This is the original image: Original image

I then use Effects > Distort & Transform > Transform and set it to reflect.

Transform > Reflect

and this is what I see.


If I put my cursor over it, it shows that it is still there and I can click on it to highlight it again.

If I put my cursor over it, it is still there

This is driving me crazy.
What am I doing or what setting is wrong?


2 Answers 2


If you don't wish to have a live effect which can be further edited or adjusted, don't use the Effects menu. Use Object > Transform > Reflect.

When live effects are used, the original objects remain in tact and their appearance is merely altered by the effect. In this case the original circle is still there, but the effect is telling the circle to appear as if it we reflected to the right.

This is normal and it's not new. This is how effect have always worked.

  • 1
    Also, thank you for this information. It provided more clarity for future projects. Nov 5 at 17:09

Set the number of copies to 1. See screenshot below. If you have it set to 0 (the default), it will make no copies and simply apply the transform effect. By the way, this is Illustrator's normal behaviour, nothing new.

Note: If you want to bake in the effect so you get two real objects, select the object with the transform effect, and click Object > Expand Appearance

enter image description here

  • 1
    OMG. This was it. It's those little things... I got caught up in doing everything else (I'm trying to learn how to do a mandala) and it was that one little step... Thank you very much, I feel sane again. Nov 5 at 17:07
  • @RebeccaBlack - oh great! Glad that worked for you. BTW, Welcome to GDSE!
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 5 at 17:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.