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Creative Quick Tips
Illustration by John Hersey

How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator


From:

Creative Quick Tips

with Justin Seeley

Video: How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator

Hello, welcome back to another installment of Creative Quick Tips. So this is essentially the same size as the You can see now the corners stay perfectly round, exactly like they are supposed
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome to the series
      48s
    2. How to send feedback
      57s
  2. 18m 10s
    1. How to find free stock photos online
      1m 55s
    2. Using the transform command in Illustrator
      4m 14s
    3. Five tools for wireframing & mockups
      7m 36s
    4. How to convert videos into GIFs using Photoshop
      4m 25s
  3. 11m 50s
    1. How to create layers from Photoshop Layer Styles
      3m 14s
    2. How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers
      3m 15s
    3. How to combine vector shapes in Photoshop
      2m 49s
    4. How to use text wrapping in Illustrator
      2m 32s
  4. 15m 41s
    1. How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator
      2m 39s
    2. How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator
      3m 29s
    3. How to speed up Photoshop's performance
      3m 25s
    4. How to use tool shortcuts in Photoshop
      2m 52s
    5. How to use springloaded shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 16s
  5. 9m 27s
    1. How to create a better Twitter avatar
      3m 59s
    2. How to embed videos in WordPress without a plugin
      1m 45s
    3. How to embed real tweets into any WordPress post
      2m 15s
    4. Create your own Photoshop shortcut cheat sheet
      1m 28s
  6. 17m 53s
    1. How to create better Facebook cover photos
      4m 31s
    2. How to use keyboard shortcuts in WordPress
      2m 47s
    3. How to add Apple touch icons to your website
      5m 27s
    4. How to use Font Awesome in design applications
      5m 8s
  7. 8m 50s
    1. How to create your own pixel grids
      4m 25s
    2. How to sample colors from anywhere
      2m 5s
    3. How to create diagonal guides in Illustrator
      2m 20s
  8. 13m 48s
    1. How to round individual corners on Illustrator shapes
      3m 21s
    2. How to use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
      4m 8s
    3. How to use the Shape Builder Tool to recolor artwork
      3m 34s
    4. How to use "Align to Key Object" in Illustrator
      2m 45s
  9. 8m 26s
    1. Exploring the Kuler Panel in Illustrator CC
      1m 50s
    2. How to draw awesome shapes with the tilde key
      2m 12s
    3. How to reset your bounding box in Illustrator
      2m 6s
    4. How to change your artboard color in Illustrator
      2m 18s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. How to use Photoshop and Illustrator to write CSS
      4m 1s
    2. How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator
      4m 16s
    3. How to use the fill commands in Photoshop
      3m 52s
    4. How to accurately space objects in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    5. Ten WordPress plugins that you should know
      9m 5s
  11. 9m 41s
    1. Unlocking background layers in Photoshop
      1m 8s
    2. Using opacity shortcuts in Photoshop
      1m 50s
    3. Using Illustrator's Glyphs Panel for icon fonts
      3m 15s
    4. Creating flexible buttons in Illustrator
      3m 28s
  12. 6m 31s
    1. Locking artwork in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    2. Five free fonts for your next project
      2m 0s
    3. Improving the SEO of your Muse website
      2m 26s
  13. 17m 7s
    1. Fitting content into your InDesign frames
      2m 37s
    2. Setting up your own Autocorrect in InDesign
      2m 33s
    3. Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator
      3m 14s
    4. Using the snapshots feature in Photoshop
      4m 40s
    5. Creating awesome product shots with Placeit
      4m 3s

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Creative Quick Tips
2h 42m Appropriate for all Aug 05, 2013 Updated Jul 28, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.

Subjects:
Design Web Design Techniques
Software:
Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Justin Seeley

How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator

Hello, welcome back to another installment of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley, and this week I'm going to be showing you how to create scalable, rounded rectangles inside of Adobe Illustrator. Now I have two rounded rectangles on my screen right now, both of which look pretty much identical. And so what I want to do is show you exactly what happens when you try to scale a normal, rounded rectangle. So let's take this one here, and let's just drag that up and maybe drag this out. And you can kind of see here that it really doesn't scale all that well.

The corners start to get a little wonky, and when I stretch it out like that, you can kind of see that it loses all of its shape. So let's just Undo that, and go back to the very beginning. And let's talk about method one for creating a shape that scales easily inside of Illustrator. Method one involves using a live effect. So I'm going to take this and grab a Rectangle tool, and I'm just going to recreate this shape here. So I'm just going to recreate it by dragging right across the top of it, and doing something like that. And lets move it up a little bit. So this is essentially the same size as the rounded rectangle beneath it, just doesn't have the rounded corners.

In order to add the rounded corners, I'll go to the Effect menu, choose Stylize, and put Round Corners on this. We'll hit Preview, and I'm just going to crank up the radius until it matches as close as I can with the other one. So that looks pretty close, maybe it's a little too round, that's okay. I can just go over in the Appearance panel, and click round corners and I can take that down a little bit something maybe like 50, see what that looks like. That looks a little better, hit OK. So now I've got the rounded corners on this rectangle, and now if I scale this out watch what happens, let's zoom out a little bit. You can see now the corners stay perfectly round, exactly like they are supposed to, the only thing that was scaled was the middle portion of the button.

So lets Undo that. So that is method one. The problem with that is, it's an effect, you have to add that and just takes a little while to do that. It also doesn't give you the flexibility of something that say, a symbol would give you. So let's take this other rectangle down here at the bottom, and I'm just going to to drag and drop that over into the Symbols panel. And when I drag that and drop it over in the Symbols panel, I'm going to call it BTN for button, and we're going to make this a graphic. And I'm going to turn something on that says Enable Guides for Non-slice Scaling. I'm also going to turn off a line for pixel grid for the moment, we don't need that.

So, enable guides for nine slide scaling. You might not know what that is, and that's okay. I'm going to hit OK, and once I do that, this is now a symbol, and it's over here in the Symbols panel as well. If I double-click this to enter Editing mode for the symbol, you're going to notice that it actually has four distinct guides, two vertical, two horizontal, and those guides actually create nine regions. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine. Nine different regions.

And so what we're looking for is the intersection points right here. And so this is the main area that is going to be scalable. You want to make sure that this other stuff is kind of outside of that region. So if I were to take this and drag it out, only this part would scale, take this and drag it out, only the middle part would scale, et cetera. You can also take these guides and change them, to make sure that other places are not scaled and what not. But in this case, it's going to work out perfectly for this button. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to Escape using the Escape key. And then let's take each one, and let's scale them out and see what they look like.

So let's go here, when I drag that up scales perfectly. When I drag this up should scale not so perfectly, and then this one down here scales again perfectly. Now the benefit to this, is the fact that it's a symbol. Anytime I want I want I can drag out another instance of that symbol, and I could make it smaller or larger anytime I want, and the scaling would stay in tact. So I actually think the symbol's way is the best way to do this, but if you want to deal with having an effect applied to it all the time, and you know all that kind of stuff, you can certainly do that.

But symbols is a much more flexible way, it's also an easy way to deploy multiple versions of the same piece of artwork, to whatever it is you might be working on. So there you go. How to create scalable objects with rounded corners in Illustrator, by either using Live Effects or by using symbols and something called 9-slice scaling.

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