I am working in Illustrator CS5. I want to select 100 objects (circles) and replace each of them with a 100 other various objects, each circle being replaced by one of the various objects, keeping the size of the originally selected circle. So in steps:

  1. Select 100 objects (ex. circles)
  2. Choose which objects to replace them with
  3. New objects takes place and size of selected circles

Each selected circle becomes one of the newly selected objects.

How to do this in Illustrator?

  • 1
    Symbols would really be the best option.. but if your 100 Circles aren't symbols.. well....
    – Scott
    Apr 20, 2017 at 18:49

4 Answers 4


The best you're going to find (as far as I know) is a script I found called 'findAndReplaceGraphic_transformToFit'...

The script has a description:

User selects two (or more) objects... This script copies the top most object to the position and size of all other selected objects.

So this would do one circle at a time at least... Perhaps you or someone might be able to tweak it to suit your needs – I'm not sure.


If you have all the 'various objects', you should be able to use Actions panel to make them all the same size. If you already know the size for the 'circles' you can start with creating one 'master' symbol, for size measurement. Create 100 artboards and place the 'master circle' as a locked symbol on each artboard. Now populate your various objects on all artboards within the bounds of the master circle. You can resize 'various objects' manually as you place or resize all at once if they already are the same size. Designate each 'various object' as a symbol. If your 100 circles are also designated as a symbol, you can go to Symbols panel options and choose 'Replace Symbol', select one circle-replace with object, continue. IDK about any way to do this automatically. If you want to replace a symbol and select one at random I suppose this is possible by scripting.


You can only do that in In-design not in illustrator. In illustrator you can select all similar appearance change or using symbols if you want to over right them.


I have quite a few years of Illustrator experience under my belt and I don't know anyway to do exactly what you are asking for.

However, There is a spray tab in illustrator that lets you duplicate quickly any image you have created. Using your example, I would create 100 circles and then save them to my Symbols tab. I would then select my spray tool and multiply my 100 circles. This would work almost just as effectively as what you are after.

Here is a video demonstrating this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvN_iHuJ-cc

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