Scale Objects in Adobe Illustrator Via Keyboard


I’m a big fan of resolution-independent vector art. I’m also a big fan of keyboard shortcuts. It’s been driving me a bit batty that there is no way in Adobe Illustrator to scale objects using just the keyboard. I use this method all the time within InDesign, and feel like I have handcuffs on when jumping back to Illustrator and wanting to do the same.

With some clever usage of Illustrator Actions, this can indeed be achieved. Here’s how:

Create a new Action via the Actions panel. Name your Action “Scale Up” and assign an F-key to the Action (I chose Shift-F8 on my Mac). Recording will start automatically.


Next, go to the menubar and choose Object > Transform > Scale…


Set your scale to Uniform and enter 101%. Hit the OK button.


Hit the Stop Recording button on the Actions panel.


Repeat the above step, only this time name your Action “Scale Down”, add the Command key to the shortcut, and enter 99% as your scale percentage.

Now you have a handy keyboard shortcut to scale selected objects within Illustrator.

Thanks to Adobe consultant & trainer Jean-Claude Tremblay for the tip via Twitter!

About the Author, George Coghill

George Coghill

George Coghill is a freelance illustrator specializing in monster, creature and cryptid artwork. His illustration and monster artist merchandise work can be seen at

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