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Distorting Graphic Elements

The free-transform tool’s Distort modifier lets you change the shape of the transform box. You can move a corner individually; move two corners simultaneously to turn the box into a trapezoid; and move the side handles to stretch, shrink, or skew the box. The selected element(s) redraw to fit the altered box. The Distort modifier works only on merge-shapes and single, selected drawing-objects; Distort doesn’t work on primitive-shapes, text fields (see Chapter 3), groups (see Chapter 5), symbols (see Chapter 7), or selections with multiple drawing-objects.

To distort an element freely:

  1. Using the free-transform tool, select the element you want to distort.

    A transform box with handles appears.

  2. In the Tools panel, select the Distort modifier black-circle-a.jpg.

    The center point of the selection disappears, indicating that you are in Distort mode.

  3. Position the pointer over one of the transform handles.

    The pointer changes to a hollow arrowhead.

  4. To change the shape of the transform box, do one of the following:
  5. Release the mouse button.

    Flash redraws the selection to fill the new transform-box shape.

To distort a graphic element symmetrically:

  1. Follow Steps 1 and 2 of the preceding task to prepare an element for distorting.
  2. To taper the element, do either of the following:

    As you drag, the two corner handles move in tandem, coming together if you drag in or moving apart if you drag out.

  3. Release the mouse button.

    Flash redraws the transform box and its contents. If you dragged in, the box appears to taper toward the top. If you dragged out, the box appears to taper toward the bottom. You can follow these procedures for the sides or bottom of the bounding box to taper the box in any direction.

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