Reflecting and joining in Adobe Illustrator

Today we’re going to create a clock and I’m going to start off by making the hand using symmetry. Using the Pen tool I’ve drawn half the hand.


I now want to make a symmetrical copy to complete the clock hand, so with this object selected, go to the toolbar and find the Reflect tool.ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR SYMMETRY TUTORIAL reflect tool

Don’t click and drag the object with this tool, even though it seems like the right thing to do because you’ll end up with half a clock going all over the show!

We want to be a bit more accurate about this, so we are going to place the point of reflection on the page where we want the object to reflect across. To do this, hold down the Alt key and click in the area that you want to reflect across. Illustrator will then give you an option box and you can experiment with other angle reflections such as horizontal or vertical.

If you switch on the Preview button you can see what you’re going to get. When you’re happy with what you want, click Copy (not OK).ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR SYMMETRY TUTORIAL average menu

We’ve now got 2 parts of our clock hand which we want to join together. Select the top 2 points using the Direct Selection Tool. If you were to go directly to Object – Path – Join it would give you a straight line between those 2 points – obviously not what we want for a nice sharp clock hand.

Therefore, go to Object – Path – Average
instead. This will move the 2 points on top of each other.ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR SYMMETRY TUTORIAL averageADOBE ILLUSTRATOR SYMMETRY TUTORIAL Join points

Once you’ve moved the 2 points on top of each others, you can then use Object – Path – Join.ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR SYMMETRY TUTORIAL Menue

Try this on the bottom part of the clock hand as well.

Remember to use the Direct Selection tool and not the Selection tool for both of these. Experiment with that too and see what you get!ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR SYMMETRY TUTORIAL CLOCK BASE

Mostly – just have heaps of fun with Illustrator.