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The magnetization reversal in graded anisotropy Co/Pt multilayers is studied by first order reversal curve (FORC) diagrams. The graded profile influences the nucleation field in thin films. In thicker films (above the threshold value for stripe domain formation), its effect is masked, as the loop shape depends sensitively on the ratio of film thickness to a characteristic length defined by domain wall and demagnetizing energies. For such thick samples, the FORC distribution shows two positive features that correspond to domain nucleation and annihilation. Between these two peaks, no other distinct features are visible, due to the high reversibility of domain pattern characteristics. In thin continuous films, a marked feature that corresponds to nucleation is accompanied by two features of opposite polarity characteristic of two-phase interactions. In nanostructured samples, the domain effects are suppressed and the FORC is dominated by a single feature elongated along the interaction axis.