Introduction: The Magical Rotate Tool in Illustrator

The rotate tool in Adobe Illustrator CS 6 is very fascinating and interesting when it comes to making geometric and psychedelic motifs for any purpose whatsoever. This tutorial will show you how you can easily use the rotate tool to make amazing creations.

Step 1: Draw a Shape

Draw any shape of your liking from the shape tools in the tool bar, or you can use the pen tool or the line tool to make your own shape.

You can make:

Oval, Circle, Square, Rectangle, Line, Curve, Spiral, Rounded-Square/Rectangle, Star, and your custom shape with straight or curved lines.

For the first step, make one shape on your document. Make it to the side of the document (top left or top right), and don't fill the document with your shape. Make a shape 0.5 or 1 inch large.

Step 2: Using the Rotate Tool

Use the selection tool and select your shape, then press the rotate tool on the tool bar. You will see a light blue colored anchor in the middle of the shape.

Step 3: Using the Rotate Tool Dialogue Box

Now press ALT on your keyboard and click with the anchor on any point of the shape you want. I clicked with my anchor on the bottom left corner of the shape, as you can see in the image. As soon as you will click with the anchor point, a dialogue box will open.

Dialogue Box Options:

1) Make sure you instantly turn on the preview mode.

2) The angle means at which angle do you want to rotate the shape - it needs to be divisible by 360 degrees. (In this examples, I have used 15 degrees)

3) Once your angle is decided, click on the bottom right corner button "COPY"


Step 4: See What Happens When You COPY

Your shape will repeat itself once, in the angle you defined in the dialogue box.

Step 5: The Final Step

Now simply press CTRL D to repeat the shape until you have your motif! Enjoy with this tool, you can make amazing motifs. It all depends on the shape you make and the point at which you keep the anchor point.


seamster (author)2015-03-05

Great trick, thanks for sharing this!