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How to Install Gradients in Photoshop

Published: 12/06/2023

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While Adobe Photoshop CC’s gradient panel has built-in presets for gradients, there are only a few options. You may want to load additional gradients for sufficient choices, especially if you need more color tones when editing real estate images. Here is a simple guide on how to install gradients in Photoshop.

How to Install Gradients in Photoshop With Ease

To install gradients in Photoshop, you must first download free gradients and extract the ZIP file. For Photoshop 2020 and up, use the Gradients panel and Import Gradients command to install your chosen gradient. To install new gradients in versions 2019 and earlier, use the Preset Manager to install the gradients.

Photoshop's default gradients may not be enough if you are looking for diverse effects on your creations. While they are good to practice to understand how gradients work, you will soon feel you are running out of options. There are amazing free gradients available for download, which you can install in Photoshop.

Step 1: Download Free Gradients

Gradients in awe-inspiring hues fit for real estate images can easily be found and downloaded for use in Photoshop. They come as a set and are downloaded as a ZIP file or GRD format

Step 2: Extract the ZIP File

Before anything else, you'll need to extract the ZIP file to copy it into the Gradients folder.

  1. After downloading the ZIP file, go to the Downloads folder on your computer.
  2. Right-click on the ZIP file containing Gradients, and click on Extract Files.
  3. Extract the file to another folder.
  4. After extracting the file, your computer will save it in the destination folder in GRD format.
  5. Right-click on the file, and copy it.

Step 3: Locate the Gradients Folder on Your Computer

Go to the destination where you have Adobe Photoshop CC. Next, right-click on the icon and select Open File Location.

When the Explorer window / Finder window opens, select the Adobe Photoshop CC folder again, right-click on it, and select Open File Location. Click on the Presets folder and open the Gradients folder.

Paste your GRD file containing the new gradients in the folder. After this step, open Adobe Photoshop CC and open any image or blank document.

Step 4: Install Gradients in Adobe Photoshop

There are different ways to install gradients depending on your Photoshop version.

Option 1: Adobe Photoshop CC Version 2020 and Up

The software introduced a new Gradients panel in the 2020 version of Adobe Photoshop CC. It has a new set of default gradients categorized based on colors and placed into folders beneath the panel. 

The Gradient panel is beside the Colors, Patterns, and Swatches panel. However, if you can’t view it, go to Windows and check the checkmark beside the Gradients option.

  1. Open the Gradients panel.
  2. Click on the menu icon in the top right corner of the panel.
  3. Click on Import Gradients.
  4. Load your GRD format gradients. They will be added to the Gradient panel and ready for use.

Option 2: Adobe Photoshop CC Version 2019 and Earlier

If you are using a version of Photoshop earlier than 2020, adding your downloaded gradients is a bit different.

  1. After downloading and copying your gradients into the Gradient folder on your computer, open Adobe Photoshop CC.
  2. Go up to the Edit menu.
  3. Go to Preset and select Preset Manager from the submenu.
edit menu options - highlighted presets
  1. From the Preset type drop-down, select Gradients.
  2. Click on Load and select the gradient file that you have downloaded. 
  3. Click on Open.
  4. Your new gradients will be added beside the default Photoshop gradients.
  5. You can use these gradients on texts, images, shape fills, and pixel layers.
preset manager window in photoshop

How to Apply Gradients to Images

With an extensive collection of gradients, you can make your property photos look better by learning how to apply gradients.

Step 1: Select the Gradient Tool

Select the Gradient tool from the toolbar on the left. On the top, you will see the options bar for the gradient tool.

Next, click the drop-down and select the desired gradient from your collection. After that, double-click on the Gradient bar to open the Gradient Editor.

gradient editor window in photoshop

Step 2: Customize the Gradient

From here, you can customize the gradient, set the opacity and transparency of the colors, and change any color.

  1. You can also change any settings from the options bar, including the Blending Mode, Opacity, Transparency, and Dither option.
  2. Tick the Reverse checkbox to change the order of colors in the gradient. 
  3. Select the type of gradient from the icons: Linear Gradient, Radial Gradient, Angular Gradient, Reflected Gradient, Diamond Gradient.

Step 3: Apply the Gradient to the Layer

After you have chosen the settings for your gradient, apply it to your layer.

  1. Click and hold the cursor in a position where you want to start the gradient effect and drag it to the ending point. Photoshop will apply the gradient across the angle of that line on the layer.
  2. You can double the gradient effect by drawing a line again on a similar or different position.

Why Do You Need to Use Photoshop Gradients on Real Estate Images

Applying gradients to real estate is an intuitive way to enhance the ambiance of interiors and make exterior views of properties look captivating. 

Here are some practical ideas for the use of gradients on real estate images are:

  • Use warm color gradients for an effect of a cozy winter ambiance.
  • Apply cool color gradients to show a well-ventilated, cool home.
  • Select gradients have a mix of brown and orange tints to enhance the countryside cottage look. 
  • Set a white and light grey gradient to make dull interiors look bright.
  • Choose rich color gradients for Retro interior looks.
  • Use Transparent orange and yellow gradients to add warmth and soft sunlight in interior photos captured during the day.
  • Pick gradients with grey and blue hues for rainy season effects on exterior property photos.


After extracting the ZIP file of your downloaded gradients, use Photoshop's Gradients panel or Preset Manager to install the new gradients. Once you start working with gradients, you will keep using them on images for beautiful effects. I hope learning this feature will elevate your design capabilities and help you create appealing visuals.


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