I have created a pattern from 2 rectangles with different colors, selected both and moved them to swatches.

After applying this pattern to a desired object, I would like to scale the pattern smoothly so I can fine tune my work. How would I do that?

I know I can scale the pattern when creating it, but how can I do it afterwards?

3 Answers 3


One way is to use the Scale window from Object > Transform > Scale but with only Transform Patterns ticked. If it seems to not work, make sure the selection isn't grouped.

enter image description here

To apply this to everything a pattern is applied to, first select something that has the pattern, then Select > Same > Fill color.

  • Thank you, this works although it is really painful to use since i have to type a value, then click on different input field so that preview will refresh... :)
    – Marko
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 11:51
  • 1
    You can select the input then use the up and down arrow keys to see it nudge up and down more conveniently Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 12:27
  • 3
    In addition -- holding down the tilde (~) key while performing a transformation will transform the internal pattern rather than the bounding object. This works with the Sale, Rotate, Free Transform Tools, etc.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 18:01
  • @Scott I was able to get it to work with the Scale tool but there must be some wizardry to get it working using Free Transform 😳.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 2:48

From http://www.adobepress.com/articles/article.asp?p=1160237&seqNum=2

Rescaling or Rotating a Pattern Fill Within a Shape

Rescaling patterns (while not rescaling the object to which the pattern fill has been applied) is one of my favorite techniques for creating unique patterns. It’s amazing how much rescaling a familiar-looking pattern can pump some energy into an illustration.

To rescale a pattern fill that has been applied to a shape, follow these steps:

  1. Select the object with the pattern fill.
  2. Double-click the Scale tool in the toolbox to open the Scale dialog box.
  3. Deselect the default Objects check box, and instead select the Patterns check box (see Figure 4). With this setting, the scaling you define will not apply to the size of the object, but will stretch the pattern fill. You also can distort a pattern by changing the values in the Non-Uniform section of the dialog box.

You can rotate a pattern in a similar fashion:

  1. Select the object with the pattern fill.
  2. Double-click the Rotate tool in the toolbox to open the Rotate dialog box.
  3. Deselect the Objects check box and select the Patterns check box. Then enter a value in the Angle box to rotate just the pattern within the object (see Figure 5).

Moving a Pattern Within a Shape

You also can move a pattern within a selected object:

  1. Select the object with the pattern fill.
  2. Click the Selection tool in the toolbox.
  3. Click-and-drag while holding down the grave accent (´) key on your keyboard. (Don’t hold down the Shift key that you usually use when pressing that key to get a tilde.)


The ability to detach scaling (or rotating) pattern fills from scaling (or rotating) the objects to which the fill is applied has other interesting implications. When you rescale an object, you can elect not to rescale the pattern fill. Usually you’ll rescale the pattern fill and the object together, but sometimes you can create unusual artwork by resizing an object, while leaving the pattern fill in the same scale. Try it!


As user56reinstatemonica8 told, but also today "Transform each" do it as well and even better:

object > transform > transform each (ctrl + alt + shit + D)

This command haves every transform in it!

enter image description here

  • shit? to Replace, put out fecal matters otherwise known as 'no value for your body' from your body, usually done in a toilet secretly to anyone in your keyboard? Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 7:08

Your Answer

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

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