Duplicating a Shape Around a Circle in Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Did you ever have one of those boring and time consuming tasks of creating a leaf or any other object with repeated shapes around a circle? One of our readers asked us if we know a simpler way than re-creating the object again and again. And we certainly do know an easier way to complete this task.

So today we will teach you how to duplicate a shape around a circle in Adobe Illustrator with just a few clicks (you can count them if you don’t believe us). Let us start our tutorial:

1. Create the shape to be duplicated

001-Duplicate a shape along a circle

We will start the process by creating the shape that we want to bouncy castle duplicate. Once this is done, we then create the circle shape that represents the path around which the shape will be duplicated.



2. Apply Rotate Tool


Select the object you want to duplicate, then click on the Rotate Tool from the tool panel, or click R on your keyboard, if you prefer working with shortcuts.

Next, press down the Alt key (Option if you work on a Mac) and click on the center of the circle. You will see the Rotate sub-menu panel on the screen.

3. Work in the Rotate sub-menu


In the Angle text box select the desired angle of rotation and the number of times you want the object to be duplicated, separating these numbers by /. For instance, if you need the object to be repeated 8 times and go completely around the circle you will type 360/8.

In the Options box bellow, select Objects. Finally, make sure that you click on Copy button, not OK. Clicking OK will duplicate the object only one time, as you can see below.

4. The final result

After you click on Copy – the job is not done yet. To repeat the final step you just made you need to press the shortcut known for duplicating in illustrator which is Command + D (Mac) or Ctrl + D (Windows).


The job is done now and it only took a few clicks, as we promised. For more useful tips and tricks in Adobe Illustrator, keep sending us requests and we will deal with them one tutorial at a time.

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  • jmcgraphics

    I dont know HOW MANY times I’ve needed to do this without going thru and idiotic and frustrating amount of steps! THX! Very Useful!

  • Thanks for this tutorial. The 360/8 trick is excellent!

  • This allows for an incredible amount of experimenting. And it’s accurate! Thanks.

  • Mansoor Ahmad

    thx mate. it helped me a lot

    ~ beginner here.

  • tomcollins88

    Wow, super easy. Thanks.

  • sid123

    Thank you, not a beginner, but not something I don’t use often, never would have figured it out on my own.

  • Sam

    It would be good for Adobe Illustrator to have a proper Step & Repeat function as this is a standard term used in lithography and prepress. Thank you. mblabels.com.au

Ionut B
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