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Hi !

When I pull a line from ruler up on the Y axis, Illustrator shows negative value for the line which should be reverse in fact. What I know is, top and right side must be positive for Y axis. I don't understand why it keeps doing this. Heelp!

  • I older Illustrators it is possible to edit the setting in preferences files but you can not do this in CC anymore
    – joojaa
    Apr 30, 2016 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


By default Illustrator measures the origin point of the rulers as being the top left hand corner of the document, that point is zero. As you state, anything to the right of this is positive, and anything below this line will be positive.

Here is a really good link to an example

You can change the origin point of the rulers, by moving your mouse up to the corner where the rulers intersect (in the upper left corner) and clicking and then dragging this point onto your document where you would like the new origin point to be.

As of CS5 the 'positive' quadrant of the rulers is the bottom right quadrant (before this, the positive quadrant was top right). So anything to the bottom and to the right of your origin will show both measurements as positive, anything above or left of this will show at least one (or both) measurements as negative.

Seeing as you have your origin in the bottom left, to see numbers as positive, you would need to move it to the top left.

My suggestion would be to place the origin where the absolute value of the measurement is most important to you (like if you would rather measure from the bottom of the artboard), and simply ignore the negative sign if you need to.

Edited: Based on comments and for clarification.

  • Thank you for your answer Brett, but I already know basics of Illustrator. My question was; I've already done what you described by changing the origin point to the bottom left corner, but still Illustrator shows the value as negative. It looks like negative and positive sides of the Y axis are flipped.That is why I added a picture. Now do you have any idea about this :) Mar 25, 2015 at 11:57
  • @yapraksuyiğiter I have updated my answer in response to your picture. I don't believe this is something that you can change, please see the link, as it has some great visuals to explain everything :) I hope you will accept this answer
    – Brett East
    Apr 29, 2016 at 19:38
  • “before this, they were bottom left” No, before CS5, the positive quadrant was the top-right. This is well-illustrated on the blogs.adobe.com link you provided. Jul 15, 2016 at 22:13
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    Apologies @SlippD.Thompson - I meant to say the origin point was bottom left, I will update my answer to better reflect your comment.
    – Brett East
    Jul 19, 2016 at 18:54

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