Stroking Paths with Gradients or Images

Although there are 16 tools to choose from when stroking a path, the Gradient tool is not among the list. Here's a little workaround that allows you to stroke with the Gradient tool:

1. Create your gradient on a new, blank layer.

2. Create a new, blank layer below it and name it.

3. Draw the path to be stroked.

4. Select the Brush tool and a suitable tool tip.

5. Make sure that the path is still active by clicking its tile in the Paths palette and then, from the Paths palette menu, choose Stroke Path.

6. Select Brush tool from the Stroke Path pop-up dialog box and click the OK button.

7. Hold down Alt (Windows), Opt (Mac OS) and click the line dividing the two layer tiles, or make sure that the gradient layer is still selected and then press Ctrl+Alt (Windows), ^+Opt (Mac OS). This step clips the gradient layer to the stroke in the layer below it (Figure 10-10).

You can just as easily stroke with an image as you can with a gradient. The principle is the same.

TIP Paths can be stroked not only with a history state but also with a pattern. Furthermore, you can fill paths with Solid Color, Pattern, or History. To fill, choose Edit ^ Fill and then select History from the pop-up menu, or choose Fill Path from the Paths palette menu and then select History from the pop-up menu in the Fill Path dialog box; holding down Alt (Windows), Opt (Mac OS) and clicking the "Fill with foreground color" icon, first from left, in the Paths palette also gives you access to the same dialog box.

Figure 10-10: A path effectively stroked with a gradient and then a layer style applied.
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