How to Scale Objects | Adobe Illustrator

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This is how you scale objects in Adobe Illustrator. So, we’re going to go to our handy-dandy tools panel and we’re going to click the Rectangle tool. We’re going to drag us out a rectangle. And let’s say we have this rectangle here and we want to increase the size of the rectangle. Now, a quick way to increase the size is, if you were to click on it with your selection tool, you’ll notice there are little squares on the outside of this actual rectangle. You can click on any one of these squares, you can drag it and it will actually scale the size up or down. But sometimes that can be rather annoying because it’ll warp the orientation of your shape.

And, almost everybody wants their shape to remain the same, unless they’re actually trying to warp it on purpose. So, if you were to grab a corner, you were to click and you were to hold down your shift key, you’ll notice that, as you drag it, the actual shape itself will maintain its proportions and its orientation. So it won’t actually warp. Now, if we wanted to scale that, instead of it just going out to the right, and let’s say we wanted to center-scale it. If we click that and we hold the Shift key and we hold our Alt key, you’ll notice that it’ll scale out from the center. So it’ll actually maintain positioning based upon the center of the object as well. Now that’s one way for you to scale. Another way to scale is to actually select the Scale tool. This is your free transform tool. If you were to click this and click a corner, drag this up. Same thing as just having your selection tool. Same exact thing. Now let’s say we wanted to do this with just numbers, uniformly changing the size. We can actually go over to our Scale tool itself. If you look in your tools panel, you go about halfway down you’ll notice, right above your Width tool, there’s is a tool with two rectangles, and there is an arrow from one rectangle going upward.

That designates the fact that this is actually going to scale. So when we double-click on that, what it does is, it gives you your scale options. The first says Uniform and the second one says Nonuniform. And you notice when you click Nonuniform, you have horizontal and you have vertical. Again, most people want their shape to scale uniformly. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to click on the Preview button. And this is going to show us what’s happening to our shape, live on our panel. So we’re just going to increase – bump up – the numbers uniformly. And you’ll notice that it scales. All the numbers are changing and you can click OK and it will actually change that live on your board. If you were to double-click on that again, and we were to go to Nonuniform, let’s say we change this only to change the horizontal aspect. If we were to change that, you’ll notice that it increases or decreases left and right. If we were to do it vertically, same thing. Now, you’ll notice that, in your options panel you have a Scale, Strokes and Effects. If at some point in time, you decide to add effects onto an object, or part of your artwork, you want to scale it, or if you have a stroke around your object, it will actually scale the stroke according to the size of the object.

So right now, as is, let’s add a black stroke and let’s increase the size. All right. So now we have this rectangle with a black stroke. We want to scale that. If we were to scale this up, let’s say 200%, you’ll notice that the stroke stays the same size. Now if we were to go back down, all right, and to copy you can Command-C or Control-C and you can Command- or Control-F to just paste in front. Now, if we were to scale this object without the scale and stroke effects at 200%, the stroke remains the same. But if we were to scale this at 200% but scale, stroke and effects, you’ll notice that the stroke will double, just like the size doubled. And that’s how you work with the scale tool in Adobe Illustrator.


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  1. ibrahim kekeç says:

    I dont want edit with %. I want edit with px or mm. Some object 55×35 px some object 53×33. I want make all of them 45×30.

  2. Will Van West says:

    the little squares arnt there for me when i use selection tool and i drag it just moves the image

  3. HenryFromLagos says:

    You've just saved me man, I was getting frustrated with this scale! The flat rounded rectangle character i was trying to scale kept getting square despite holding shift

  4. Alex Peruca says:

    Nice video, but here's a tip: no one wants to see You in these types of Tutorials. You should show the screen 100% of the time. Nothing personal, but it's not about you, it's about what you're teaching. Just watch all Tutorials online. No one keeps showing themselves.

  5. Jade C says:

    after i draw the rectangle there are no corner on the image drag. All it doe is moving the rectangle around the image

  6. A. B. says:

    I cant find the scale tool in 2019 illustrator, where is it?

  7. Harshada Upare says:

    Thank you so much, really helpful.

  8. JeenieJolie says:

    I've been trying to do it for the past two hours and it isn't working >.<

  9. fatema alzahra says:

    Thank you so much

  10. Cale Smeltzer says:

    Evidently you've never tested this theory with drop shadow applied to your project. it completely distorts.

  11. Alaa Alisawe says:

    Thank uuuuuuuuuu ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ u are the best

  12. Donald Drennan says:

    Thank you, but I have another question I can't find the answer to. I have some text in a block. My instructions are to make the headline type 2.125" tall, however I don't know how big the body text should be. When I scale up the headline type, how can I read what percentage that was enlarged? I want to scale up the body text by the same percentage, but there is nothing that tells me what that is.

  13. Romain F says:

    You just saved my soul from 30 minutes of anger and frustration. <3

  14. Uche P says:

    Thank you so much. Very helpful and exactly what I was looking for.

  15. Paper Bags says:

    DUDE! I love you! You saved my life!!!

  16. Rena Hernawati says:

    When i make rectagle, elipse etc…the shape cannot be balance…why?

  17. Mohammed Fayaz says:

    Thank you. That was very helpful

  18. Dreezey Dreeze says:

    Huge help… Thank you so much!

  19. Kilyén Balázs says:

    Whelp this is cool, but it did not help me. I made a bike with fibonacci spiral and want to make the same strokes in the same angle just smaller inside it, but it keeps messing up the angle of the lines. When i use Shift or Scale tool, it still does it. Any opinions?

  20. Pete Sotekirk says:

    you saved me!!! thanx man!!!

  21. Rombout Versluijs says:

    You forgot we can also use alt the set the pivot point for scaling when using the Select tool. This way you can scale from custom center point.

  22. NickyDeDuck says:

    lmao tell me tomorrow

  23. Jason Enz says:

    How do I scale to a specific size? I have a design that is 10" horizontal by 3" vertical. I want the 10" scaled to 12" and the 3" to scale uniformly.
    Without having to scale a little and check it, scale a little more and check it…is there somewhere I can just type in 12 in." and the design will scale uniformly?
    Driving me bonkers! Haha

  24. Flat Feelings says:

    Maybe try using a real picture for a "real world" tutorial

  25. Gulliver 154 says:

    Thanks for help 🙂

  26. Setiawan Jody Mahardika says:

    thank you

  27. Carolyn Harper says:

    Wow! Great music. Great teaching method. All relaxed and loosy goosy! You could teach me Quantum Physics and I'd totally get it!

  28. Dora Manou says:

    hello! why when a scale something, the box with the height and the width doesnt appeard? how can i change it?

  29. Gilded Alliance says:

    thanks bro!

  30. Edžus Utināns says:

    SHIFT+ALT guys!

  31. John Ng says:

    don't see the blue lines around my object, how do I make the blue lines go around my object?

  32. Norvan Screen says:

    Hello for everyone there is a problem in Illustrator program, How can I change my illustrator's language?

  33. Chris says:

    ty for making this tutorial it helped 🙂 ! i wonder though, why doesnt the top panel change to the tool bar that belongs with the selected tool ?… and why does it have ot be in a window that when pops up disables everything else?? what happened to a nice parallel workflow like in photoshop where everything is accessible and viewable at the same time? Is there a specific reason behind it that adobe did it like this ? im just so weirded out by the non intuitivity of illustrator.

  34. Madhuri Nikam says:

    helped a lot…thank you 🙂

  35. Glenn Stachwick says:

    keep up the good work on you YOUTUBE videos HOWCAST!

  36. Abdul's Drive says:

    Thank you Howcast! This is what i was looking for!

  37. Hasmik Simon says:

    Thank you! This is EXACTLY what i was looking for!

  38. Heather Farrar says:

    OMG!!!  Thank You!!!!!!

  39. Dan Wiles says:

    how to you scale multiple things at once? I wanna just select all my layers, hold shift them and drag them to the correct size like in photoshop but cant't figure it out.

  40. qualityrenov says:

    thank you so much

  41. PingYew Tan says:

    thanks for my assignment!

  42. Mauricio Miranda says:

    helped a lot thanks

  43. pedram kh says:

    Thank you 🙂

  44. Khalid Al Hamoud says:

    very helpful thank you dude

  45. Gilberto Obando says:

    in my illustrator does not let me scaled like that, it use to but not anymore. It seems that is unable to do it. Can someone tell me what to do? I went to the preferences but i do not know what to do

  46. Crystal Ricotta says:

    I was trying to scale up a bee illustration for a sign – Thank you!

  47. kindAhumaNbeinG says:

    Thank you 🙂

  48. Jack FnTwist says:

    I'm trying to scale a logo down (png, pdf, jpg, psd) a lot, with circular text, but not get pixilation on letters or line edges.  I need to make it really sharp between half an inch, and .25 inch, and scaleable without losing resolution within that range.  Right now it's 10" x 10".  Any way to do this, or does it have to be re-worked completely from scratch?  Also want to make sure it's filled in the right color profile (cmyk – coated fogra39), and be able to select different color fill options….  Any help?  I'm good at most of adobe suite, but never used illustrator.  Someone made it for me.  Thank you.

  49. tailz with a z says:

    All I wanted to do was resize it manually by clicking and dragging, but it won't even let me!
    I click the rectangle tool, drag it out, but when I drag from the little squares it just moves the shape around!
    Please help!

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