How To Move Pattern In Illustrator? Boost Your Productivity

Patterns can add a great deal to any design. From adding texture, visual contrast or simply an extra pop of color; patterns have many uses in decorating spaces.

Add patterns in Illustrator is straightforward; all it requires is dragging the pattern swatch to your swatch panel. However, what happens if they move around your design?


Illustrator provides you with the capability of scaling patterns easily, which enables you to edit designs without altering their proportions or changing their scale. This feature is especially beneficial when creating patterns designed for viewing at various sizes – it helps prevent disjointed and confusing designs from emerging from different sections of a design.

To scale a pattern, first select the object where it has been applied and double-clicking the Scale Tool from the toolbar. Make sure Transform Patterns is selected; uncheck all other options; modify Uniform’s scale percentage before clicking OK to set your new size.

Rotating patterns allows you to create more complex shapes than would otherwise be achievable with simple shapes alone. To do this, select the object on which you would like the pattern applied, open up the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance or Shift + F6), select Pattern from the list, and adjust its rotation angle as necessary.

An integral element of designing with patterns is making sure they’re balanced, meaning each composing shape should complement its neighbors so as not to compete for attention with one another. If a very small shape is placed next to an extremely large one, the viewer’s eye will automatically move towards the latter instead of paying attention to both.

Accidentally moving the position of patterns on an object can quickly cause them to distort or disappear entirely, so knowing how to quickly and easily fix this problem quickly is critical. An easy solution is using Transform Tools/Pattern Menu’s Lock Pattern box – unchecking this will stop it moving with whatever object it’s being laid over; when ready, simply rechecking will allow your work to proceed as normal – saving both time and frustration in the long run! This trick can save both time and frustration!


Rotate is an invaluable tool when working with patterns. This rotation tool enables you to rotate objects without changing their original positions, which can help when creating symmetrical designs. Furthermore, this creative rotating trick adds flair and individuality to any design you create; making your creation stand out from the crowd.

Outside of adding depth to your design, texture can help you craft a more seamless composition by enabling you to place objects closer together or further apart, as well as move patterns around points or circles – which comes in handy for creating spokes on wheels and other circular objects.

Once you become acquainted with using the Rotate tool, using it becomes straightforward. Simply drag your mouse across an object you want to rotate around and it will create a point which serves as a reference when rotating them around. After dropping this reference point, simply select Rotate tool to continue rotating object around this reference point.

Simply click and drag to move any point on your screen anywhere on screen, with no consequence to rotation or position adjustment; just be mindful not to move too much as that could distort objects onscreen.

As another way of rotating patterns in Illustrator, the Transform menu provides another method. You can open this by either clicking and dragging on a shape, or pressing Control+Shift+M (PC)/Command+Shift+M (Mac). Once opened, ensure only “Patterns” is checked off under Options in this menu; “Objects” should remain unchecked.

Use the Shear option of the Transform menu to quickly change the orientation of a pattern. It allows you to alter its direction along either the horizontal or vertical axes depending on which option is selected in Axis section. To apply a shear effect to any shape simply click and drag, or press and hold tilde key while using Move, Scale, Shear or Rotate tool.


Illustrator allows you to design patterns to use with shapes or use an existing swatch on an existing shape and move and position them exactly the way you like – whether that means rotating, scaling or shearing the pattern to fit its surroundings.

To create a pattern, begin by drawing out a square or rectangle that contains your elements in its center. Make sure that its edges perfectly mirror each other for a seamless pattern and add transparent fill to make your patterns appear cleaner and more professional.

Once you’ve created your shape, set it as a swatch in your Swatches Panel and double-click to access the Pattern Options menu. From here you can adjust the Uniform scale (increasing will increase size; decreasing will reduce it), as well as enable Move Tile with Art for seamless adjustments that keep everything even and uniform. If necessary, enable Move Tile With Art so if the position of artwork needs adjusting simultaneously with its pattern to maintain consistency across everything.

Whenever your pattern is complete, you can apply it to any shape that requires background or repeating patterns. When applying it to an object, its pattern will resize itself automatically according to its new size. If your pattern appears distorted when being applied onto objects, you can use Transform Tool/Pattern menu to alter or even shear your pattern before it’s applied.

Before we wrap up, one final point: when locking patterns into place, they still move with an object when it is moved or rotated by default. If this becomes bothersome, navigate to Pattern Options menu and uncheck “Lock pattern box”.

Once your pattern is finished, you can save it as an AI file to be reused later. However, if you plan to sell them as PNG files it will make using them easier in programs such as Photoshop.


Patterns can add life and vibrance to your designs, and with today’s software advancements they have never been simpler. Patterns adorn popular art, architecture and consumer products and give your work that extra flourish! Whether it be digital or traditional media usage it is essential that you know how to move and scale them correctly so your work looks professional and seamless.

Illustrator makes creating patterns easy: drag your desired pattern from the Swatches panel or select it, and fill a shape with its pattern swatch. After filling in your shape with it, double-clicking on its swatch will open the Pattern Options menu where you can access and modify all aspects of its settings such as tiling grid size, repetition frequency and more.

When applying patterns to shapes, their pattern by default follows along. While this works great if you want the entire object covered with pattern, this can become problematic when trying to change an individual element’s size within it. To resize your pattern simply navigate to Object > Transform > Scale and select your scale percentage preference there; be sure only the “Patterns” box is checked rather than any others such as “Scale Strokes & Effects” or “Objects”, or otherwise both objects and the pattern will scale together!

Understand how to resize, rotate and move patterns in Illustrator is vital to taking your design to the next level. By learning to manipulate a pattern you’ll be able to produce some truly extraordinary pieces of artwork that will stand the test of time. Don’t be intimidated by all of the different techniques; experiment and try them all until you find one that best fits with your work! With practice you will soon be creating beautiful patterns! Enjoy designing!

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