Creative Quick Tips
Illustration by John Hersey

How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator


From:

Creative Quick Tips

with Justin Seeley

Video: How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator

Hi there, welcome back to Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and this week, we're going to be taking a look at how to use the Rotate tool inside of Adobe Illustrator in a really interesting way. First things first. We need to create a new document. So, let's go to the File menu and choose New. And we'll create a 1024 by 768 document, that's okay. And so, basically what we're talking about here is how to rotate objects around a circle. And when I first started using Illustrator, this was one of the most confusing things in the world to me, because I just could not for the life of me figure out how to do it.
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Watch the Online Video Course Creative Quick Tips
5h 33m Appropriate for all Aug 05, 2013 Updated Jun 01, 2015

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
Software:
Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Justin Seeley

How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator

Hi there, welcome back to Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and this week, we're going to be taking a look at how to use the Rotate tool inside of Adobe Illustrator in a really interesting way. First things first. We need to create a new document. So, let's go to the File menu and choose New. And we'll create a 1024 by 768 document, that's okay. And so, basically what we're talking about here is how to rotate objects around a circle. And when I first started using Illustrator, this was one of the most confusing things in the world to me, because I just could not for the life of me figure out how to do it.

So, this is what I would do, I would create a circle, and then I would take something like maybe a rectangle and I would draw it out. So, let's say I was doing like a Clock icon or something. Let's just make this a different color so you could actually see it. And take the stroke off, there we go. So, I'd put something like this, up at the top, and then, of course, the easiest one to do would be the one right underneath it, alright? So, I'll just paste a copy of that, take it straight down, there we go, and then you could also just take these. Copy, paste them, an then rotate them around, to create those.

So, that was actually pretty easily done. The problem that I had was creating the little tick marks in-between. So, let's take a look at exactly how I did that. Let's go ahead and remove those, an we'll just start out with this guy right here. And so what I'm going to do, is I'm just going to invoke the Rotate tool by pressing the letter R on my keyboard. And once I do that, you're going to see this small little blue target right in the middle of that bar right there. And so, if I then find the center point of the circle that it's surrounded by. And you can see that little green center where it pops up.

That's because smart guides are turned on. If I click right there, that's going to make that the reference point now, for that rectangle. An so, if I wanted to rotate it around the path, watch this. It just rotates around in a perfect, circular fashion. And so, what I would do then, is just set up something like, this, a 45 degree angle, and then I would just do this. Hold down the Option key on the Mac, the Alt key on the PC, then I would release my mouse, and then I would release the keys on my keyboard. Then I could just do this. Cmd or Ctrl+D, all the way around, to create the main spokes of the Clock icon, or whatever it is I happen to be working on.

And then, I could do the same thing for the small ones, all in between there. It would not be that difficult. So, remember when you're using the Rotate tool, use that little blue reference point. I use it all the time for many different things. So, play with it and see what kind of stuff you can come up with. I think you'll be really amazed at just how much more efficient your workflow becomes when you know the little subtle tricks that come with tools like this.

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