I am currently trying to simply rotate and move a pattern within an object without affecting the object, but I cant figure out how.

The only thing I was able to figure out is how to scale a pattern independently within the object it was applied to, which can be done simply by using the scale tool.

How can I alter a pattern that I've applied to an object, without altering the object itself?


2 Answers 2


Object > Transform > [the transformation you want] and uncheck "Transform Object". This will cause "Transform Pattern" to auto-check, thus transforming the pattern but not the object. Simply enter a value and click OK.

Additionally, if you hold the ~ (tilde) key down while using a transform tool such as the Scale Tool, Rotate Tool, etc. It will cause the pattern to be transformed while you drag the mouse, leaving the containing object as it is. Basically, click with the tool, hold ~, then drag -- Be aware, there is not a "live" preview of the pattern when using this method. You'll see a highlight rectangle showing the transformation. When you let go of the mouse, it will be the pattern which has been altered, not the object.

  • Yes, my toughts exactly. But see i think Ilan has a different usecase in mind, and since im having hard time parsing the OP's question tried to get @Ilan to help me understand his interpretation.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 22:26
  • @joojaa seems the same interpretation as mine only that Ilan may not be aware of some features. What was posted is correct, if you want to alter the pattern itself. But altering the pattern itself is not needed.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 22:27
  • oh ps Scott do you know if tilde hotkey be somehow remapped as tilde is impossible to send on my keyboard. Ive searched for this every now and then.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 22:28
  • @joojaa sorry, no idea if the tilde key can be remapped - it does not show in keyboard shortcuts. It seems to be hard-coded into the app. And,, it's possible Ilan was simply answering the last bullet of the question on the most basic level (as if the first two paragraphs of the question were not present).
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 22:30
  • Cool @MrE.Upvoter -- I removed that piece of my answer.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 22:31

One permanent way is to invoke Pattern Options and rotate the objects inside -> Duplicating and Saving and Re-applying the new pattern to the object.

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(wrong part of the answer was removed)

  • umm maybe ive misunderstood but under the ttansforms palette and the numeric transform tools you have an option to rotate pattern.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 21:13
  • @joojaa Did you try it? %)
    – Ilan
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 21:18
  • well im about 100 km from any of my computers at the moment. But i rotate shift, and scale my hatch patterns every other day. Too bad i can not skew the paterns. However im not surre if i misunderstand the intent as you seem to be under the impression he wants to rotate subshapes of patterns instead of the whole pattern. Thats why the comment.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 21:48
  • 1
    THis is incorrect. There are a number of ways to alter a pattern without altering it's enclosing shapes. There's really never any call for editing the pattern just to rotate it.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 22:19
  • @Scott I removed the wrong part. Leave the answer as a part of a whole (your answer is relating to this...) Thanks for correcting me!
    – Ilan
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 5:38

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