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Adobe Illustrator CS4 has a very frustrating object gradient editing tool. Chances are that you already have the colors of your gradient somewhere in your artwork but not necessarily have spent the time to create a swatch for it. It would be much easier if Illustrator actually let you choose your color stop colors with an eye dropper tool. Actually it does–but it isn’t very obvious. Here are the steps:
Step 1 – Select your shape with the selection tool.
Step 2 – Open the gradient palette and select the color stop whose color you wish to change (notice the triangle above the color has a black fill).
Step 3 – Change to the eye dropper tool (or press “i”)
Step 4 – It is very important that you hold down the shift key when you click to pick up a color or else the gradient will be replaced with a solid color but now the color stop is using your newly-chosen color!