How Do I Change the Shape of a Picture in Illustrator?

By Payton Pritchard

Modifying the shape of an image in Illustrator can be easily accomplished using tools or commands. Images can be scaled, sheared, and masked to give it new shapes. Using commands such as scaled and sheared will reshape the image horizontally or vertically. Choosing to use any of the shape tools with the clipping mask command will allow the image to take that shape. Just as easy as it is to alter the shape of an image, the changes can be undone.

Scale Image

Step 1

Select the Selection Tool and click on the image. A bounding box with six square nodes appears around the image to transform it.

Step 2

Move the Selection Tool over any corner node. An arrow will appear that allows the image to be scaled in or out.

Step 3

Click on a corner node. Hold the "Shift" key and drag the arrow diagonally inward to make the image smaller.

Step 4

Hold "Shift" and drag the corner nodes diagonally away from the image to enlarge it.

Scale Multiple Objects

Step 1

Select the Selection Tool. Drag Select all images on the artboard.

Step 2

Click on the "Object" menu, and "Scale." The scale window will open.

Step 3

Type a percentage of 50% in the uniform section. This will scale all selected images by half while maintaining the images' proportions.

Step 4

Click "OK" or click "Copy" to scale a copy of each object.

Clipping Mask

Step 1

Select the Ellipse Tool and draw an ellipse around the image. Make the ellipse smaller than the image.

Step 2

Click on the image and the ellipse.

Step 3

Go to "Object," "Clipping Mask" and "Make." The image inside the shape of an ellipse.

Step 4

Click the Direct Selection Tool. Click on the image to reposition it inside the ellipse to create a striking image. The same effect can be accomplished using any shape tool and the clipping mask command. Undo a clipping mask by right-clicking on the image and selecting "Release Clipping Mask."

Shear Images

Step 1

Select the image or images to be sheared. Using the shear command will give the image a diagonal slant along the horizontal or vertical axis.

Step 2

Go to "Object," "Transform," then "Shear." The dialog box for the shear command will open.

Step 3

Type in a shear angle between -359 and 359 degrees where it reads "Shear Angle" at the top of the dialog box.

Step 4

Click on horizontal or vertical to determine the angle at which to slant the image. Check the preview box to view the image. If no other changes are needed, click "OK."