How To Flip An Image In Illustrator

Have you curated the perfect art piece but want to experiment with mirroring it? Recreating the entire design may take a lot of effort and some mental calculations. That can be very exhausting. Illustrator allows you to perform this at the reach of just a few clicks. 

Select the Object you wish to flip, go to the Object menu, click Transform, and Reflect. Choose whether the mirroring should be horizontal or vertical, and you are good to go. 

There are some other methods as well to achieve similar results. Continue reading to find out. 

Why Do You Want To Flip An Image In Illustrator

Flipping an image in Illustrator allows you to quickly create a “mirror image” of a design or artwork. This is useful for the following reasons. 

  1. Creating symmetrical designs – These designs give off a clean look to the art. The structure is added in more complex designs. Symmetrical designs are easier to make and hence, more accessible. 
  1. Creating logos – Mirroring helps to create a professional-looking logo that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to recognize.
  1. Use in other applications – Creating a reversed version of an image can help make content for various other creative applications.  

Flipping An Image In Illustrator Using The Reflect Tool

Let us look at how flipping or mirroring an image is carried out in Illustrator. The instructions below are for the first method that can be used. This uses the reflect tool. 

  1. Select the Object you want to flip and make sure it is selected.
  1. Go to the Object menu and select Transform > Reflect.
  1. A dialog box will appear with the options “Horizontal” and “Vertical.” Select the one you want and click “OK.”
  1. Your Object will be flipped in the direction you chose. To apply the changes permanently, press “Enter” or “Return.”

Flipping An Image In Illustrator Using The Transform Tool

If the above method is difficult for you, do not worry. Here is an easier process that may be easier to execute for you. This one uses the transform tool and flips the image or Object.

  1. Open up the image you would like to flip in Adobe Illustrator.
  1. Select the image by clicking it once.
  1. Go to the “Object” menu and select “Transform > Flip Horizontal” or “Transform > Flip Vertical.”
  1. The image will then be flipped in the direction you have selected.
  1. If you would like to save your changes, go to the “File” menu and select “Save” or “Save As.”

For more guidance, watch this video:

How To Mirror And Duplicate An Object In Illustrator? 

To create symmetry, you may want to keep the original Object while creating a flipped version of it. One method of doing so is to duplicate the image and then alter and mirror one of the two objects. Another technique is explained below:

  1. Select the Object you want to mirror and duplicate.
  1. Go to Object> Transform > Reflect.
  1. In the dialog box that appears, select the axis you want to reflect the Object over (vertical or horizontal).
  1. Click the Copy button to create a duplicate of the Object reflected over the selected axis.
  1. Click OK to apply the transformation.

Rotating Objects In Illustrator Using The Selection Tool

Sometimes, artists may prefer having more freedom when flipping objects. The above tools only restrict the Object’s movement over a 180-degree angle. Don’t fret!  Illustrator allows you to rotate the Object at a certain angle, as you prefer. 

Follow the guide below to do this. Adjusting the angle may take a while; you may need to go back and forth, but it will eventually fall into place. 

  1. Select the Object you want to rotate.
  1. Use the Selection Tool to click and drag the Object around the artboard.
  1. Use the Rotate Tool to click and drag the Object to turn it around the center point.
  1. Use the Transform panel to enter an exact rotation angle.
  1. Use the Move Tool to move the center point to a different location.
  1. Use the Rotate Tool to click and drag the Object to rotate it around the new center point.

Keyboard Shortcuts 

Keyboard shortcuts can be transformative for your work productivity. They save time and effort. Below are the shortcuts you may use while flipping your image. 

Opening an image: Press the Ctrl + O keys in Windows and the Command + O keys on a Mac.

Selection Tool: Press the V key.

Reflect Tool: Press the O key after selecting the Object you wish to reflect. 


We hope that you have learned how to flip objects in Adobe Illustrator. Equipped with this skill, you can add symmetry to your designs, make logos, and add complexity to your work. Good luck to you with that!