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Create repeat objects

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Learn how to create radial, grid, and mirror repeat objects to design powerful illustrations, logos, icons, and more.

Illustrator on the iPad lets you easily repeat objects and manage their styles with just one touch. All you need to do is to create your first object and choose a repeat type. Illustrator on the iPad auto-generates the complete artwork for you. Modifying repeats is also easy – just update one object and all instances are auto-modified to reflect the change.

Illustrator on iPad

Type of repeats

Radial repeats

Radial Repeat
Distribute objects around a central point.

Grid pattern

Grid Repeat
Repeat artwork in a selected grid style.

mirror repeat

Mirror Repeat
Create perfectly symmetrical mirror art. 

Create a radial repeat

Quickly create artwork that require repeating objects around a circle, similar to the spokes of a wheel. 

Simply select your artwork using the Selection tool and tap(Radial Repeat) on the taskbar.

To view radial repeat options, select the repeated artwork and click Properties panel icon on the taskbar.

Modify repeats using on-canvas controls

  • By default 8 instances are repeated. To change the repeat instance count, select the repeated artwork
    and tap the Instances control on the canvas.
  • Drag the controls on the circle to change its size. This changes the spacing between the objects, thereby changing the whole artwork.
  • Drag the splitter on the circle to remove some instances, keeping the repeated artwork
    unchanged.
  • Drag from the corner to increase or decrease the size of the repeat.
Radial repeats
Create and modify radial repeat

Radial repeat options

Radial repeats

A. Number of instances B. Radius C. Reverse Overlap 

You can set the following options:

  • Number of instances: Specify the number of repeat instances you want in the repeated artwork. Default value is 8.
  • Reverse Overlap: Tap this checkbox to change the stacking order of objects in the radial repeat.

Create a grid repeat

Create artwork that require repeating objects in an array in just one click. 

Simply select your artwork using the Selection tool and tap(Grid Repeat) on the taskbar. 

To view grid repeat options, click Properties panel icon on the taskbar.

Modify repeat using on-canvas controls

Grid pattern
Create and modify grid repeat

  • Drag the handle on the bottom to add more rows in the repeated artwork and drag the handle on the right to add more columns.
  • Drag from the corner to increase or decrease the size of the grid repeat.
  • Drag the vertical sliders on the repeated artwork to increase or decrease the spacing in the grid.

Grid repeat options

Grid pattern

A) Vertical spacing in grid: Specify the vertical space between objects in the grid.

B) Horizontal spacing in grid: Specify the horizontal  space between objects in the grid.

C) Grid Type: Specify the grid type you want to use to arrange objects in rows and columns.

D) Flip Row: Flip the row in vertical (Y-axis) or horizontal (x-axis) directions.

E) Flip Column: Flip the column in vertical (Y-axis) or horizontal (x-axis) directions.

Create a mirror repeat

Create the first half of the symmetrical artwork and Illustrator automatically creates the other half for you.

Simply select the first half of artwork using the Selection tool and tap(Mirror Repeat) on the taskbar to create the other symmetrical half.

To view mirror repeat options, click Properties panel icon on the taskbar.

Modify repeat using on-canvas controls

mirror repeat
Create and modify mirror repeat

  • Drag the handles below or above the original artwork to rotate or transform the mirrored part. 
  • Drag the symmetry axis between the two shapes to control the angle and spacing between the two artwork.
    When finished, if you tap away and then tap again you do not see the control handles. Both halves of the artwork are grouped together and move as a single object. To edit them again, double-tap the artwork.

Mirror repeat options

  Set the angle of the mirror axis. The default angle is 90 degrees.

Tips and tricks

  • When you select the repeated artwork, widgets and controls appear on the canvas that you can use to quickly change the appearance of your repeated artwork.
  • To edit shapes independently, use the Expand option to create a group of shapes that you cannot edit via the radial repeat option. 

What's next

You've learned how to use radial, grid, and mirror repeat options. Take a step forward and learn how to create unique blends with objects to smartly design your logos, posters, and more.

Related video

Watch this 4-minute video to learn more about how to apply radial repeat, grid repeat, and mirror repeat.

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