How to install and load gradients into Photoshop CC 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc
The Gradients for Photoshop are in GRD format and can only be used generally in that application as well as the basic version, Elements. The GRD format can be used in all versions up from the earliest version that supported it (version 6) and they are a very useful feature of the application but how to add them to the application fairly quickly. Above you can see a video that I created on youtube showing how to do it on a mac (that is my main machine) but the same approach can be used on the PC / Windows machine as well. We have a number of wonderful Photoshop gradients available as well as gradient swatches. You can also use the loaded Photoshop gradients with other resources such as checkerboard custom shapes / chevron custom shapes as well as with the 13,000 shapes collection (which also includes 2000 gradients)
Above you can see the editor and also the presets that have been added to the gradient editor.
If you want to use them on a more permanent basis then the easiest way is to add them to the presets folder which can be found beneath the application in the folder structure (this is the same for the PC and mac though the location of the application itself varies - on the PC it is the program files and on the mac it is the applications folder). The only problem with this is that you may need your admin password as that area is protected. Personally I always use a non privileged account and then I have to use the user locations for the presets. OK, so where do you add them if you want to add them to the user folder. On the PC it is in the appdata folder. On the Mac, you have to go to the library section (which may be hidden and then you can go to that via the go to folder feature) and then application support and Adobe and down to Photoshop (depending on the version) and then the presets and then gradients (no one said the folder structure was easy to remember). Anyway, add the GRD files into that location and then you will be able to access the presets quickly via the right side context menu of the preset's panel by name and that makes it very easy to quickly add a particular file and set of color effects. You will notice that if you add them to the main presets section as well as the user account there will be a dividing line between them in the panel to indicate that one is a 'privileged' set and the other, not.
In some versions of Adobe ® Photoshop ®, you can use the open command but this is definitely not the case with Photoshop CC on the mac. It is odd that you can open them this way in one version but not another and you may find that sometimes that the file opens but not all the presets are transferred in the process so it is not my recommended way of loading them.
You can load / replace them in most versions via the edit menu manager (edit menu) and also via the preset panel right side menu replace (though you can also click the load command on the dialog itself). If you access the preset menu via the options bar then the load / replace commands are available in the right side menu (confusing, I agree). Showing the load / install on a mac [Youtube] The good thing about the replace and load means that you can add the GRD files into any folder and not rely on the Adobe's folder structure and especially useful if you want manual control over where the files go and how they are added into the tool and also if you have multiple versions of the application and wish to still keep them active and the presets active in them.
If you decide to remove the colorful designs and return to the factory default, just select the reset command on the right side of the preset's panel. You can also do the same via the edit menu and the preset manager and the right side menu 'reset'
In many cases, you may wish to load a lot of files in one go and have 1000s of presets added in your panel. This is quite useful if you are happy to trawl through a large panel of lots of very small thumbnails. One approach that seems to work well in some versions is to select a set of GRD files and then drag them into the application but it is likely that an error will appear as the application says that it does not accept the format (weird as it is a valid format). Another approach and one that I use often is to select a lot of the GRD files and then right click and select open with the version of Photoshop you want and all the files will be fairly rapidly added to the panel (though it is not instant) and you will then see the set and you can then select from 1000s of great designs (especially if you go for the 32,000 gradients set available on this site). You can also just go to the save command in the panel and then save them all to a single GRD file. I never created them with a single file in mind but if you prefer that then that should be fine to load at a later time (I have never had any corruption problems with large presets files unlike in some applications)
Below you can see a selection of the GRD thumbnails added to the panel and below that a selection of the presets applied to a linear design
Quick video showing how to load (install) the presets (GRD files) into PS Elements 12 / 11. The presets are standard GRD files that can be used in most versions of Photoshop as well as PS Elements. They can be used in PSE 11 as well. There is no particular folder for the presets but they can be installed in a particular presets folder. Personally, I just load them via the load / replace functionality in the presets panel (and that is what is shown in the video). Once loaded, the presets can be applied in a number of ways such as a new layer and via the gradient tool in the PS Elements 11 toobox (in expert mode). The video also shows some of the basic uses and there are other ways to load them. Video: install / load them in PS Elements 12 / 11 [Youtube]