11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2010 1:58 PM by Jesseham

    Uniform scale problem

    marcin.ukleja Level 1

      Hi,

      I have some problem with scaling in Adobe Illustrator CS4.

       

      I will explain it with an example.

       

      Imagine that You have shape which looks like a key - bigger circle and smaller long rectangle. Horizontal composition. How to scale it - uniformly of course - to achieve certain height of the rectangle part?

       

      In previous CS3 it was able by:

      • creating 2 guides (with offset of certain distance),
      • then moving rectangle anchor (eg. top one) to one of them,
      • next Scale Tool with reference point on that guide
      • and finally draging opposite anchor/path - with little "uniform" text near anchor - to second guide.

       

      Now (CS4) uniform works only with 45 degrees dragging (and Shift-key pressed), so I can't do scale precisely.

       

      The same thing is a problem with logo containing graphic and text. How to scale it to achieve certain height of text?

       

      Last example - text "Max" with outlined paths. How to scale it to achieve certain height of "x" letter?

       

      I would be glad for help.

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Uniform scale problem
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          marcin.ukleia,

           

          Why not just:

           

          1) Determine the present height of the rectangle part (or x of Max), using the DirectSelection Tool,

          2a) Select all and Object>Transform>Scale uniformly using 100x the proportion of desired to present height, and move to the desired position, or

          2b) Select all and multiply W or H value by proportion of desired to present height, click Ctrl/CmdEnter to retain overall proportions, having the appropriate Reference Point ticked or subsequently moving to the desired position?

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Uniform scale problem
            marcin.ukleja Level 1

            Thanks for Reply.

             

            I know that I can calculate proportions but this is still not vector procedure.

             

            Illustrator has its own accuracy which doesn't satisfy me. Of course there would be no problem if height of rectangle would be 25 units and my desired height would be 50 units. But what to do if current height is 23,711 units? I'm not used to do calculating such values because they are not precise.

             

            I work on AutoCAD and I don't have to do any calculations in it - everything is based on offset, reference scale, rotate, move - only vector procedures done by application.

             

            In CS3 I was sure that transformation has been processed by Illustrator with higher accuracy than calculating proportions.

             

            I still would be glad for replies.

            • 3. Re: Uniform scale problem
              Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              marcin.ukleia,

               

              Illustrator has its own accuracy which doesn't satisfy me. Of course there would be no problem if height of rectangle would be 25 units and my desired height would be 50 units. But what to do if current height is 23,711 units? I'm not used to do calculating such values because they are not precise.

               

              Illy can do it for you, and she is alwyas eager to help: you may insert the expression *23.711/50 in the Transform palette/panel (for W or H and Ctrl/CmdEnter to retain proportions), or make a Uniform Scaling by 2371.1/50 or 23.711/0.50 (multiplying the desired value by 100, or dividing the original value by 100). Be aware that Illy can only do one operation at a time.

               

              I believe the insertion of proportions is easier than the multiple steps currently used in CS3; and I doubt whether they are less accurate.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Uniform scale problem
                Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                When you are use to the way an application works it is not necessarily reasonable to expect another program to work that same way.

                 

                To expect Illustrator to be a CAD type program is also a bit unreasonable as it is an illustration program its main focus is for the artist.

                 

                There is no guarantee but if you go to the feature request  forum and make a request and suggest how this might work in the context of what is possible in Illustrator then you might get what you want in some future release.

                 

                Even though it was pointed out that you can get what you want from AI that doesn't mean you should expect it just because you want it.

                 

                I do not remember seeing anywhere where it was claimed by Adobe that Illustrator was a CAD program.

                • 5. Re: Uniform scale problem
                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  Agreed, although it may be said that Illy, in a slightly different sense helps us with our computer aided design(s).

                  • 6. Re: Uniform scale problem
                    marcin.ukleja Level 1

                    Thanks for another guides.

                     

                    First - I don't want Illy to be CAD. I use AutoCAD for architecture and Illustrator for graphic design and for making CAD drawings look better. I'm talking about nice, productive and precise features.

                     

                    Back to topic:

                    I was talking about real accuracy. Value of 23.711 isn't store in Illustrator like this. It can be 23.71137287328... Even when You see 72.5 it can be 72.5002234223... Or 60 can be 59.999626327...

                     

                    Try scaling 500.020 to 1% - it will be 5 (5.000?). Then try scaling x100 - will it be 500.000 or 500.020.

                     

                    I've also noticed that sometimes Illy makes .999 (or .001) fraction in "well-formed" shapes.

                     

                    In AutoCAD if I want to scale sth, I simply select it and via SCALE command I specify reference length and then the new length. Everything is done by specyfying values on real drawing - not by typing their displayed values (they depend on chosen display precision).

                     

                    In CS3 and in my described procedure calculations made by Illy are based on original dimensions - not displayed (.000). It was satisfying and analogous to CAD process or rather vector process.

                     

                    I'm not going to compare AutoCAD and Illustrator - I have to use them both .

                     

                    I don't think that option to make it accurate is the feature of CAD applications.

                     

                    I'm still looking for answer how to make described transformation easy and accurate.

                     

                    Described methods are not easy (as it can be) and accurate (as I want to be). But I'm very grateful for help.

                    • 7. Re: Uniform scale problem
                      Jesseham Level 4

                      So far as I know and can test to see, the inaccuracies of the numbers are only the numbers that you see.  The objects dimensions are still accurate.  I don't know how that would pan out over multiple transforms, but if you scale an object that is 5.00001x5.00001 (which Illustrator will call"5") 1000%, it will become an object that is 5.0001x5.0001 (which Illustrator will display correctly)

                       

                      Why Adobe chose to truncate the number shown to 4 decimal places or less, I don't know.  It should be a preference.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Uniform scale problem
                        Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        Actually, there are certain discrepancies, such as 5/32 which will be shown rounded to 0.156 or 0.1563 (depending on version), and when you use that for operations the rounding will/may produce a corresponding error.

                         

                        But if you use the basic values, such as the quotient 5/32 itself, it is error free.

                        • 9. Re: Uniform scale problem
                          Jesseham Level 4

                          Yeah, regardless of what the dialogs are telling you, the actual dimensions of the objects are not being rounded off.  Just the numbers that are displayed.

                           

                          if you want to manually enter 5/32, enter .15625 - both the numbers you specify are actually rounded as well.  The object will actually be 5/32, despite Illustrator telling you that it's .156 (cs4) or .1563 (cs3 and below)

                           

                          It's a stupid interface decision that they've made, reducing it to 3 places.  It really ought to be a preference - and then the OP could set it to 50 and see all the precision they need. It's like Illustrator's own y2k bug, except that it's only on the surface. ;-)

                          • 10. Re: Uniform scale problem
                            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            Jesseham wrote:

                             

                            Yeah, regardless of what the dialogs are telling you, the actual dimensions of the objects are not being rounded off.  Just the numbers that are displayed.

                             

                            if you want to manually enter 5/32, enter .15625 - both the numbers you specify are actually rounded as well.  The object will actually be 5/32, despite Illustrator telling you that it's .156 (cs4) or .1563 (cs3 and below)

                             

                            What happens if you create a 5/32 by 5/32 square, and then in the Transform palette multiply the W and H values by 32?

                             

                            I would always suggest the use of basic calculations based upon integers or simple quotients, rather than repeated calculations based upon values that are apparently rounded.

                            • 11. Re: Uniform scale problem
                              Jesseham Level 4

                              You're right about that.  Despite creating a rectangle that is 1.00001 x1, (which is then shown as 1x1) adding a *100 to that in the transform panel does drop the hidden precision and replace it with the rounded math.

                               

                              If you use the scale tool however, the hidden precision is maintained.

                               

                              I'm not trying to argue that Illustrator is the tool for you when thousands of an inch count - it would be far too irritating to do so since you have no idea what you're working with.  I'm just saying that if pressed to do so, it can, as the precision is really there, even though it's not shown.