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Scaling, Rotating & Moving Patterns in Illustrator: Must Know Tricks

If you work with repeating patterns in Illustrator, it's essential you know how to manipulate patterns independent from objects.  It's actually quite easy to control and a must for fashion designers, textile designers, surface designers and graphic designers of kind.  You'll want to make sure your garment is drawn as separate objects so you can manipulate each section separately.

Rotate Patterns
Select the objects with the patterns you want to rotate, and choose Object > Transform > Rotate.  Within the Rotate dialog box (make sure preview is on) uncheck Transform Objects and check Transform Patterns.  You will notice the pattern will now rotate but the object will not.
Shortcut: You can use the Rotate Tool (on the tool bar, R) while holding the tilde key (~ located in the upper left next to the 1) to rotate the pattern directly on the object.  If you also hold shift, the pattern will rotate in even 45° increments.

Scale Patterns
Select the objects with the patterns you want to scale, and choose Object > Transform > Scale.  Within the Scale dialog box (make sure preview is on) uncheck Transform Objects and check Transform Patterns.  You will notice the pattern will now scale but the object will not.  You will also most likely want to uncheck Scale Strokes & Effects (ie a drop shadow) otherwise these attributes will also scale.  For example, a garment with a 1pt stroke weight scaled 200% would become a garment with a 2pt stroke weight.
Shortcut: You can use the Scale Tool (on the tool bar, O) while holding the tilde key (~ located in the upper left next to the 1) to scale the pattern directly on the object.  If you also hold shift, the pattern will scale proportionally.

Move Patterns
Select the objects with the patterns you want to move, and choose Object > Transform > Move.  Within the Move dialog box (make sure preview is on) uncheck Transform Objects and check Transform Patterns.  You will notice the pattern will now move but the object will not.
Shortcut: You can use the Selection Tool (V) or Direct Selection Tool (A) Tool while holding the tilde key (~ located in the upper left next to the 1) to scale the pattern directly on the object.  If you also hold shift, the pattern will move precisely on the vertical, horizontal or diagonal axis based on which direction you drag.