Rotate objects or shapes or create a series of shapes on a circular path.
When to use
The Rotate Tool can be used any time you wanted to quickly rotate an object or rotate objects around an axis such as a circle.
- Begin by opening the Rotating Objects - Exercise.ai file
- Select your text with the Selection Tool (V) and then grab the Rotate Tool from the toolbar.
- Notice that once you've selected the tool, a small red crosshair appears on the baseline of your text.
- With your Rotate Tool selected, rotate your text and notice how the point of origin is on the left side where your crosshair is located.
- Click on the small red crosshair and move it to the center of your text and now try to rotate your type again.
- This time, your text should be rotating around the center where the crosshair is located.
- Do the same thing after placing the crosshair to the right.
- Grab your Ellipse Tool (L) and hold down the Shift Key to create a circle and fill it with solid black.
- Grab your Rectangle Tool (M) and create a tall, narrow rectangle roughly above your circle and also fill this shape with black.
- Switch back to your Selection Tool and click and drag around both shapes so that they are selected simultaneously.
- Find the 'Align' option from the top toolbar, or by going to the Window Menu and choosing the Align option.
- Click on the second icon in the top row that says 'Horizontal Align Center'.
- Now both of your shapes should be centered.
- Select them both once again using your Selection Tool and then press 'R' on the keyboard to return to the Rotate Tool.
- Next we want to move the red crosshair to the center of the circle shape.
- Once the anchor point has been placed in the center of the circle, hold down the Alt/Option key and click twice on the anchor.
- You should now be prompted with a dialog box that allows you to enter a value for the angle.
- Enter a value of 20 degrees and then click on the button that says 'Copy' from inside of the dialog box.
- You should now have your original rectangle, plus one new copy that has been rotated 20 degrees.
- Now press Command/Ctrl+D on the keyboard to duplicate this rotation until your shapes rotate all the way around the circle.
- The keyboard shortcut for the Scale Tool is 'R' on the keyboard.
- Using the Rotate Tool can be very useful for creating things like bursts, fireworks, or sun rays in Illustrator.
Lesson notes are only available for subscribers.