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Designing on an angle in Adobe Illustrator.

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Should you find yourself designing projects in Adobe Illustrator that use a rotated axis, you can make your life easier using Illustrator’s Constrain Angle option.

The Constrain Angle option is nothing new (it was introduced back in Illustrator 7), but it comes in handy when modifying our letter-folding templates from a recent tip.

Once you change Illustrator’s default angle, everything you draw is created along the new axes. As an example, in our rendition of a classic Josef Muller-Brockmann poster, using a constrained angle of 60 degrees greatly simplifies drawing and editing.


To change Illustrator’s default x and y axis angle, open Illustrator’s general preferences.

Mac: Illustrator > Preferences > General

Windows: Edit > Preferences > General

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Specify an angle in the Constrain Angle text box. A positive angle rotates the axes counterclockwise; a negative angle rotates the axes clockwise.

Tip: A quick way to see the results of your new angle: choose View > Show Grid.

Source: This tip inspired by the Letterfu templates covered in another creative tip this week. Those templates are much easier to edit when you set Illustrator’s Constrain Angle to 45 degrees.