Using Transform Again in Adobe Illustrator CS5

We would normally use the Copy-Paste commands to create multiple instance of objects. But with copy-paste the instances will be copied and pasted as is. Any changes (transformation) that are required in their angle or size need to be done manually. ‘Transform Again’ command is such handy shortcut that helps you repeat instances of a transformed object. You can create cool patterns using the technique.

In this tutorial, we will use the Rotate tool and Transform Again command to create a pattern like this;


1. Using the Pen Tool (P) draw a petal like this;

Shape drawn using Pen tool

NOTE: The Fill is set to none and a stroke of black.

2. With the shape selected, right click anywhere on the art board and choose ‘Rotate…’.

Transform Menu

3. In the Rotate dialog box, enter a value of ‘15°’ and click on ‘Copy’.


4. A copy of the shape will be created with a rotation angle of 15° as shown below:


5. Now use the ‘Transform Again’ command from either of these options;

a. Right click on the selected object and choose Transform > Transform Again.

b. Object > Transform > Transform Again.

c. Key in the shortcut ‘Ctrl + D’.

Since we have to create plenty of instance of the shape, we will use the shortcut ‘Ctrl + D’ several times. The output will be as shown here:


We have used ‘Rotate tool’ in this tutorial, similarly you can use the other Transform tools like Move, Reflect, Scale and Shear to create some dynamic effects.

Filed Under: Adobe Illustrator


About the Author: Minal is a freelance web and graphics designer. She specializes in designing Logos, Stationery, Graphics and Icons as well as website templates using graphical tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Expression Web. Twitter @saffronstroke

RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Scott says:

    The command D function in CS5 is a definite downgrade from previous versions. I want it to duplicate my last move, not all the object dimensions, et al. Big thumbs down on this.

Leave a Reply