I have a series of scientific figures in Adobe Illustrator that were created at a width of 160 mm, with the positions of the graphics finalized on the art boards. I just received a notice saying the art boards have to be scaled to a width of 175 mm instead of 160 mm, and the images must be resized to keep the strokes and font sizes consistent.

I've tried doing the hacky rescaling method suggested here (Illustrator: Resize Artboard With Objects Inside), using a rectangle around the rescaled old artboard to dictate the size of the new art board. However this method does not resize hidden or locked reference layers unless everything is unhidden/unlocked and rehidden/relocked, which isn't feasible for the amount of reference material/old vector images on the graphics.

Is there any way I can rescale the entire image without messing with this method, given this should be a simple geometric transformation of the vector graphics? I know it was discussed in the linked post but am wondering if things have changed in newer versions of Illustrator. It might be possible to make the linked method work if there is some command to temporarily select hidden and locked objects and then apply a Transform command.

  • scripting should help. Just let a script unhide everything, and bookkeep what was hidden. do your stuff and let the script hide them again
    – joojaa
    Dec 14, 2023 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


I do not believe there is any method to transform (scale) hidden objects. Objects must not be hidden to alter them. - Unhide, transform, hide is the only way.

Locked objects will only transform if they are part of a Group and the group itself is transformed.

What you want is not really possible.

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