Overview of Illustrator Free Transform Tool
The Free Transform tool is a useful and effective tool that can be used to rotate, resize, mirror, and bend an artwork. Furthermore, there are options to add distort and perspective effects as well. After selecting the free transform tool, a new widget appears. It contains buttons for various options. The users can also control the tool using the keyboard keys. It is always better to use the smart guides along with the free transform tool to have alignment control. The new update in Illustrator supports touch support. Therefore, you can work these tools using a touchscreen device. Go through this article and learn to use the free transform tool in your project.
Steps to Use Illustrator Free Transform Tool
Here are the steps to know how to use the Free Transform Tool.
Step 1: First of all, you will have to select the artwork you have created from the tools panel. For this, go to the Selection tool and select it. You can also use the shortcut key (V) for quickly selecting an object.
Step 2: Choose the required objects in the artwork that you need to transform.
Step 3: Pick the free transform tool available in the tools panel. It is hidden under the Puppet Warp tool. As seen in the below image, hold the puppet warp tool, and below appears the Free transform tool.
Step 4: Using Smart Guides with transform can be helpful in your work. Follow the below method to do so. Go to the View option on top of the menu. From the drop-down list, select Smart Guides. This displays the smart guides.
Now, as you move the selected object around the artboard, you will notice smart guides that you can use to align the artwork.
Step 5: Transform tool with Perspective Distort or Free Distort: In order to modify an object, choose the Perspective Distort or Free Distort options.
As shown in the above image, toggle between perspective and distort based on your needs.
Step 6: If you require to free transform an object from the widget, choose the Free Transform button. After that, do the following:
- Scale: You could change the size by dragging the corner, resize the handle along two axes. You can also select just one handle to scale in one axis.
For scaling uniformly, toggle on the constrain button from the widget and a lock icon appears. Next, to scale, use the shift key to drag the object. You can also scale the artwork from the center by holding the Alt key or the Opt key based on the system.
- Reflect: By dragging a slide handle all through the way, you can reflect an object.
- Rotate: Move the mouse a little bit away from the corner handle (the pointer changes form into a double arrow), and then rotate the object circularly. You can use the shift key to rotate the object at a 45-degree angle. If you need to rotate an object at a 180-degree angle, just drag the handle diagonally till you want.
- Shear: Simply drag the handle from the side and press the Ctrl key and continue the step. Use the shift key to constrain the movement. For moving from the canter, hold the Alt or Option key.
- Select the required artwork or object to shear
- Pick the Free transform tool
Follow the below instructions:
- Perspective: Pull the side handle and press the Ctrl + Alt + Shift key combo. In Mac, use Cmd + Option + Shift while dragging.
- Distort: Hold the Ctrl key or CMD button and drag the corner handle.
- Pick the objects to distort
- Next, activate the free transform tool
Now you can start to drag the corner handle of the object and follow the below methods:
- Press the Ctrl button if you are using Windows or the Cmd key if you are on Mac OS. See if the distortion is accurate and end the process.
- To distort in perspective mode, in Windows, use the Shift + Alt + Ctrl or in Mac, use Shift + Option + Command.
You need to know that using perspective and distort requires some extra care, or else your work might get affected.
Scale objects with the bounding box
- Choose the artwork that needs to be scaled.
- Activate the free transform tool or the selection tool.
- Next, pull the bounding box handle until you find the object has reached the desired size.
You can further manipulate the scaling controls by:
- Holding the shift key to uniformly transform the item.
- Press the Alt key or the option key to start scaling from the canter.
In Adobe illustrator, strokes and effects are not transformed by default. For that, you no need to change some settings. Go to the edit option, and from the drop-down list, choose preferences. Next, select the general option and choose scale strokes and effects. You can also use the transform panel in order to scale objects depending on your project. Now you can change the reference point by pointing to the point and dragging it. For resetting the reference point, just double click it.
By reading this article, you might have understood the benefits that the Free Transform tool brings to the table. It is a real time saver and brings the desired results into your works with ease. If you are not familiar with the tool, practice applying it, and discover a new way of doing things in Illustrator.
This has been a guide on Illustrator Free Transform Tool. Here we discuss the Steps to use the Free Transform Tool in illustrator. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –