Illustrator - Rotation of the Artboard
Like in Photoshop it would be great if an Artist could rotate the artboard/canvas in Illustrator. If you draw a line from left to right it's never the same stroke as from up to down.
First up, let me apologize for not giving an update for such a long time. We will try to do a better job of providing frequent updates on our top requests going forward. This is not an excuse for lack of communication from our side, but we have been discussing this request for a long time internally. Without getting into too many technical details, let me share that there is a fair amount of complexity involved in making it work within Illustrator. The number of tools, effects, plugins, etc. makes it even more challenging. However, given the fact that it continues to be one of the top requests, the team has been exploring different approaches to implement it. I am happy to share that we have finally :) started to work on it. There would be some challenges in making everything work in the first release. I will continue to post specific questions on this thread and work with you to define the first release that is valuable and works for most of your workflows. I look forward to working closely with you all in bringing this functionality into Illustrator.
Let me provide a high-level summary of what I gathered from 255 comments in this thread so far.
- It is desirable to have both, but if we must pick, we would prefer rotation of canvas over the artboard.
- Rotating the view is not helpful, we should be able to edit as well :)
- Ideally, we should be able to rotate freely at any angle. But, if we have to prioritize, stepwise rotation at fixed angles may work.
- Ideally, all tools should work but if we have to prioritize we can start with few tools that are most useful in a rotated view e.g. brush, pencil, etc.
- A lot of folks want it to work as it works in photoshop.
- Shortcuts to do easy toggle/easy reset are highly desirable.
- It would be a great productivity enhancer for people working with packaging, editing text, or even freehand illustrations.
I look forward to sharing an update and seeking your feedback soon.
Avinash Singh Kotwal
Senior Product Manager,
Manuel Garcia commented
Happy Birthday, Canvas Rotation!!!!
We are already planning is which high school to enrol you. Just in case ;)
Love the birthday comments, well done folks. It's become laughable how this feature keeps being ignored in updates.
Happy birthday Rotate Canvas Story! You're getting so big!
Margaret Trauth commented
Nov 21, 2017: Yogesh Sharma responded "Rotate canvas story has been added to backlog. We will be picking it up shortly."
Happy birthday, Rotate Canvas Story! You're three years old now!
Paul S commented
WHAT ??? I can't believe Abobe team has FINALY started to look into this must have feature ... If it ever becomes a reality, I will finally be able to be productive when I draw in illustrator ... Amazing!
Jeff WEST commented
I understand that the way PS and AI handle their data wrt the visual on screen may be different, therefore this request may not be a trivial one, technically. However, being able to "view" the artwork at an angle to facilitate using a digital pen tool (brushes, pencil and similar) in the way one would with a traditional brush or pencil on a piece of paper would be a great (and essential) feature.
Appreciate there are complexities beyond my understanding in the background, but given this is an Illustration application, and that it's possible to do in the other two major design apps, it really is a no brainer that rotate canvas is long overdue.
REALLY looking forward to the day you launch this, hopefully within the span of my career.
Zsolt Ercsei commented
I am sure I not the first who thought of it, but Adobe Animate has a rotate art-board option and it uses vector tools as well. Maybe AI could recycle some code from Animate to make it work. Even if raster effects are turned off while using it
oh how I need this now. So happy to hear you are working on it. I am new to drawing and started wtih procreate. It's so easy to turn your paper to draw a different direction while holding the ipad on your lap. If you turn the ipad the artboard goes along with it, so that is not a option. Procreate lets you turn the "paper" as you would if you were drawing on a paper.
Thank you for working on this. I love the app! I love how I can go from the Ipad to the desktop. Thank you.
The team has started working on it. We would love to talk to some of you to understand your workflows and ask a few questions. If you are interested, please use this link to pick a time slot. Look forward to your feedback. Thanks.
Rombout Versluijs commented
Really you guys have been tinkering on this. Many people here don't seem to understand the difference between rotation in Photoshop Vs illustrator. As you said I think rotating the canvas is a better and "easier" way. It would have much less issues figuring out what is on a canvas and what not.
The caveAt is perhaps the origin of rotation. I would presume it's either center of active artboard or manual set origin.
Downside to this is probably document with ram hungry setup like extended use of filters. They tend to redraw on each interaction when moved. So perhaps some setting that will go in some kind of low-res preview mode to make this workflow smoother.
Looking forward to this implementation.
Please test it thoroughly before launching. Quite some tools have been broken and taken years to be fixed.
Margaret Trauth commented
Oh hey it's coming up on another year since this "story" was "added to backlog"! I'd better get ready for its birthday party soon.
Absolutely. Nothing less than a full free rotation of the art board at any angle should be accepted.... Hence the name ILLUSTRATOR. Draw on paper and only rotate 90 degrees. Let us know how helpful that is.
To take advantage of the freehand drawing tools available, full free rotation of the artboard is absolutely necessary. Artists have been fleeing to other apps for a while now for just this reason.
Since artboards are basically the equivalent of pages in InDesign, I would support having it work similar to how InDesign's rotate pages feature works. It is page specific, so I would support Illustrator being artboard-specific. However, based on what I've seen in how scripts and plugins work relative to multi-artboard files, it seems like the underlying technology in AI does not treat artboards as independent pages, but more like isolated areas on a single page. So I guess it's something of a hack?
Anyway, for me personally, arbitrary angles are unimportant. I would be happy for 90 degree rotations.
Haha good one! Who's pretending to be Adobe?? I'll believe this when I see it.
Simon Bowland commented
@Avinash Stepwise rotation will NOT work for me, it needs to be a free rotation.
Pen and type tools are a must, as are the likes of on-canvas Free Distort, Skew, etc.
I have serious doubts about Illustrator's ability to rotate and render the entire canvas instead of individual artboards. Right now, Illustrator struggles to render and display multiple artboards, so to imagine it also rotating those... I think it should be artboard specific, NOT canvas specific.
Rotation is a must have that’s why procreate is so fantastic it’s the ability to rotate the whole artboard
I would prioritize the type tool as it's most common for packaging
Randy Devost commented
Looking forward to seeing how this works out. I would need this for packaging design working mostly with text and vectors. Brushes and fancy raster effects are not done in Illustrator at our shop.