1. Have several copies of the same object moved around to different areas in the artboard.
  2. Decide you want to scale them all by 75%.
  3. Select the first object, do the scale.
  4. Select the next object, press Command + D.
  5. The object is scaled, but moved in position relative to the original object. Not on top, but near it.

How can I stop this behavior? Using Command + D is a great shortcut, but it defeats the purpose if I have to move objects around again. Perhaps there is a setting I'm missing?

Note: this only occurs using Transform->Scale for me. On the others it will work correctly.

  • BTW, I'm using CS5
    – o_O
    Aug 28, 2012 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


Yes, the Duplicate (Cmd-D) shortcut is great at times, but it retains the original origin point for any transformation. There are times where this is very beneficial, like step and repeating.

If you need to scale several objects throughout the artboard and you do not want them to change position, a better alternative is to select the objects, then use Object > Transform > Transform Each.

The Transform Each function will allow each object to use a reference point based on its own shape via the 9 point origin box on the Transform dialog window.

  • Any insight on why it retains the original origin only for scale? For example, it doesn't for Move and will move objects relative to their own location. Or is that just something the Illustrator team thought was only useful for scale?
    – o_O
    Aug 29, 2012 at 21:14
  • 1
    [MOVE] operates the same. All the transformations essentially state "Set Center of selection to X - perform transform" So [MOVE] basically does move the same distance from the same set center. The difference is with [MOVE] 15 pixels is 15 pixels whether the center point is on top of the object or 30 inches away from the object. It's all still 15 pixels. The center point is less relevant. With [SCALE], any adjustment alters object placement depending upon how far away from the center point the object is.
    – Scott
    Aug 29, 2012 at 21:57
  • Brilliant, this was bugging me for quite some time.
    – user16009
    Oct 16, 2013 at 3:03

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