Trying to use the Rotate Tool to move a rectangle AROUND a circle.

Instead both the rectangle and circle rotate.

How do I stop this from moving? The circle should be fixed in its position.

Before Rotate Tool: enter image description here

Expected Result:

enter image description here

Actual Result:

enter image description here


The cause of problem is Handle

It seems you didn't centralized your Rotation handle therefore it will rotate around Axes of current handle basically when you merge paths or group paths handle doesn't stay in perfect center and it changes to center of bound so before rotating make sure you allign your Handle to center :) Hope it helps!

enter image description here

  • Hi @design-phoenix, thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention I'm trying to rotate the circle with the "Rotate Tool Options" instead of directly rotating on the circle itself. The rotation handle automatically reinitalizes to the combined centre of the selection (instead of just the circle) when I double-click the Rotate Tool on the toolbar. Any idea how to fix that? – cdpp May 24 '19 at 2:51
  • it's default behaviour so it can't be changed but you have workaround for that.just double click on circle once you select or right click and select Isolate path or shape. once in isolation mode the default will be resetted and the handle will be in center. press esc to exit isolation mode – Mr.Online May 24 '19 at 3:01
  • @cdpp You can alt click to move the center and that opens the options dialog with the center where you clicked. – joojaa May 25 '19 at 4:48

You could use the Transform Effect.

Simple extend the rectangle so the bottom of it is flush with the center of the circle.

Select only the rectangle and choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform

In the Transform dialog window, tick the bottom center for the origin point (and tick "preview") and then rotate all you want.

You can then leave the effect as a live effect which you can adjust later if needed.

Or you can choose Object > Expand Appearance to "bake in" the rotation.

enter image description here

You can also use the Transform Panel and Undo...

Again extend the rectangle so the bottom is flush with the center of the circle. Set the origin point on the Transform Panel to the bottom center and enter a value in the rotate field and tap Return/Enter. If the rotation is incorrect, Edit > Undo and try again.

You can only enter 1 rotation step and then you need to Undo because after each rotation the bottom center origin is different based upon the last rotation.

enter image description here

I find these methods work better for me. I dislike trying to hunt and peck for the exact center of things with the rotate tool. Smart Guides make it easier, but using the Effect allows me to alter later if I want. Unless they've altered things in the last release, the Rotate Tool won't honor the 9-point origin setting.


I guess you have to select rectangle with white arrow which will make circle unselected, then set rotation center in the circle center and then you will get only rectangle rotation.

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