How to reshape objects using effects in Illustrator

Reshaping objects with effects

Using effects is a convenient way to reshape objects without making permanent changes to their underlying geometry. Effects are live, which means that you can modify or remove the effect at any time.

You can use the following effects to reshape objects:

Convert To Shape

Converts the shape of vector objects to a rectangle, rounded rectangle, or ellipse. Set the dimensions of the shape using absolute or relative dimensions. For rounded rectangles, specify a corner radius to determine the curvature of the rounded edge.

Distort & Transform

Lets you quickly reshape vector objects.

Free Distort

Lets you change the shape of a vector object by dragging any of four corner points.

Pucker & Bloat

Pulls a vector object’s anchor points outward while curving the segments inward (Pucker) or inward while curving the segments outward (Bloat). Both options pull the anchor points relative to the object’s center point.


Transforms a vector object’s path segments into a jagged array of peaks and valleys of various sizes. Set the maximum length for segment paths using an absolute or relative size. Set the density of jagged edges per inch (Detail) and choose between soft edges (Smooth) or sharp edges (Corner).


Reshapes an object by resizing, moving, rotating, reflecting (flipping), and copying it.


Randomly curves and distorts path segments inward and outward. Set the vertical and horizontal distortion using an absolute or relative amount. Specify whether or not to modify anchor points, move control points that lead into anchor points on the path (“In” Control Points), and move control points that lead out of anchor points on the path (“Out” Control Points).


Rotates an object more sharply in the center than at the edges. Entering a positive value twists clockwise; entering a negative value twists counterclockwise.

Zig Zag

Transforms an object’s path segments into a jagged or wavy array of uniformly sized peaks and valleys. Set the length between peaks and valleys using an absolute or relative size. Set the number of ridges per path segment and choose between wavy edges (Smooth) or jagged edges (Corner).


Distorts or deforms objects, including paths, text, meshes, blends, and bitmap images. Choose one of the predefined warp shapes. Then select which axis the bending option affects and specify the amount of bending and distortion to apply.

Round the corners of objects

The Round Corners effect converts the corner points of a vector object to smooth curves.

  1. In the Layers panel, target the items you want to round.

    If you want to round a specific attribute of an object, such as its fill or stroke, target the object in the Layers panel and then select the attribute in the Appearance panel.

  2. Choose Effect > Stylize > Round Corners. (The command is located in the first Stylize submenu.)
  3. To define the curvature of the rounded curve, enter a value in the Radius text box, and click OK.