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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Using the Free Transform Tool

The Free Transform tool allows you to rotate, scale (resize), reflect (mirror image), or shear (slant) an object. In addition, you can apply perspective and distortion to an object. However, you cannot copy an object or move the reference point. As you drag to transform an object, you can use keyboard keys to alter the results of a transformation. To help you align the results the way you want, you can use Smart Guides to make it easier.

Transform an Object with the Free Transform Tool

yellow_01.jpg Select the Free Transform tool on the Tools panel.

yellow_02.jpg Select one or more objects to transform.

yellow_03.jpg Use any of the following methods:

  • Scale. Drag a corner handle to scale along two axes; drag a side handle to scale along one axis; Shift-drag to scale proportionally; hold down Alt (Win) or Option (Mac), and then drag to scale from the center. Also hold down Shift to scale from the center proportionally.
  • Reflect. Drag a side handle all the way across the object to the other side.
  • Rotate. Point slightly outside a corner handle (pointer changes to a double arrow), and then drag in a circular motion. To rotate in 45 degree increments, Shift-drag.

    To rotate an object 180 degrees, drag a corner handle diagonally all the way across the object.

  • Shear. Drag a side handle and then hold down Ctrl (Win) or app-alt.jpg (Mac) as you continue to drag. To constrain the movement, also press Shift. To shear from the center, also press Alt (Win) or Option (Mac).
  • Perspective. Drag a side handle and then hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Win) or app-alt.jpg+Option+Shift (Mac) as you continue to drag.
  • Distort. Drag a corner handle and then hold down Ctrl (Win) or app-alt.jpg (Mac) as you continue to drag.

yellow_04.jpg To use Smart Guides as you transform an object:

  • Select the Transform Tools check box in Smart Guides preferences.
  • Click the View menu, and then click Smart Guides to display them.
  • As you drag to transform an object, smart guides appear in your document, which you can use to align the transformed object.

yellow_05.jpg To transform an object using exact values or percentages, select the Transform panel.

  • X & Y Coordinates. Enter X and Y values, which refer to the selected reference point; click a white square to change it.
  • Width (W) & Height (H). Enter width and height values. Use the Lock icon to constrain proportions.
  • Rotate Angle. Enter a rotate angle.
  • Shear Angle. Enter a shear angle.
  • Align to Pixel Grid. Select to pixel-align individual object to the pixel grid.
  • Scale Strokes & Effects. Select to scale strokes and effects along with objects (New!).
  • Click the Options button to select additional options.
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