Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design > Adobe Creative Suite

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

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:

  • Select the object using the Selection tool. This type of selection causes the transform tools to affect both the container and any text or images inside it d.jpg.

    04fig22.jpg

    d.jpg Objects selected with the Selection tool have both the object and its content transformed by the transform tools.

  • or
  • Hold the Opt/Alt key as you click the frame with the Group Selection tool (Direct Selection tool). This causes the transformation to affect only the container, not any text or images contained in the frame e.jpg.

    04fig23.jpg

    e.jpg Objects selected with the Group Selection tool have only the object transformed by 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 f.jpg.

    04fig24.jpg

    f.jpg The indicator that the reference point can be moved to a new position.

  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 a.jpg. The Scale tool is in the flyout menu under the Free Transform tool.

    04fig25.jpg

    a.jpg The Scale tool in the Tools panel is used to change the size of objects.

  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 b.jpg.

    04fig26.jpg

    b.jpg The arrowhead appears while scaling an object.

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 c.jpg.

    04fig27.jpg

    c.jpg The Scale dialog box lets you scale objects using numerical values.

  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 c.jpg.
  4. Set the dialog box controls as described in the previous exercise.

The Rotation 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 d.jpg. The Rotate tool is in the flyout under the Free Transform tool.

    04fig28.jpg

    d.jpg The Rotate tool in the Tools panel is used to change the orientation of objects.

  3. If necessary, change the default reference point.
  4. Move the cursor away from the reference point, and drag to rotate the object e.jpg.

    04fig29.jpg

    e.jpg Rotating an object around its reference point.

To rotate objects using the Rotate command:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Rotate. This opens the Rotate dialog box f.jpg.

    04fig30.jpg

    f.jpg The Rotate dialog box lets you rotate objects using numerical values.

  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 a.jpg. The Shear tool is in the flyout under the Free Transform tool.

    04fig31.jpg

    a.jpg Use the Shear tool in the Tools panel to distort objects.

  3. If necessary, drag the reference point 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 b.jpg.

    04fig32.jpg

    b.jpg Shearing an object around the reference point.

To shear objects using the Shear command:

  1. Select the object or objects.
  2. Choose Object > Transform > Shear. This opens the Shear dialog box c.jpg.

    04fig33.jpg

    c.jpg The Shear dialog box lets you distort objects using numerical values.

  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 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 d.jpg. A bounding box appears around the object.

    04fig34.jpg

    d.jpg Choose the Free Transform tool in the Tools panel to scale, rotate, and shear objects.

  3. To scale the object, place the cursor over one of the handles. The cursor changes to a straight double-headed arrow e.jpg.

    04fig35.jpg

    e.jpg The double-headed arrow indicates that the Free Transform tool is in the scale mode.

    or

    To rotate the object, place the cursor outside one of the handles of the bounding box. The cursor changes to a curved double-headed arrow f.jpg.

    common9.jpg
    04fig36.jpg

    f.jpg The curved double-headed arrow indicates that the Free Transform tool is in the rotation mode.

    or

    To skew the object, 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.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account