Transform artwork in Adobe Illustrator CC by applying rotation, reflection, and also shearing.

What you learned: Different methods for transforming artwork

There are a lot of ways to transform artwork in Illustrator, including flipping, rotating, shearing, and reflecting. You’ll explore different types of transformations while building a rocket ship.

Easily flip content

  • You can flip selected artwork by clicking either the Flip Along Vertical Axis button or the Flip Along Horizontal Axis button in the Properties panel, depending on what direction you want to flip it in.

Rotate content

  1. Rotate selected content by moving the Selection tool pointer just off a corner of the selected content bounding box.
  2. When the rotate arrows appear, drag to rotate. Pressing the Shift key as you drag will snap the rotation to 45 degrees.

Reflect content around a specified point

  1. To reflect selected artwork, select the Reflect tool in the Tools panel.
  2. Click the artwork to set the reflect-around point.
  3. Drag to reflect the artwork. As you drag, press the Option and Shift keys (MacOS) or the Alt and Shift keys (Windows) to constrain to 45 degrees and copy the artwork.

Make a copy while reflecting

  • Option-drag (MacOS) or Alt-drag (Windows) selected content to create a copy.
  • To repeat the transformation, choose Object > Transform > Transform Again.

Shear the content

  1. To shear selected content, press and hold on the Scale tool in the Tools panel to select the Shear tool.
  2. Drag to shear the content. As you drag, press the Shift key to constrain the movement.


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Presenter: Brian Wood


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