Illustrator: How to use the Reflect tool | tutorial

This Illustrator tutorial discusses how to reflect an object across a vertical axis using the Reflect tool. Watch more at

This specific tutorial is just a single movie from chapter four of the Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals course presented by author Deke McClelland. The complete Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals course has a total duration of 23 hours and 12 minutes, and explores such indispensable features as artboards, layers, line art, transformations, and the Pen tool

Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals table of contents:

1. Making a Document
2. Navigation and the Workspace
3. Opening Documents and Getting Organized
4. Basic Line Art
5. Geometric Shapes
6. Paint, Build, and Transform
7. Swatch, Stroke, and Stacking Order
8. Working with Type
9. Using the Pen tool
10. Pathfinder Operations
11. Printing a Document
12. Exporting to the Web (and Elsewhere)


45 thoughts on “Illustrator: How to use the Reflect tool | tutorial”

  1. Before watching this video I'd usually create a centred box around the object, then select the box and object to be reflected and reflect them both before deleting the 'flipper' box and joining the two halves together. Being relatively new to AI (I'm primarily a PS user) it seemed like such a simple function which I'd struggled to achieve in the program without prior training. I'd watched other tutorials which didn't give good result (eg. copy and pasting into place before dragging the far bounding box to the opposite side, which could potentially lead to irregular sizing, not an exact reflected copy) but this did exactly as I'd needed, cheers!

  2. Thanks! Alternative which I find easier (cause im used to it) which is shown in the video as well at the start:
    – Select shape
    – Copy and paste (control c then control v)
    – Choose new shape > Right click > Transform > Reflect
    – Choose whatever reflect option > ok
    – Snap shapes together

    The reason for my method is because I can't remember all the letter shortcuts such as O etc. I use photoshop, aftereffects, XD and illustrator and shortcuts to remember is so much.

  3. Trust Illustrator to make a tool that is so 'un-intuitive' that it needs all this explanation (which includes words like "weird" and "bizarre"). It is now nearly 10 years since this video was made and nothing has changed. No wonder so many creatives are flocking to Sketch and all the other vector apps that are cashing-in on the woeful inadequacies that Illustrator still has. All Adobe has to do is employ some good UX-UI designers to reduce the amount of head-scratching us paying customers have to do.

  4. If you hold alt-shift click, you can reflect with object without the panel pop-up. It can behave a little differently depending on where your cursor is when you click though, so it takes some playing around with. Nice little shortcut though.

  5. This video is taken from a full video series on The instructor Deke McClelland is the best Illustrator/Photoshop/InDesign teacher there is. I have spent dozens of hours learning from his courses, and they are all top-notch. To the commenters below who want him to get straight to the point in 30 seconds, understand that the nature of his course is one that moves a bit more slowly so the viewer can work alongside him and come away with a mastery of the software. If he were to show each effect in 30 seconds' time, it would be impossible to follow along and retain everything.

  6. This didnt work for me. I have a sword shape that i am wanting to flip/reflect. The points of the sword keep over lapping creating a V shape at the top of the point. Someone help me?

  7. To all those who I guess don't know, and keep commenting about his non-stop talking, this is a tutorial. He's a professional instructor, it'd be like saying to your college professor that they are talking too much.

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