Object --> Transform Each perhaps? Or create an action for it and assign it to a shortcut key...
It sounds like you clicked on one segment of the trapezoid using the Direct Select tool (white arrow). This selects only the segment you clicked on. Illustrator was once very innovative in that it let users select part of a shape for rotation or scaling, while other programs only allowed transformations on the entire object. Illustrator is no longer unique in this regard, but the cumbersome multiple ways to select objects remain and are a constant source of frustration to new users (an a constant source of book sales to Adobe).
Either hold Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) as you click on the trapezoid or use the Select tool (black arrow) to select it before doing a transformation. You can tell an entire object is selected when all the points on its path are solid. If there are any hollow points, then the object is only partly selected. Note that in my illustration, thee is no way to tell that the top segment is selected in the first example. Brilliant execution for a >20 year old program.
Illustrator was once very innovative in that it let users select part of a shape for rotation or scaling, while other programs only allowed transformations on the entire object.
I don't know what about this behavior in Illustrator can be called "innovative."
For as long as I can remember, FreeHand's treatment of so-called "power duplication" of segments and anchorpoints has been superior to Illustrator's.
If you "power duplicate" (step-and-repeat by transforming a copy) a sub-selection in Illustrator, it lamely breaks the affected segment from the path, yielding results like that you pictured.
If you do that same operation in FreeHand, the sub-selection is replicated and transformed as a sub-selected part of a new path. It does not, as I read your comment above, simply transform/duplicate the whole path.
So you can do progressive alterations of a path's shape, with power-duplication in FH, whereas you can't in AI; AI just lamely replicates a bunch of disjointed identical segments. Moreover, FH's treatment of power-duplication allows for the combination of several different transformations (scale, rotate, skew, etc.) whereas in Illustrator, you have to resort to Transform Effect for such combinations. And Transform Effect does not provide for a remotely-positioned center-of-transformation without a workaround involving another object to serve as the COT. And FH's ability in this regard predates AI's Transform Effect.
All that said, however, I don't see anything in im-fishing-in-ohio's original question to indicate that just a segment of the trapezoid is being duplicated/transformed. That's the problem: Im has not stated what exactly he/she is doing. There are several ways to rotate-with-copy. The problem as described is that copies are retaining the same orientation relative to the page. That would suggest that the trapezoid is a distortion applied as a live effect. Im-fishing needs to explain exactly what he/she is doing.
Thank you both for a reply. Scott I am selecting the whole shape. Here is a picture of what my rotate tool is doing. I expected when using the rotate tool like this the shape would rotate also. I'm doing a tutorial and the author's shape rotates with each copy. I am copying them using "control D" like it says in the manual.
It was innovative in 1987, when all I then knew was CricketDraw, MacDraw, and MacDraft. All of those programs let you move and edit one point on a path (beziers for CD, smooth polygons for the rest), but scaling and rotating were only applied to an entire shape or group. Since 1988, when I first used FreeHand, Illustrator has lagged behind, never really trying to play catch-up.
Fish in OH
It looks like your “trapezoid” is rectangle with a Warp effect applied. Illustrator’s effects do not rotate, so the same warp transformation is applied in the same direction on each copy. Either expand the effect before rotating or turn the original object into a symbol, then rotate and copy.
OK Scott, expanding the apperance worked. Thank you very much for the lesson and the help.
Myleniem, I did try your suggestion. If I understood it right but all the copies still
kept the same orientation as the original. Scott's suggestion on expanding
the appearance worked. Thanks for the input and it might not of fixed my
problem but it gave me a little in site which might help this newbie in the