More than once you’ve probably experienced a situation when the Bounding Box was located at “inconvenient” angles and you needed to change it to make a correct transformation of one or multiple objects. It is quite natural if you come up with a question: how to rotate the Bounding Box in Adobe Illustrator? If you were looking for an answer, you probably won’t have found it. Until now… where I recently discovered a new trick which I want to share it with you.
The Bounding Box in Illustrator is used for the transformation of objects using such tools as the Selection Tool (V), Scale Tool (S), Shear Tool and Free Transform Tool (E). The position of the Bounding Box influences how the transformation will occur. The picture below shows the same object, but with different positioning of the Bounding Box, and the results of its transformation with the Selection Tool (V).
I think you can see how important it is to control the location of the Bounding Box. To rotate the Bounding Box, select one anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and go to Object > Transform > Rotate… and enter the rotation angle in the dialog window. As a result the Bounding Box will take the necessary position.
This trick works with any kind of points, but if you apply it to a smooth point, after the turn the location of its handles will change and they should be returned to their original position using the Direct Selection Tool (A). The new position of the Bounding Box after editing point’s handles will not change.
Sometimes an object is located at an arbitrary angle, and you need to know the angle at which the Bounding Box has to be rotated. To measure the angle of rotation of the object use the Measure Tool that is one of the tools of the VectorScribe plugin.
Now you need to select the point and rotate it at the measured angle as was described previously.
If you need to rotate the common Bounding Box of the multiple objects, you will be able to rotate the Bounding Box of each. In this case common Bounding Box will rotate as well.
It may seem tedious to rotate the Bounding Box of each object, especially if you’re working with a large amount of such objects, so I suggest to you another way to rotate a common Bounding Box…
Select all the objects and go to Object > Transform > Rotate … and key in the rotation angle of the Bounding Box in the dialog window.
Go to Object > Transform > Reset Bounding Box.
Now we need to rotate objects to their original positions, go to Object > Transform > Rotate… and in the dialog window enter the rotation angle of the Bounding Box only with an opposite sign.
How did I find such a simple solution? I admit it happened quite by an accident. I needed to rotate the Bounding Box and I had no luck, I was looking for the answer in forums, asking respected designers and developers, but I kept receiving the same answer — it is impossible to do so in Adobe Illustrator. While experimenting, I accidentally selected not the whole object but only one point of it and… well, what happened next, you already know.
This is not the first time when I found solutions by random. For example, I discovered how to cut the Gradient Mesh. As they say: seek, and ye shall find!
About the author
My name is Iaroslav Lazunov, I am a graphic designer from Zhytomyr, Ukraine. I am glad that I finally found the job in my life that I can share my knowledge and experiments with you in my tutorials.