In my Illustrator diagram I have a group with ~100 small objects in it (dots on a scatterplot chart). I want to scale each dot in place to be smaller.

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If I select the group and scale, the placement of the objects changes. I don't want this:

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If I use the Transform Each dialog, I (somewhat surprisingly) still get the same result. If I edit the group (double-click) and select all the items and use Transform Each, I still get the same result.

The only way I've found to avoid this problem is to select all the items (which automatically causes the owning group to be selected), deselect one item (which causes the group to be deselected), and use Transform Each.

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And then select the one leftover item and Transform Again.

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Is there a better way than this hack, to scale all items in a group without the group also scaling?

  • Why would any other method be much better? But yes you can select one of the dots with white plus arrow and the select same fill to get them all. Or you can convert the dots to icons then you can edit one and all others follow suite, so even changing them to stars is ok.
    – joojaa
    Nov 8, 2016 at 17:59
  • @joojaa (a) I didn't say "much better", but if there was a way easily select all items without selecting the group it would be "better" because it would require fewer steps to accomplish the same goal. (b) Using the Select menu in any way that causes all dots in the group to be selected appears to automatically also select their group, and thus results in this problem.
    – Phrogz
    Nov 8, 2016 at 18:56
  • 1
    @Phroqz scripting is a possibility
    – joojaa
    Nov 8, 2016 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


The only way that I know to do this is:

  1. Select the group of objects.
  2. Hit UNGROUP (command-shift-g) - the objects will stay selected.
  3. Perform whatever TRANSFORM EACH operations that you need - the objects will still stay selected.
  4. Hit GROUP (command-g) to regroup them before deselecting.

Only slightly less 'hacky' that what you're already doing, but I think that the behaviour whereby a group is treated as an 'each' is deliberate. I've certainly found it useful a few times.

  • I like this because it's possible via keyboard shortcuts, making it reasonably fast.
    – Phrogz
    Nov 8, 2016 at 18:58

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