After you create a live shape using the Shape tool, you can now continue to modify its properties such as width, height, corners, angles, number of sides, and more. These shape properties are now editable using either the on-art controls or the numeric fields in the Transform panel, which now has a separate Properties section.

Note:

For more help, see the article on working with Live Corner widgets.

Capabilities of Live Shapes

Note:

To view the bounding box when you select an object, ensure that the setting is set to display the bounding box (View > Show Bounding Box).

  1. Draw a Live Shape, using the Shape tool.

    Additional widgets appear around the Live Shape, that help you work with the shape visually.

    Widgets appearing around Live Shapes
    Corner widgets are shown in the image above using a red circle.

  2. The Transform panel is displayed (or, comes into focus if already open). If the Transform panel does not open:

    • Press Shift + F8, or, 
    • Click Windows menu > Transform.

    Note:

    To specify if the Transform panel appears or not when you create a Live Shape, use the Show on Shape Creation option in the Transform panel's flyout menu.

  3. If multiple Shapes are selected:

    • When the respective tool is selected, you can modify properties of individual shapes using the on-screen widgets.
    • You can modify the properties of multiple shapes, using the Transform panel.

    Note:

    While using the Shape tool, you may choose to hide or show the bounding box. Do one of the following:

    • Toggle (Win) Shift + Ctrl + B, or (Mac) Shift + Cmd + B.
    • View > Hide Bounding Box, or View > Show Bounding Box.

  4. Use your mouse on the Live Shape or the fields in the Transform panel (shape Properties area) to change the properties of the shape.

    Note:

    Irrespective of which tool is selected, when shapes of the same type are selected, editing properties in the Transform panel will modify the selected artwork.

Accessing Live Shape properties

You can access the properties of Live Shapes different places in Illustrator CC. In the following example, the shape considered is a Live Rectangle.

The Control panel

Enhanced Control panel providing access to Live Shape properties
Enhanced Control panel providing access to Live Shape properties

The Transform panel

The Transform panel
The Transform Panel has an enhanced state to display additional properties

New flyout menu option in the Transform panel
The Transform panel has a new flyout menu option (Show on Shape Creation), that ensures the Transform panel is displayed as soon as you draw a Live Shape.

Selecting Live Shapes

Layers panel

Live Shapes are displayed as a different object type in the Layers panel. For example, when you draw a Live Rectangle, the layer is named <Rectangle>, in the Layers panel. This helps in identifying the available Live Shapes, for purposes of selection and modification.

Live Rectangles and Rounded Rectangles appearing as <Rectangle> in the Layers panel
Example: Live Rectangles and Rounded Rectangles appear as <Rectangle> in the Layers panel. Other Similarly, other Live Shapes are marked in the Layers panel.

Select menu option

A new menu item, Shape, has been added to the Select > Same menu. When you select Select > Same > Shape option, all the available Live Shapes are selected.

Select multiple Live Shapes with the new menu option.
Select multiple Live Shapes with the new menu option

Maximum radius

When you drag the corners of a Live Shape to the maximum possible limit, the preview of the rounded corners is displayed in red.  

The preview of the shape is shown in red when the maximum possible radius is reached.
A. Dragging a corner to the center B. The preview of the shape is shown in red when the maximum possible radius is reached 

Live Shapes properties

Rectangle / Rounded Rectangle Properties

  • Width / Height: Specifies the height or width of the rectangle. The corners are maintained, and the radii do not change.
  • Rectangle Angle: Rotate the rectangle, using the Scale/Rotate widget.
  • Constrain Width and Height Proportions: Use the Scale Corner Radii For Shapes checkbox to ensure that corner radii increase or decrease in direct proportion to the object's transformation.
  • Corner Type: Specifies the Corner type of any of the corners of the rectangle.
  • Corner Radii: Use the stepper control or type in an absolute value in the Transform panel, for each of the corners of the rectangle.

Ellipse Properties

  • Width/Height: Specifies the width and height of the ellipse. When equal, the ellipse is a circle.
  • Ellipse Angle: Specifies the angle at which the Ellipse is placed on the canvas.
  • Pie Start / Pie End Angle: Use the Pie widget (to the right of a newly-drawn Ellipse shape) to present the shape as a pie chart representation.
  • Constrain Pie Angle: Specifies if the difference in the Pie Start and Pie End Angles must be maintained when modifying their values using the Transform panel.
  • Invert Pie: Specifies when the Pie Start and Pie End Angles must be swapped. Use this to generate a 'slice' graphical representation.

Polygon Properties

  • Polygon Radius: Specifies the exact radius of the polygon drawn. Use the on-screen widget  to modify the radius.
  • Polygon Side Length: Specifies the length of each side of the polygon.
  • Polygon Side Count: Specifies the number of sides the polygon will have. 
    • Using the on-screen widget , you can change this to between 3 and 10. 
    • Use the slider to modify the value between 3 and 20. 
    • If you want a value between 3 and 1000, type the value manually.
  • Angle: Specifies the angle at which the polygon will be drawn or placed relative to the canvas.
  • Corner Type: Specifies the type of corner you want for the polygon (Round, Inverted Round, or Chamfer)
  • Corner Radius: Specifies the radii of the corners of the polygon.
  • Make Sides Equal button: While modifying a polygon, if the Live Shape becomes disproportionate or loses symmetry, use the Make Sides Equal button to balance the sides of the polygon.

Line Properties

  • Line Length: Specifies the length of the line drawn.
  • Line Angle: Specifies the angle at which the line is drawn, relative to the canvas.

Converting shapes

  • When you open a document saved in an older version of Illustrator, the shapes in that document are not automatically editable as Live Shapes. To convert a rectangle into a Live Shape, select the rectangle, and then click Object > Shape > Convert to Shape.
  • To convert a Live Shape into a normal shape, select the Live Shape, and then click Object > Shape > Expand Shape.

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