Design insights & tutorials.

Using Transform Again in Illustrator

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This shortcut will help you in many different instances in Illustrator when you need to repeat a transformation. I use it most when I am trying to repeat a shape over and over again at an even interval.

First create a shape or a stroke, and then transform it in some way. You can find the Transform menu under Object > Transform or you can simply right click on an object and go to the Transform menu. Make sure that you are either holding alt (if you are transforming freehand) when you transform the shape, or using the copy button in the transform menus so that you get it to copy your original shape.



Then press Ctrl + D and the transformation will repeat itself and create a new shape.

This shortcut can be particularly helpful when creating Spirograph type shapes or a sunburst shape:


I also use it when I am trying to create many copies of a shape for a clipping mask, or with the Transform Each function to create even more dynamic transformations.


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  • geoffmay

    No offense, but this is a tutorial???

  • tim_hammond

    It's more of a tip. The Transform Again function is super useful, so it's worth knowing.

  • Alessandro Mingione

    Have you read the “quick tip” title?

  • Simon H.

    Nice and practical one! Thanks Adam.

  • aaronmiller

    For me, I have to cmd + F (paste in place) and then repeat, otherwise the same line will keep changing its rotation.


  • Vim82

    Nice tip, could you please more complex illustrator tutorials, appreciate this one though!!

  • g3niuz

    good tip…

    didnt know before ;d

  • geoffmay

    Apparently I need reading comprehension classes. Me fail English? That's unpossible!

  • CMYK

    Niceee 4 practical!

  • Mesothelioma

    Good tip, thanks.

  • daniellelattuca

    You guys are mind-readers! I was just saying to my colleage “I wonder how you do spirographs in Illustrator and 30 seconds later I received this tutorial via vectips! May not be the most complex tutorial but I find it quite entertaining so thanks! haha

  • Inspiration Station

    Quick Tip for Adobe Illustrator – How to Use Transform

  • SaxxyArt

    This is awesome! I had no idea! I always tried to do this manually. Thanks man, this tip is BFA!

  • onlybegun

    How do you ungroup or release the duplicates to edit them separately?

  • onlybegun

    Flatten > Ungroup

  • bimasakti

    just a case of it?, my son 4 years old can!

  • Mesothelioma Lawyer

    Great tutorial!

  • Toyota Recall Lawyer

    Awesome tutorial. I want to start using Illustrator more. I'm a photoshop guy.

  • Paxil Lawsuits

    Great stuff!

  • Reglan Lawsuits

    Anyone know when CS5 comes out?

  • Reglan Lawsuits

    I'm currently running CS3. I can't wait for CS5!

  • marley pfei

    I can't seem to make duplicates, the same shape just keeps repeating itself.. anybody know where I went wrong?

    • matgeek

      You’ll need to press the “Copy” button on the rotate dialog box, instead of the OK button, to get the “Transform Again…” command to duplicate and rotate the object.

  • veyo

    Have you read the OKTARquick tipOKTAR title?
    dizi izle

  • Windows License Key

    nice transform

  • gucci bamboo bar tote

    thanks for your sharing!