Thursday, May 07, 2009

Illustrator transform bug and workaround

I was building a bar chart by hand in Illustrator today (not using Illustrator's charting feature), and I ran across a bug in that I thought I'd give you a heads-up about. The bug affects both CS3 and CS4 (I haven't tested older versions). I drew tiny horizontal "tic marks" on the vertical axis of the chart, and later needed to extend a few of the tic marks all the way across the chart. When I tried to do so, the left edge of the tic marks kept on moving to the right, even though I was dragging the right edge of the tic marks with the Free Transform tool.

The bug affects both CS3 and CS4 (I haven't tested older versions). To see the bug for yourself:

1. Create a new document, 8.5 x 11 inches.

2. Make sure you're viewing the page at Fit All in Window view.

3. Draw a horizontal line 15 pts long or less near the left edge of the page. (The bug seems to only affect lines shorter than 16 points).

4. Use the Free Transform tool to drag the right edge of the line all the way over towards the right edge of the page.

5. The left edge of the line is supposed to stay in place, and the line should just stretch to the right. But instead, the left edge of the line moves to the right if you pull the right edge far enough.

There are three workarounds:

Zoom in, to any magnification, before you drag with the Free Transform tool, or use the Direct Selection tool to grab the right-most end point of the line and drag it to the right or use the Scale tool instead of the Free Transform tool.

So there you have it. I've filed a bug report with Adobe.


Mark Hebert said...

I tried to duplicate it on CS4 running on WinXP Home, can't see any jump to right no matter how far I pull it. Stays locked to where I started it. View is 'Fit All in Window' and line less than 15 pt and used 'Free Transform Tool'. Huh!

Keith Gilbert said...

I finally had a chance to try this on my Windows Vista computer, with AI CS4, and I have the same problem on the Windows Vista platform.

BTW, I have discovered that the workaround of zooming in before dragging the line doesn't always fix the problem.

T said...

Works fine for me. Maybe you just need to make sure you select only the one point you want to transform...?

Keith Gilbert said...

@T: Are you using the Free Transform tool? If you select just the one end point with the Direct Selection tool, it does indeed behave correctly. The problem appears when you try to "stretch" a short line with the Free Transform tool.