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Editing Paths in Adobe Illustrator CS4

Chapter Description

David Karlins shows you how to use selection and editing techniques in Adobe Illustrator CS4, including selecting paths and path segments, grouping paths, and aligning anchors.

#38 Rotating

You can quickly rotate any selected object interactively by viewing the object bounding box and rotating with the Selection tool. If you want to activate a bounding box around an object that is part of a group, select that object with the Group Selection tool, and then click the Selection tool. The box will appear around the single object, not the whole group.

With the bounding box displayed, hover near a corner or side point of an object's bounding box (with the Selection tool). As you do, the Selection tool cursor turns into a double-headed, curved arrow. Click and drag clockwise or counterclockwise to rotate the selected object (Figure 38a).

Figure 38a

Figure 38a Rotating a selected object.

The Rotate tool rotates objects with more precision and control than you get by simply using the Selection tool. To rotate a selected object precisely using the dialog, double-click the Rotate tool. The Rotate dialog appears. Enter a value in the Angle area of the Rotate dialog to set the degree of rotation. The Copy button in the Rotate dialog allows you to create a second, rotated version of your selected object while leaving the original unchanged.

Select the Preview check box to view changes on the artboard as you make them in the dialog before you click OK (Figure 38b).

Figure 38b

Figure 38b Rotating with the Rotate dialog.

The most powerful and fun application of the Rotate tool is to rotate objects using a selected point as the rotation pivot. To do that:

  1. Select the object (or objects) to be rotated.
  2. Click the Rotate tool.
  3. Click anywhere on the artboard to define the rotation pivot point.
  4. Click and drag anywhere in the document to rotate the object around the selected point (Figure 38c).
    Figure 38c

    Figure 38c Rotating around a selected pivot anchor.

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