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I have a figure constructed of text, lines, and boxes. I want to change the horizontal scaling, and I want the text to translate/move in proportion to the change in horizontal scale, but I don't want the letters to be stretched/compressed. This is an example of what I do and don't want to have happen: enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

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Like, Billy, I don't think it can be done in 1 step.

One could just stretch the shapes then realign type on their new centers. If you click a selected object a second time with the Selection Tool (Black arrow) the object becomes the Key Object, designated by a thicker highlight. Any subsequent alignment will then use that object as a basis for aligning.

enter image description here

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  • This way preserves the horizontal shape size to shape separation ratios. Thanks.
    – Josh
    Jul 5 at 13:43
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I don't think this is possible in one step. It won't work if you just select everything, and scale horizontally, because that will also scale the letters horizontally.

But, here's one way to do it:

  1. Group each shape and letter, so that you have 3 groups.

enter image description here

  1. Select only the shapes using the Direct Selection Tool A

enter image description here

  1. Do, Object > Transform > Transform Each, and increase the horizontal scale. Note: the horizontal distance between the objects does not change. Each object is instead transformed in place.

enter image description here

  1. Using the Selection tool V, move one of the groups horizontally. Holding down Shift as you click and drag will constrain the move horizontally. Then select them all, and hit the Horizontal Distribute button in the Align and Distribute panel.

enter image description here

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  • What? Incredible that you can't do that in Illustrator. I do it all the time in InDesign. It has become an integrated part of how I work. I hate doing type in Illustrator partly because of how easy it is to scale text by accident.
    – Wolff
    Jun 30 at 21:32
  • @Wolff - well you can do it, it's just a bit more manual.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 30 at 23:28

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