the context menu list will help us to create those gradients we need.

  • Thank you very much! I had had trouble realizing what a "selection" is, because the selection bar didn't always react to a click, but now I managed to get it done.
    – Rumi P.
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 10:21
  • @RumiP.: yeah - it's quite a bit of mouse-fiddling involved :)
    – Takkat
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 10:38

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