I have some complex technical drawings that are in Illustrator CS5 that I got from a pdf. I need to be able to fill each with a gradient to look as if there is a light source. When I select and make live paint, there are many objects in the one drawing so it does not fill with the gradient as I need it. There is still more than one object when I expand it. I've tried some other things without success. An example of one technical drawing with box of the gradient that I need to fill with is at: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/69750361/gradient-tech-drawing.ai

Help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


The problem with that particular file is that there are a wide variety of open paths, not closed shapes.

Use the Live Paint tool and click each section of the image,filling it with a simple flat color. Don't worry about gradients at this stage.

Once you have every section colored, expand the Live Paint group by clicking Expand in the Control Bar.

Select All, and fill with a gradient. Use the gradient tool to drag the correct angle if needed.

Select the group with the Selection Tool (Black Arrow) and add a new stroke in Via the Appearance Panel. Move the stroke in the Appearance panel above the "Contents" item in the Appearance Panel.

That should get you close.

enter image description here

  • Thank you. I'm new but guess I need to post separately, the question as to why it ends up with more jagged strokes. (after I figure how to phrase it) I appreciate your help.
    – Leilani
    Mar 31, 2012 at 1:27
  • If you're referring to the image i posted, it's mere;y due to my not paying close attention to the web image. I was more interested in showing the final, than ensuring it looked smooth on the web.
    – Scott
    Mar 31, 2012 at 2:34
  • I was referring to the end product in AI after I followed the steps. There is a distinct difference in the strokes afterwards.
    – Leilani
    Apr 2, 2012 at 23:08

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