I have approx 20 layers in illustrator (a world map with layers for capital city names, small city names, rivers, oceans, etc). I want to increase the size of this map, so I need to increase the size of every layer without distortion. I have tried to Select all - group - transform, but all layers disappear off the artboard and are bigger than the dimensions I typed into W x H boxes. Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

  • 2
    I don't really understand this. You should be able to select all and scale. There's no need to group. I think you may need to provide more detailed information.
    – Scott
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:07
  • Not sure why you would need them all in a group, but if you play with your layers palette a bit, you can put a layer within another layer. This will allow you to group them and keep the parts separate. I don't have much time at the moment to explain this more or to do a proper answer, but hopefully this might point you in a direction that will help, or someone else might be able to expand on this idea. I'll try to come back later and flesh out this thought more. Jan 19, 2015 at 18:13
  • Hi Scott, first I increased my artboard size to accomodate the larger size layers I want. I then select all on active artboard - enter my new required width as 812mm (chain link symbol open) - then press shift to enter Height dimension, but before I can enter this the progress bar appears and when completed the width has changed to 3553mm. New to illustrator so may be wrong!
    – Jim
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


What you describe should work fine (although you don't need Shift if the chain icon is active).

With the chain active, you do not want to enter both width and height. You only want to enter 1 dimension. The chain icon tells Illustrator to automatically calculate the other dimension proportionally.

So, you would enter a width and hit Enter. That's all.

If you want to non-proportionally scale everything, unclick the chain icon and then enter a width and height.

It sounds as if you are ticking the chain icon (keep proportional) then entering a width, then entering a height. Since the height is the last dimension entered, Illustrator is making the width proportional to that height.

  • Hi Scott, I follow thanks. However, I get the same problem, The original size is 419 x 209mm. When I replace 419 with my required 812mm and hit enter the progress bar is transforming objects then the final dimensions show 4310 x 2534mm. It seems like i am doing everything correct. Could it be a bug?
    – Jim
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:36
  • Update: Scott as per above, I just turned on show rulers and some of the layers I resized seem to be correctly resized accordinf to the ruler, howver the dimension are still showing 4310 x 2534. Also, when resized they go off the artboard. I ddragged then back on but not all came across?
    – Jim
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:42
  • I can't replicate your issue specifically so I don't know what to tell you. It must be due to the artwork in this case. It's possible that raster effects (shadows/glows etc) could account for the odd numbers, but I can't say for certain.
    – Scott
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:45
  • Thanks Scott, I will play around with it. It does seem a bit strange but I will get there. Thanks again for your help!
    – Jim
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:46
  • 1
    Realize that the artboard never restricts content. It's just a floating "plane" behind things. Objects aren't bound to the artboard boundaries. So things going off the artboard isn't really a technical issue.
    – Scott
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:48

Select the layers you want to transform, go to Object Menu > Transform > Transform Each option.

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.