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Using the Transform Tools

The transform tools resize and distort objects. You can transform the object itself (also called the container) or the object as well as any content. How you select objects changes the effect of the transform tools.

To control the effect of the transform tools:

All the transformations take place in relation to a reference point. Each object has a default reference point, but you can change it if necessary.

To control the reference point:

  1. Select the object to be transformed.
  2. Choose one of the transform tools. A reference point appears inside the object.
  3. Move the cursor near the reference point. A small icon appears next to the cursor that indicates you can move the reference point letter-f.jpg.
  4. Drag the reference point to a new position.

    or

    Click to position the reference point in a new position.

The Scale tool lets you increase or decrease the size of objects.

To scale objects visually using the Scale tool:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose the Scale tool in the Tools panel letter-a.jpg.
  3. If necessary, change the position of the reference point.
  4. Move the cursor away from the reference point, and drag to scale the object letter-b.jpg.

If you prefer, you can resize objects numerically using the Scale command.

To scale objects using the Scale command:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Scale. This opens the Scale dialog box letter-c.jpg.
  3. Enter an amount for the Scale X (horizontal) field.
  4. Enter an amount for the Scale Y (vertical) field.
  5. Select the Preview checkbox to see the effects of entering the amounts.
  6. Click OK to scale the object or click Copy to create a scaled copy of the object.

To scale objects numerically using the Scale tool:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose the Scale tool in the Tools panel.
  3. Hold the Opt/Alt key and click to designate the position of the reference point. This opens the Scale dialog box letter-c.jpg.
  4. Set the dialog box controls as described in the previous exercise.

The Rotate tool changes the orientation, or angle, of the object on the page.

To rotate objects visually using the Rotate tool:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Click the Rotate tool in the Tools panel letter-d.jpg.
  3. If necessary, change the default reference point.
  4. Move the cursor away from the reference point, and drag to rotate the object letter-e.jpg.

To rotate objects using the Rotate command:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Rotate. This opens the Rotate dialog box letter-f.jpg.
  3. Use the Angle field to set how much the object should rotate.
  4. Select the Preview command to see the effects of entering the angle.
  5. Click OK to rotate the object or click Copy to create a copy as you rotate the object.

To rotate objects numerically using the Rotate tool:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose the Rotate tool in the Tools panel.
  3. Hold the Opt/Alt key and click to set the position of the reference point. This opens the Rotate dialog box.
  4. Set the dialog box controls as described in the previous exercise.

The Shear tool distorts the shape of objects.

To shear objects visually using the Shear tool:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Click the Shear tool in the Tools panel letter-a.jpg.
  3. If necessary, change the reference point by dragging it to a new position. The cursor indicates the reference point can be moved.
  4. Move the cursor away from the reference point, and drag to shear the object letter-b.jpg.

To shear objects using the Shear command:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Shear. This opens the Shear dialog box letter-c.jpg.
  3. Use the Shear Angle field to set the amount of distortion.
  4. Select one of the Axis options:
    • Horizontal shears along the horizontal axis.
    • Vertical shears along the vertical axis.
  5. Select the Preview command to see the effects of entering the shear angle and choosing the axis.
  6. Click OK to shear the object.

    or

    Click Copy to create a sheared copy of the object.

To shear objects numerically using the Shear tool:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose the Shear tool in the Tools panel.
  3. Hold the Opt/Alt key and click to set the position of the reference point. This opens the Shear dialog box letter-c.jpg.
  4. Set the dialog box controls as described in the previous exercise.

Rather than switching between the Scale, Rotate, and Shear tools, you can use the Free Transform tool to scale, rotate, or shear an object.

To use the Free Transform tool:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Click the Free Transform tool in the Tools panel letter-d.jpg. A bounding box appears around the object.
  3. To scale the object, place the cursor over one of the handles. The cursor changes to a double-headed arrow letter-e.jpg.

    or

    Place the cursor outside one of the handles of the bounding box. The cursor changes to a curved double-headed arrow letter-f.jpg.

    or

    Drag one of the handles and then hold the Cmd/Ctrl key after you have started the drag. The cursor does not change appearance, but the object will be sheared.

  4. Release the mouse button to apply the transformation.
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