I really dislike Illustrator's gradient tool

I have little else to say about Adobe Illustrator’s gradient tool other than I’ve never liked it.

The Photoshop equivalent always works perfectly and does everything I need.

Illustrator’s gradient tool seems to keep getting more complicated and difficult to use with every new bloatware update CC unloads upon me. It’s impossible to use. I hate the thing.

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I understand the frustration. But by changing the way I work gradients in Illustrator, I’ve managed to make peace with it. Not sure how you’re going about it, but:

In Photoshop my approach was always to set up the gradient first, then (make a selection or lock layer transparency, and then) grab the setup-loaded Gradient Tool and click/drag where I wanted to apply the gradient.

In Illustrator, I’ve adopted sort of a reverse of that. With the target object(s) selected, I just click the gradient proxy in the Tools panel first to apply that silly default gradient:
Then, with the object(s) still selected, I go to the Gradient panel set the desired gradient type and color stops. Only after that do I ever resort to the Gradient Tool gadget for positional adjustments. With the target object(s) pre-selected, a click of the Gradient Tool puts the gadget where the gradient is applied.

It’s still cumbersome for sure, but using the gadget to make the initial application is much more so, IMO.

I do it the same way as HB.
I’ve found that with the object selected, if you just hit the period, you get that default gray gradient applied and the palette opens automatically. Even when you do it by mistake. LOL.
There’s a lot about illustrator to hate.

I’ll need to try HotButton’s way of doing it because I’ve been trying to use Illustrator’s gradient tool much like Photoshop’s tool (which used to work just fine). Now it’s gotten a whole lot more complicated. I don’t use the tool enough to research the details, so when I have a need for it, I just end up getting frustrated. I finally get it to work, then move on and forget about it until the next time I need to use it. Then I repeat the whole process again.

Another annoyance (this time a small one) is with the way Adobe recently changed how scaling works in Photoshop. Formerly, a user could select an area or object, choose a transform menu option then grab the corner and drag. If that user wanted proportional scaling, she could hold down the shift key. Now Adobe has made the reverse the case — with holding down the shift key being required to turn off proportional scaling instead of to turn it on.

One is as good as the other, I suppose, but why change a 30-year-old convention that works just as well one way as it does the other? Perhaps they have their reasons, but for me, it’s just another arbitrary interface change done for no apparent reason other than to justify Adobe’s parade of so-called upgrades, which in turn they use to justify their monthly rental fees.

And to make it more annoying still, Illustrator still does it the old way. So now Photoshop’s scaling procedure is the reverse of Illustrator’s.

This makes me crazy. Improvements are always welcome, but a 180° turnaround of the way a modifier key works is just stupid. Makes it obvious Adobe’s marketers are steering the ship toward new and amateur users without care as to whether their ideas will alienate the long-time pros that they already have by the proverbial spheroids. This is what a shortage of competition produces.

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I understand your frustration dear, it is the same situation faced by me.

Just a side note here on the Photoshop transform bug,
The newest update for CC2019 has a new checkbox under Preferences > General > “use Legacy Free Transform.”

There is a hack available for earlier versions here if for some reason you are not updating:

Not much to do about the gradient tool in Illy, until they change it to something worse. Then we’ll be wanting that Legacy button again. LOL. I still don’t get why they can’t upgrade their algorithm to handle gradients larger than 8". On many occasions we STILL have to rebuild gradients in Photoshop in order to print them without stepping horribly in large format. Depends on the color but since the sky is blue and people continue to use sky blue to white gradients in Illustrator for sky… welll… (sky blue to white and green to yellow are the worst. Red to black? Just don’t. Find some other option there.)

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