This is a continuation of this question.

I will have a huge amount of seamless pattern in vector format.

I want to multiply them by 9, so each pattern would occur three times in three rows.

Then I'd like to leave them as AI with 5000x5000 px workspace size, or eventually export to PNG.

enter image description here

  • An action that clones, rotates and positions them is probably your best option. (or a Script)
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 22:31
  • @שelz can you elaborate a little bit more?
    – curious
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 22:40

3 Answers 3


Assuming the tiles are seamless patterns which do not require any rotating and merely need to be duplicated and aligned..... I would actually use Place and Effects with linked files.... A couple minutes of set up to make any future pattern change take only a few seconds.

So you have 1 file, and you know the size is 100x100px....

enter image description here

Open a new AI file and choose File > Place and select your file. This links to the single file.

enter image description here

Select the Linked image and choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform.

Enter a value in the Move - Horizontal area which correlates to the width of your tile, in my case I used 100pts/px. And enter 2 in the Copies field since you want 2 copies to appear....

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Click OKAY and you'll see the effect in the Appearance Panel (Window > Appearance).

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Click-drag that Transform Effect to the "New" icon at the bottom of the Appearance Panel to duplicate it:

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Now click one the Transform effects in the panel, either one, it doesn't matter which.

The Transform Effect Options window will appear again. This time enter the Vertical distance in the Move area, and set the Horizontal back to zero. Copies should still be set at 2, leave that as it is.

enter image description here

And Click OKAY.

You now have a 3x3 grid based on a single placed link. Save this as a "Master" working file if you'd like.

To change patterns, use the Links Panel (Window > Links) to merely relink the image, and all the subsequent duplicates will update as well....

enter image description here

Then simply save as whatever you need.

Note I really don't know the native tiles size for these patterns so numbers are rounded for general clarity. Tiles won't line up correctly due to this.

Update after comments.....

It appears you are using svg files that are not actually patterns, but rather just expanded artwork. Illustrator embeds these files rather than linking to them. The above still works. However... You'll need to plan differently for changing the initial tile.

  • Place the tile
  • Follow the Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform settings
  • When you get the end and you have the 3x3 grid of tiles, Select the initial tile and drag it to the Graphic Styles Panel (Window > Graphic Styles)

For the next pattern....

  • Select All
  • Delete
  • Place next pattern
  • Click the graphic style you created (It should automatically create the 3x3 grid.)

enter image description here

(I'm using Place with expanded art svg files in the above animation.)

You could choose to resave the svg assets as .ai files, or make the svg files actual pattern-filled rectangles rather than expanded art, then the link method will work.

  • Thank you, however, I couldn't not get links working. i.imgur.com/IapoN8r.gifv
    – curious
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 11:47
  • Ahh it appears your SVG file is not actually a pattern but expanded artwork. @J.Baptiste --This leaves 2 options.... resave those asset files as .ai files and then it will work. It's the svg format which is actually embedding the artwork rather than linking to it. Or.... if you must keep those in svg format.. they need to be actual patterns, not expanded tiles.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 14:41
  • See answer update @J.Baptiste
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 17:03

Second answer as this is a different approach which may work in your scenario (depending on how your pattern was made).

Much simpler (if it does in fact work)

You can just select the pattern and drag it into your swatches panel, your pattern is now a swatch

You can now make a huge square (3x the size) and apply it with that pattern as a fill (from the swatches).


enter image description here

  • I'm sorry, I'm confused by your comment. I'm not really sure what you mean.
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 21:41

I've created an action which does the following:

Note: for the action to work, all of the squares have to be the same size (in my case I set them at 450 - adjust accordingly*)

Starting with my initial pattern on the artboard

Part 1: (the first 3 squares)

  1. Select all
  2. Copy (Ctrl/Cmd+C)
  3. Paste in front (Ctrl/Cmd+F)
  4. Move (the copy) 450 (x)
  5. Rotate -90°
  6. Paste in front (again - it will paste in spot of original square) and then move that copy -450 (x) and rotate it as well -90°

Now I need the action to select everything again, so:

Part 2: (the rest)


  1. Select all (this time it's all 3 squares)
  2. Reflect (as a copy) vertically
  3. Move -450 (y)

Now just take you final line,

  1. Copy
  2. Paste in front
  3. Move 900 (y)

*450 is size of square, so any movement that is 450 should be adjusted for size of square, 900 is 2x square)

Creating the action slowly (you can sorta see what's happening):

enter image description here

enter image description here

At the end, this is the action.... in action:

enter image description here

If you've made it this far, link to action

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