Gradients in Inkscape

In this blog post I'll briefly explain how to create a gradient fill in Inkscape. Like, adding arrows in Inkscape, it's pretty straightforward, yet not exactly intuitive.

  • Select a path
  • Open the Fill and Stroke menu (Shift+Ctrl+F)
  • Open the Fill style tab
  • Choose the Linear gradient option

Linear gradient option in Inkscape

Clicking the Linear gradient option will automatically fill the path with a gradient in which opacity changes from 100% to 0%. The gradient will be given a name ending in a series of random numbers (such as linearGradient3755).

Changing the gradient

To change the gradient, click the Edit... button, which will open up the Gradient editor.

The Inkscape gradient editor

The top button on the menu contains a drop down menu of the so-called stops: the colours at either end of the gradient. If you click the arrows beside the stop name, you will see two stop: one will be a pure colour, the other will be half a checker board, indicating that it's transparent. Select the transparent stop and change the A (alpha/transparency) value to 255. Chnage the RGB values to create whichever colour you like.

You can use the 'Add stop' button to create more complex gradients.

Changing the angle of a gradient

To edit the angle and slope of the gradient, select the path, and chose the 'Edit path by nodes' tool (F2). This will display a line that represents the gradient, which has a circular node at one end and a square at the other. You can move these nodes to change where the gradient starts and ends, which can be within or outside of the path. 

Editing the angle of a gradient in Inkscape

The radial gradient basically works in the same way, only you can change the height and width of the ellipse formed by the gradient.



Hey, I've been looking at how to change the angle of a gradient for about 2 years... thanks a lot!

I don't see a Edit path by nodes tool, and on my Macbook Pro, F2 adjust brightness.

To the guy who's on the mac, you'll probably need to hold down some sort of function key to make your "F2" button actually send the F2 command. Macs assume that people usually want to change brightness more than they want F2 (which is usually true), so they make that the default function of the key. 


Thank you for this tutorial! I've been tinkering with Inkscape for weeks but I've never been able to fully control the gradients. Your tutorial helped a lot. Just wanted you to know that.


I want to rotate the gradient fill in Text. 

How I can do it?


Handy tutorial. Just an update for those reading this in a post 0.92 world. The current version (0.92) doesn't seem to have a dedicated dialog window for the gradient editor opting instead to put the contents on the crossbar above the work space. It's very subtle and easily overlooked.

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