I have a large number of icons that I need to place at specific points throughout my document and as far as I can tell the paste function in Illustrator only places the point in either i) the center of the view or ii) at the same position as the original object that was copied (in front/back).

Is there another way that I'm missing, through additional scripting or a plugin or really anything else that might be able to allow me to paste an object directly beneath the mouse cursor position? In Inkscape this is fairly straightforward and the default behavior, but many of my projects require work in Illustrator.

Maybe there is an alternative that I'm forgetting about? Perhaps creating a certain type of symbol object that allows you to use the mouse cursor to stamp duplicates throughout a document. Anything like that sort of functionality would be especially helpful.


  • As far as I'm aware, there's no such functionality in Illustrator with or without third party plug in. But... I could always be wrong.
    – Scott
    May 18, 2017 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


There's a workaround you could use.

  1. Select the object/graphic you want to use.

  2. In the Brushes palette click the menu icon and choose New Brush - choose the New Scatter Brush option. In the Scatter Brush options, accept the default settings and click OK

  3. Select the Brush tool.

  4. In the Brushes palette select the Brush you made.

  5. Single clicks on the artboard will stamp a single graphic.

  • 1
    This worked perfectly! Seriously, I have been searching far and wide for this. Thank you so much!
    – Angel
    May 23, 2017 at 15:08

One could possibly use the symbol sprayer (Shift+S) for this. Although it's not exactly the same thing. If you only do singular stamps then it works otherwise it pushes the other stamps around (You can avoid this by hitting Ctrl+Alt+A between clicks).

On the other hand you could think a bit on your workflow. Does it really have to be a click? You can also just drag symbols form the symbol shelf. Or you can easily script replacing of control points to symbols. And of course you can Alt drag existing objects where you want.

PS: Scripting this wouldn't be hard, but Illustrator has no (easily usable and persistent) way to call a scripting action form a keyboard shortcut. Although a plugin is possible to do, the workflow for doing one is so horrible you wouldn't want to do it. Also how would you align the object anyway?

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