Photoshop Gradients load / install / Import tutorial

graphicxtras > Adobe Photoshop tutorials > Photoshop gradients tutorials

By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

How to load gradients and how to install gradients for use in Photoshop. GRD gradient files can be accessed and a whole range of color effects can be added to Photoshop all via the Photoshop gradients panel. How to import the GRD files in the latest version of Photoshop. Access multiple sets of presets in seconds

** Youtube video tutorial on how to install / load / import gradients into Photoshop - gradient GRD files format **

import Photoshop gradients

1. Import Gradients in latest Photoshop

The easiest way to load your gradients into Photoshop is to use the import command (in the same way as the shapes import). It is easy to use and can import a single GRD file as well as 100s of GRD gradient files into Photoshop.

** Youtube video tutorial on how to use Photoshop gradients, manipulate gradients panel, import the presets etc **

install gradients

Go to the gradients panel in the Photoshop window menu and then with the panel displayed, go to the right side menu and select the import gradients and then browse for the gradient files which can now be located anywhere on your machine though it is probably best to have a central location for them or perhaps even have them on your cloud drive.

install gradients import command

2. Gradients format

Gradients are in GRD format for Photoshop, I can't think of any other app that can read them outside of the Adobe products

install gradients GRD file for the Photoshop gradients

3. Legacy Gradients / Older gradients from previous

If you don't have your legacy or older versions of the gradients, you can quickly restore them by going to the right side menu and selecting the legacy command and that will bring back all your older Photoshop gradients

install gradients legacy gradients

4. Older versions and loading from presets folder

With the new import feature, personally I find it easier just to have a central location and not bother with the GRD files in a legacy folder, however if you want to have them in a particular defined folder then you can


Select your Photoshop GRD gradients file (s) and copy. Go to the applications or program files folder (mac or PC). Expand the Adobe / Photoshop application folder (Program files on the PC and applications on the mac). Go to the "presets" folder. Paste or place the GRD Photoshop gradients into the "gradients" folder. Start up Photoshop. Select the gradient tool in Photoshop toolbar. Go to top of Photoshop (left) and open the presets picker 'gradients' drop down. If you are using the older versions, you can access them via the right side menu. In the latest versions, access them via the panel itself as all the GRD files should be displayed as groups.

groups of gradients installed

5. Location of non privileged area for gradients

Above, I added the location for the privileged presets folder, you will need to know your admin password to place the files there. You can also add them to a non privileged area

go to folder command

On the mac ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC XXXX/Presets/Gradients

On the PC, "appdata" folder (in your user account).

install gradients and menu structure for the gradients

As mentioned, the load / install of the gradients has changed a lot with the most recent versions and it is just as easy to import them and then access them via the groups in the gradients panel

6. Loading / installing multiple gradients

With the most recent version of Photoshop, go to the import command and select multiple GRD files and they will all be added to your panel

install gradients in the panel

7. Tools presets picker for the gradients

One of my favorite features is the tools presets picker (TPL files). You can select the gradient tool and set up a gradient with all the different settings built into a preset for instance use instead of setting up the blending etc. Another great way to load your gradients and use them quickly

install gradients

The blending mode, type, gradient etc are all stored and can be used quickly without the need to load or install the gradients

tool presets for the gradients in Photoshop