Transforming selections

In my opinion, the most important thing you can do with a selection, especially if you've selected a particular object, is transform it. The transformation can range from scaling the selection, to rotating it, to distorting it, to simply moving it around the page. Whatever you plan on using it for, you may find it a great timesaver when you make a mistake on the page.

I've lost track of the number of times I've worked on a piece of art and discover that I've drawn the head of a character too large, or an arm too long. Instead of erasing the item outright and starting over, I simply transform it until it's at the right size, angle, or whatever it is that I'm adjusting. I've used the Transform function so much, I've found myself looking for that ability when I'm working with a real pencil and paper! (Yeah ... 1 need help.)

There are several transformation functions that you can choose from, and you can access all of them by selecting EdiK'Move and Transform on the main menu. (See Figure 9-20 for examples of each.)

is EditCMove and Transform': Scale: Adjusts the size of the selected area.

is Edits Move and Transform^ Rotate: Adjusts the angle of the selected area.

is EdiK Move and Transform1: Free Transform: Adjusts the selected area however you want.

m* EdltOMove and Transforms Distort: Slides and elongates the selected area In any way you choose.

u" Edit1' Move and Transform': Perspective: Warps the selected area along a perspective plane.

j** EdltOMove and Transform1: Flip Horizontally: Converts the selected area into its horizontal opposite.

f* Edit1! Move and Transform1: Flip Vertically: Converts the selected area to its vertical opposite.

Original selection



Original selection



Free transform





Flip Horizontal

Flip Vertical

Flip Horizontal

Flip Vertical

The Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical functions work automatically — that means as soon as you choose EditOMove and Transform1 ¡Flip Horizontally or EditOMove and Transforms-Flip Vertically, the selection automatically flips horizontally or vertically. When you choose any of the other commands, the Move and Transform dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 9-21.

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Figure 9 21:

Several transformation functions, one dialog box.

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Actually, you can use all of the transformation functions (including the Flip functions) from the Move and Transform dialog box. So, you really can select any of the Transformation functions and you'll go to the same place. What's more, you can switch between transformation functions on the fly just by selecting from the Processing Types drop-down list.

The preview pane on the left is where you do the bulk of your transformation work, as that's where you use your mouse or stylus to directly adjust the shape, size, or angle of your selected area.

If you look closely at the preview pane, you see a rectangle surrounding the selection with small boxes along the sides and corners. Those boxes (what 1 call adjustment boxes, as I don't think they actually have a name) are what you use to adjust your selection. Simply click an adjustment box and drag it along the preview pane to see exactly what you can do, depending on the transformation type you selected.

For example, if you chose Edit1 "Move and Transform1 ¡ Scale, clicking and dragging the adjustment boxes resizes the selection you made. But, if you choose Edits Move and Transform1 ¡ Distort, clicking and dragging the same adjustment boxes results in the physical shape of the selection becoming radically altered.

. % Incidentally, you don't really need to select the Rotate function, as you can rotate the selection at any time with any of the functions. When you hover your cursor near an adjustment box. you see it change to a rotate cursor.

When that appears, click the page and drag across or around the preview pane to rotate the image. In addition, you can alter the point the selection will rotate around by clicking the focal point icon in the middle of the preview pane and placing it wherever you'd like.

If using the mouse isn't your thing, you can set the scale, position, and angle of the selection manually by following these steps.

1. Open the Move and Transform dialog box by choosing EditCMove and Transform : Scale,

Alternatively, you can choose any of the other commands in the Move and Transform submenu (such as Edit1-Move and Transform "^Rotate) to open the Move and Transform dialog box.

2. To flip the selection horizontally, click the Flip Horizontally button.

3. To flip the selection vertically, click the Flip Vertically button.

4. To adjust the size of the selection relative to its current height and width, enter a percentage value from 50% to 200% in the Relative Width and Height text boxes.

After the selection is resized, the relative values reset to 100%, so you can perform a relative adjustment again if you want.

5. To adjust the absolute width and height values, enter a value of 1% to 5000% in the Absolute Width and Height text boxes.

Alternatively, you can click the black triangle to the right of the text boxes, which brings up additional adjustment controls. Use the outer buttons to change the percentage value in increments of 10%. Use the inner buttons to adjust by an interval of 1%.

6. To keep the aspect ratio of the selection intact, select the Keep Aspect Ratio check box.

This option keeps the basic shape of the selection intact, regardless of how large or small you scale it. In addition, this also locks the Adjustment Boxes to the aspect ratio when you use the mouse or stylus to resize.

7. To change the selection back to it's original size, shape, and placement, click the Reset button.

8. To adjust the position of the selection relative to its previous position, enter a value between -50 mm and 50 mm in the Left and Top Relative text boxes.

Like the Relative Position text boxes, the values reset to 0 mm when the selection is moved.

9. To adjust the absolute position of the selection on the page, enter a value between -999.0 inm and 999.0 mm in the Absolute Left and Top text boxes.

10. To adjust the angle of the selection relative to its previous position, enter a value between -90 degrees and 90 degrees in the Relative Angle text box.

When rotated, the value resets to zero, so you can relatively adjust it again if need be.

11. To adjust the absolute angle of the selection, enter a value from -360 degrees to 360 degrees in the Absolute Angle text box.

12. Click OK when you're done.

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