Like we distribute elements horizontally or vertically -- how would you do that radially in Illustrator (my version is CC 2018). This is my specific problem (working on a Wikipedia redesign concept (just for pleasure)):

Wikipedia app redesign concept

As you can see, I've added the "Arts" category, and I'd like to add the other 8 categories too, but they need to be equally distributed.

Please do not share answers or comments about doing the same in Sketch, Adobe XD, or any other software for that matter.

Why this question is not a UI/UX question: Because this is a problem I've faced in non-interface design as well.

  • I dont think your last comment is needed. This is clearly a design problem.
    – joojaa
    Jan 25, 2018 at 9:01

2 Answers 2


Here's one method, I'm sure there are probably others. This will work with most recent versions of Illustrator.

  1. Type some text, apply Align Centre, or whatever alignment you want

  2. To the right draw a circle to act as the centre of rotation

enter image description here

  1. Group both text and circle.

  2. Open the Appearance Panel, and add a New Effect. Distort and Transform > Transform.

  3. Set up a rotation transform like below, adjusting number of copies and angle as desired.

enter image description here

  1. Click Object > Expand Appearance. Select and remove all the circles in the middle.

  2. Retype the text as required. Delete any you don't want.

enter image description here

  • If you use rotate tool then you dont need the extra object.
    – joojaa
    Jan 25, 2018 at 9:16

Use the rotate tool in conjunction with holding alt, then repeat. The steps are following.

  1. Create 1 text placeholder, make it either right or left aligned depending on the way you want to align the text.

  2. Activate rotate tool, place the center gizmo, Alt drag it where you want the next text (alt enables copy).

    Alternatively, you can alt click and type in the rotation amount this is good if you know you want to spread 10 items in 45 degree angle for example then type 45/10 or -45/10 (depending on if you want a counterclokwise or clockwise rotation)

  3. Transform again until l you have enough placeholders.

enter image description here

Image 1: Sequence described above as a screencapture sequence

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