Rotation center point remains with objects and groups, and is used when rotating an object using the bounding box controls.
I want to be able to permanently edit (and reset) an object's (or group's) rotation axis (centre point). I want the new rotation axis to apply for subsequent rotation transformations, for example when using the bounding box controls.
Currently, the rotation tool (r) allows you to pick up and move an object's centre, and then rotate the object around that point. Great, except that point disappears as soon as you exit the rotation tool, which isn't very helpful.
I'm told Corel Draw had something like this... I can't overstate how much power and efficiency it would add to my workflow. For instance, with figures, It would enable something akin to rigging!
I'd be happy enough if the pivot point just hung around in between using it with the free transform tool, let alone if it were integrated into the other tools in a logical way... that could be some powerful magic.
Alessandro Leite commented
I just want the same REFERENCE POINT that we have on PhotoShop... hey, Adobe Guys, just CONTROL C on Reference Point of PhotoShop and CONTROL V on Illustrator! XD
Egor, I get you and fair points.
I just thought that having a modal to do all the transformations similarly to Photoshop's free transform would be cool and it doesn't have to interfere with other tools, that would be still useful for the precise input of numbers for instance. All the elements seem to be there, but not working unless you switch to one particular tool first.
I use separate tools for moving, rotating and scaling in 3D softwares and they make so much sense there (but even then, most 3D apps updated their gizmos to have all the transformations in a single universal one). It makes sense in a 3D software because the intent can't be clear with a free camera and so on, but on a flat representation like in Illustrator, they make more sense to be together: The intent is always clear. Photoshop is proof that it's possible and very convenient.
Take MoI 3D software for instance. It doesn't display the bounding box in free camera mode and you have to choose the transformation tool to use, but once you snap to any flat view, it shows the bounding box around the selected items and allows you to move, rotate and scale them without changing the tool. and it's a 3D software made by one man, mind you. Not a flat vector drawing software that is several decades old and industry standard. It is not made by the company that created the very convenient free transforms in Photoshop, only to have a more clunky ways to do it in Illustrator. MoI 3D of course lacks lots of necessary features for vector-drawing, but it handles many things a lot better than Illustrator, this is just one example. Another would be that you can access points on edges, even of 3D objects, without having to switch the selection tool.
Adobe proved that it can find solutions to improve upond or even completely change features without breaking anyone's workflow. Sometimes, all what it takes is a checkbox in the Preferences menu to revert to legacy or to use a certain feature.
Anyways, my rant is over. I strongly believe there's progress to be made in this area that would make the software more accessible and robust. I believe that optimizations in simple repetitive tasks are more important.
We need 5 different tools for basic operations for several reasons.
1. Legacy. If it works — do not change it. You can call it 'consistency' too, but with previous versions. You say it matters to you!
2. Simplicity. Having one tool that have only one dialog that is easy to navigate and enter values, using a keyboard, is much faster than tabbing through a dozen of fields (or even locate if you are using mouse/pen), which Transform Effect dialog has.
3. Learning and diversity aspects. Some users prefer using tools to learn the basic transformations, and some users prefer using separate operations instead of using bounding box’s markers. You are not forced to use these tools at all, you can remove them from the toolbox if you want (you don’t use Flare tool probably? some do)
I understand you frustration though.
Changes are important. But you should always remember this situation — https://xkcd.com/1172/ :)
I like the idea of having a Transform-Each-like dialog that applies a range of transformation to a selection (rather than all items in selection, like Transform Each does). And I vote for idea of having sticky pivot controls. These are all valid points.
Maybe. To me, consistency matters, and not having to switch between tools in order to just do simple operations is a plus. I like the Transform effect menu with all the transformations in a single place. Why do we need 5 tools for "destructively" doing transformations, each with its own menu, and then there's another non-destructive effect that does it all in a menu that looks nothing like these separate tool menus? All These menus and buttons can be consistent, which helps with muscle memory and take less brain power IMO. This fragmentation throws me off. It's kinda tolerable to have it in different Adobe softwares, since probably not the same teams work on them, but I find it strange to have it inside the same software. It would be great to be able to pick up any software and have a streamlined experience. It is very possible, and it seems that Adobe started with this in mind, but then everything branched off for no reason.
I don't buy the muscle-memory argument. I know that millions are used the clunky ways, but this is no reason not to improve the software. To me, it seems more like a Stockholm syndrom to accept it the way it is and resist change.
Hitting Enter should give a dialog or an options in the current paradigm. Free Transform has none, and it could have a merged version that allows to set a relative position of the pivot and allow to tweak transformation values... scale, rotate... also shear, distort, perspective! So instead of simplifying we get a more complex dialog instead. I'd still prefer one, but also keep separate tools: Scale, Rotate, Shear. Having simple dialogs is better than having only one complex, because the speed and muscle memory matter.
The move, rotate, scale and free transform tool can be merged into a single tool, and pressing Enter would give universal control just like in the Transform effect. Maybe pressing a modifier while hitting Enter to access the parameters of just one transformation. Illustrator is full of features that can be merged and simplified to make the experience a lot more seamless and the software a lot easier to use and learn.
Nidhal, while you can’t change the position of the pivot, using a Selection tool, with the Bounding Box controls, you can reposition one using Free Transform tool (E key by default)...
Still it's quite rudimentary! It does not snap to anything (with Smart Guides or Grid, whatever), it can’t be fixed (obviously).
So I vote for making it better.
It would be great to be able to change the pivot point of objects while using the bounding box.
Also if you can rotate not only if you're close to the corners but by holding anywhere outside the shape.
These features already exist in Photoshop. I find it veeeery clunky to have to move between select, scale, rotate tools for simple operations that can be consolidated together into one, freeing so many hotkeys for more useful stuff.
In a few months it'll be this post's 4th aniversary... still wanting it.
So bizarre that something this fundamental doesn't exist. After years and years of multiple suggestions here, too.
So many designs (especially when used as templates to create multiple designs) would benefit from permanently altering the center of rotation for an element or group.
For example, radial rotation of text around the exact centerpoint of a group of design elements, where the text is not centered on the group's center.
30 months later... still really wanting this :)
Craig Jones commented
In 3DCC software, the objects have a defined center origin pivot point, and each software has a way to manage and edit the location of that pivot point so that the user can manipulate it with predictable results.
Rotation tool currently allows the user to place the pivot with a click and then run the tool, but that then has to be redone later as it clears or passes back to a default position. If possible, we should be able to select a point on the path and snap the pivot it that location, or we should be able to snap to the center of the selected points, or to the whole mass.
Similar for Scale tool, the origin/pivot point management should be easy to assign so that we can get a more predictable result especially if we could snap the pivot to a selection - even a live mirror tool could be made similar to the Mirror Modifier in Blender, allowing live axis symmetry based on the location of the pivot.
We could benefit from being able to drag the pivot with grid snapping on or guide snapping so that we could do these actions in a controlled way.
When i try to fix the guide/center after selecting the rotate tool and then double clicking the rotate button to get the options like angle settings, the reference guide resets to previous positions, which means that i don't get the option to rotate an object according to a specific angle that i want while keeping the reference guide/center where i want it to be. The guide resets everytime i double click on the rotate tool
Great idea, I've been wanting the ability to do this!
Garvit Varshney commented
Great Idea! Should be implemented
Ken, I have a solution for your problem with setting reference point with keyboard. It uses Autohotkey and works on Windows.
I'd like to change the "Set the Reference Point" in the proxy mechanism in the "Transform" properties with the KEYBOARD.
What can I do?
I can't create a custom keyboard shortcuts to select a different "Reference Point".
Alternately, When attempting to create 9 custom Actions associated with the keyboard, I ran out of keys because a function key is always required. And a modified function key (with ALT and/or Cntl) are partially reserved and (apparently) hard coded to some actions such as Ctrl+Shift+F4 make the application close the file without a dialog box.
Ahmed Montaser commented
Remember Anchor Point Position as every time I rotate scale or skew the anchor point resets and I have to set it up again the second time I want to transform the object
In other news, this is the same as my first feature request. Perhaps give that some love? ;) Hopefully it'll get noticed...