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How can I resize such items without changing the curvature at edges? You know, I don't want the half-circles at the extremes to become half-elipses.



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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Hold down the shift key while dragging a corner handle.

Or, the more accurate and flexible method is directly selecting all the vector point anchors for one side (2 corners) and dragging that over, then selecting the other half to drag another side in another direction to achieve the desired dimensions.

diagram to show how to resize by directly selecting anchor points

You can only do that with the "Direct Selection Tool" which is the second, white, "pointer" button in the Illustrator tools palette. It selects points of a shape instead of the whole shape.

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@Tim I can only resize it by doing this. I need to make the long edge shorter. – Patrick May 19 '11 at 19:31
Should have mentioned the method of directly selecting all the vector point anchors for one side (2 corners) and dragging that over, then selecting the other half to drag another side in another direction to achieve the desired dimensions. Not sure this makes sense without a diagram. – sirtimbly May 19 '11 at 19:31
@Tim I see what you suggest, I can actually select multiple anchors, but there is always a hidden one I can't select and, you know, a wierd distorsion occurs because an anchor remains fixed. By the way, I don't feel very comfortable with this technique, isn't there a better way to just make an edge shorter ? I'm not an expert of vector graphic, but maybe cutting it in two pieces and pasting them ? – Patrick May 19 '11 at 19:46
I updated my answer with a link to a diagram to explain it. Direct select is the mouse pointer tool that is white - directly below the black cursor in the tool palette. – sirtimbly May 19 '11 at 19:47
@Tim Yeah it was clear. My issue is the selection of the anchor. I can see from the diagram, you are dragging a rectangle around the anchors. I'm doing this with the Selection Tool, but the anchors are still unselected. (I've tried to both select the object, double click the object without luck). – Patrick May 19 '11 at 21:01

Holding Shift while resizing will constrain proportions and keep the ends as semicircles. If your resized shape is too wide, use Direct Select (A) to select anchors on one side and then move them to where they need to be.

If you need the edges aligned with other objects, the easiest way is to duplicate your resized object and combine the 2 shapes using overlapping areas.

Step 1: The Initial Resize (to get the correct height without distorting your ends)

Shift + Resize

Step 2 (Option A): Adjust Width Using Direct Selection (move some anchors)

Direct Selection

Step 2 (Option B): Adjust Width Using Compount Shapes (good for aligning with other objects)

Compound Images

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(1) When you suggest to use "Direct Select (A)" you mean to select the object and press "A" ? (2) I've tried and I've been able to modify the shape of the object by dragging a point (it is actually hard to use). Correct ? (3) My object is actually too long but I'm interested in this technique: can you elaborate it a little bit more ? You duplicate the shape then you make the 2 clones to overlap with the opposite extremes where they should be.. and then somehow combine them ? – Patrick May 19 '11 at 19:38
@Patrick (1) In Illustrator, if you hit the letter A on your keyboard it will choose the Direct Selection tool. (2) Hold the Shift key while dragging points to keep them on a plane. Smart Guides are also very helpful. (3) Updated the post. – Farray May 19 '11 at 23:08

I don't know which version of Illustrator you're using, and I also don't recall which version of Illustrator this first arrived in (CS3, maybe?), but the exact answer to your question is: turn on 9-slice scaling for your object.

The instructions for turning this on in CS5 are here in the Illustrator help, but maybe it will help to explain what the heck 9-slice scaling is and why somebody invented it in the first place.

"Why" is easy: it was to solve the exact problem you are running into, where the designer needs to scale an object without affecting the corner radius. 9-Slice Scaling divides the object into three, horizontally and vertically, then protects he four corners while allowing the center and edges to scale up and down. I can't improve on the Fireworks help page that shows all this very clearly.

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I think you are right but still I can't solve my problem. I've enabled 9-slice scaling and I can move the grid lines, but still when I resize my object I get the distorsions. More exactly I'm now in this situation: . What should I do next to resize the middle column ? – Patrick May 19 '11 at 21:25
Nevermind, I've solved with Tim solution. It is actually faster, but thanks. – Patrick May 19 '11 at 21:27
@Patrick: If selecting the anchor points as Tim suggests works for your particular issue, great! To resize the middle (stretch the object) you don't need to be in isolation mode. Just select and stretch from a side handle. Once 9-slice is enabled, it operates automatically. To move a grid line, hover over it, and you'll see the cursor change to the same "ready to drag" symbol you see for guides in Photoshop, then click and drag. – Alan Gilbertson May 19 '11 at 23:01
Does the 9-slice work for Illustrator shapes or only if the shape is modified once it gets to Flash? The 9-slice guides aren't available if you make a "Graphic" Symbol, only if you select "Movie Clip". – Farray May 20 '11 at 18:00
It works for Illustrator shapes. The designation of Movie Clip doesn't really have any internal meaning in IA. It's there as a convenience to enhance export-to-Flash, but you can use it inside IA. IA inherited the capability from Fireworks, which got it from Flash, as far as I can tell. Now if we had it in InDesign, too, that would be a happy thing! – Alan Gilbertson May 20 '11 at 20:25

How did you create this shape?

If you started drawing it as a rectangle, then Effects->Convert to Shape->Rounded Rectangle and defined a corner radius value there, then it shouldn't change the curvature as you resize the rectangle later.

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It was in a GUI kit I've downloaded. If I do what you suggest I create a bigger white rectangle all around my object. – Patrick May 19 '11 at 19:38

The is the simplest algorithm to do that in CC:

  1. Select object you want to scale
  2. Double click on Scale Tool (S)
  3. Check "Scale rectangle corners" in options bar

Now you are able to scale corner radius proportianally

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