Create Live Shapes and lines in Adobe Illustrator. Once they're created, use control widgets to dynamically modify the width, height, and corner radius properties to create the exact shape you want.

Woman stands against a pink backdrop holding a white tote bag with black, white, and yellow geometric shapes

Draw a Live Rectangle

Select the Rectangle tool in the toolbar, and drag on the artboard. To change the corner radii, drag any of the four corner widgets. A red arc appears when you reach the maximum corner radius.

To modify a single radius, use the Direct Selection tool to click an anchor point, and then click the corner widget and drag to edit.

Scale a rectangle by dragging any of the eight bounding box handles. To rotate, move the pointer away from a corner until you see the Rotate icon, and then drag.

Use the center point widget to reposition the shape with the shape tool selected.

Rectangle tool is used to draw a rectangle. Corner widgets are dragged to modify the corner radii, creating rounded corners.

Edit a shape precisely

In the Transform section of the Properties panel, you can change the shape's dimensions, rotation angle, and other attributes. Click More Options (three dots) to view additional shape properties like corners.

Tip: To reset a rotated shape or path to its original angle, simply choose 0° in the Rotate field.

The rectangle is rotated and modified in the Transform panel.

Draw a Live Polygon

Press and hold the Rectangle tool in the toolbar to view other nested shape tools. Select the Polygon tool, and drag a shape on the artboard.

The default polygon is six-sided, but you can drag its side widget to dynamically change the number of sides. Alternatively, click More options in the Transform section of the Properties panel, and use the slider or enter the number of sides.

You can scale polygons non-uniformly without losing their live characteristics. To return a shape to an equal-sided polygon, click Make Sides Equal.

The Polygon tool is used to create different shapes by specifying the number of sides. Edit polygons in the Properties panel

Round Live Polygon corners

Drag the single rounded corner widget to round all corners of a polygon. To modify a corner individually, use the Direct Selection tool and click a corner widget of a single corner.

Tip: Option-click (MacOS) or Alt-click (Windows) the corner widget to cycle through styles, such as Round, Inverted Round, and Chamfer. 

Polygon corners can all be adjusted at once by dragging the corner widget, or individually with the Direct Selection tool

Draw a Live Ellipse

Press and hold the Polygon tool and select the Ellipse tool in the toolbar. Drag to create an oval. You can change the dimensions of a Live Ellipse dynamically by dragging the bounding box handles.

Shift-drag a bounding box handle to resize the shape proportionally. Press Option+Shift (MacOS) or Alt+Shift (Windows) and drag to scale proportionally from the center.

To rotate an ellipse, move the pointer away from a bounding box handle until you see the Rotate icon. Then drag to rotate. A tooltip appears showing the rotation angle. 

Tip: Press Shift while rotating to snap to 45° angles.

Ovals, ellipses, and circles are drawn with the Ellipse tool and edited using the bounding box handles.

Make some pies

Select an ellipse and drag one of the pie widgets to create a pie shape. In the Transform section of the Properties panel, click More Options. Click the Invert Pie button (double arrows) to create a wedge shape.

Tip: To reset a pie shape back to an ellipse, double-click one of the pie widgets.

A circle has a pie-shaped piece cut out by using the pie widgets and the Invert Pie button in the Properties panel.

Draw a Live Line

Press and hold the Ellipse tool in the toolbar and select the Line Segment tool. As you drag a line, a tooltip provides instant readouts for the length and angle. 

To rotate the line, move the pointer away from an end widget until you see the Rotate icon. Then drag to rotate. The line rotates around its center.

The length and angle of a line is displayed when drawing with the Line Segment tool.

Easily resize and align

Resize a line by dragging the end widgets. Or click More Options in the Transform section and type the desired length and angle. 

The center point widget makes it easy to locate the line’s center — to precisely position and align objects with the center.

A line is resized by dragging the end widgets. A small blue dot marks the center point and helps align objects.

Draw precise, perfect shapes every time

With Smart Guides turned on (View > Smart Guides), colored guidelines appear to provide hints as you draw. For example:

  • As you drag the end of a line to extend it, a hinting guide appears along its trajectory.
  • A diagonal guide appears inside a rectangle as you draw a square.
  • Hinting crosshairs appear inside an ellipse as you draw a perfect circle.
Magenta lines known as Smart Guides help draw perfect circles and squares and show trajectories of lines.

Align adjacent objects accurately

Helpful alignment and equal-spacing guides appear when you move and position objects in relation to each other or to other objects on the artboard with Smart Guides on (View > Smart Guides).

Smart Guides help align objects by showing measurements between objects

Practice drawing variations of these common shapes — they’re the foundation of more complex illustrations. The best part is that you can edit and refine them infinitely.

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