How can I resize this object without distorting it in Illustrator?

How can I resize such items without changing the curvature at edges? You know, I don’t want the half-circles at the extremes to become half-elipses.




Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

Holding Shift while resizing will constrain proportions and keep the ends as semicircles. If your resized shape is too wide, use Direct Select (A) to select anchors on one side and then move them to where they need to be.

If you need the edges aligned with other objects, the easiest way is to duplicate your resized object and combine the 2 shapes using overlapping areas.

Step 1: The Initial Resize (to get the correct height without distorting your ends)

Shift + Resize

Step 2 (Option A): Adjust Width Using Direct Selection (move some anchors)

Direct Selection

Step 2 (Option B): Adjust Width Using Compount Shapes (good for aligning with other objects)

Compound Images

Method 2

Hold down the shift key while dragging a corner handle.

Or, the more accurate and flexible method is directly selecting all the vector point anchors for one side (2 corners) and dragging that over, then selecting the other half to drag another side in another direction to achieve the desired dimensions.

diagram to show how to resize by directly selecting anchor points

You can only do that with the “Direct Selection Tool” which is the second, white, “pointer” button in the Illustrator tools palette. It selects points of a shape instead of the whole shape.

Method 3

I don’t know which version of Illustrator you’re using, and I also don’t recall which version of Illustrator this first arrived in (CS3, maybe?), but the exact answer to your question is: turn on 9-slice scaling for your object.

The instructions for turning this on in CS5 are here in the Illustrator help, but maybe it will help to explain what the heck 9-slice scaling is and why somebody invented it in the first place.

“Why” is easy: it was to solve the exact problem you are running into, where the designer needs to scale an object without affecting the corner radius. 9-Slice Scaling divides the object into three, horizontally and vertically, then protects he four corners while allowing the center and edges to scale up and down. I can’t improve on the Fireworks help page that shows all this very clearly.

Method 4

How did you create this shape?

If you started drawing it as a rectangle, then Effects->Convert to Shape->Rounded Rectangle and defined a corner radius value there, then it shouldn’t change the curvature as you resize the rectangle later.

Method 5

The is the simplest algorithm to do that in CC:

  1. Select object you want to scale
  2. Double click on Scale Tool (S)
  3. Check “Scale rectangle corners” in options bar

Now you are able to scale corner radius proportianally

Method 6

Select object.

Go to menu/object/shape

Select ‘expand shape’

Object will scale with corners as simple paths.

Method 7

Hit Ctrl K New window open check scale stroke and effects, now you can scale without effecting the shape properties enter image description here

Method 8

I was having the same issue, with ‘scale stroke and effects’ turned as well as turned off. No matter what I tried, holding shift, resizing in different techniques… once I got down to a smaller size, my rounded corners basically became a half circle at the top and bottom of my rectangle. My workaround suggestion is this. Place a very thin stroke around your rectangle once you have the corners how you like them. Convert that stroke to outlines. And then in outline mode (cmd Y), go in with your white arrow tool and delete the outer line.. this seems to create a ‘new’ shape to the same proportions as your original rectangle, minus the set curvature for the corners… now those curved corners are set it stone and the only way to adjust them is the old fashioned way. I am sure that the the techniques mentioned above are the smart way to do it… but for me, they just were not working. And reading a few threads on this issue, it seems like others are having the same issue… or had the same issue three years ago. Good luck.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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