How To Shear In Illustrator

Are you looking to slant or add creative effects to your objects? This may be a good idea because adding some movement to your work makes it cooler and more appealing. Shearing objects is a great way to achieve that. 

To shear in Illustrator, select your object. In the tools panel, choose the Shear tool and then drag your cursor around to shear the object. You can also double-click on the shear tool and input specific values according to which you want a shear effect. 

To learn the procedures in detail, continue reading. 

What Is Shearing In Graphic Design?

Before we dive into how to perform this procedure, we need to understand what the procedure will lead us to. Shearing in graphic design is a transformation that is used to change the shape of an object or image by slanting it in two dimensions. 

Shearing involves using two parallel lines, also known as the shear lines, that move points along the same axis, resulting in the object’s sides being skewed in different directions. 

It can create interesting angles and shapes for design elements, stretch, and warp images.

Shear An Object In Illustrator Manually

We all love to do things with the drag of our mouse. To shear your objects manually:

  1. Open your document and make the design that you want to work with. 
  2. Now select the object that you want to shear.
  3. Go to the tools panel on the left and choose the Scale Tool. 
  4. In the dropdown menu, choose the Shear Tool. 
  5. Now, click on the object and drag it in either direction. The more you drag, the more it is sheared. 

For more help, watch this video:

Shear An Object In Illustrator With Precise Numbers

For some people, doing things manually may not provide them with the necessary satisfaction. You can use the following methods to maintain accuracy and precision in your work. 

To do so:

  1. Select the object that needs to shear. 
  2. Go to the tools panel and choose the Scale tool, followed by the Shear tool under it. 
  3. Double-click on this and watch a window appear. 
  4. This window contains sections on Shear Angle and axis. 
  5. Click the preview button to see all the changes you make. 
  6. Choose the axis, i.e., the plane around which you wish to shear the object. 
  7. Now choose the angle number with a positive or negative sign. You must be precise, but you can work the numbers to see which looks best. 
  8. Then hit OK. 

How To Shear Multiple Objects Together In Illustrator

If you wish to apply the same effect to all the objects in your image or multiple objects, doing each object separately may be tiresome and repetitive. An easier way is to shear all of them together. 

Before you proceed, ensure that you aim to make all the objects shear at the same angle. 

Follow the instructions below to understand better how to do it.

  1. Open up the file with the objects added to it.
  2. Now click and drag your cursor across all the objects. 
  3. A selection will be made. 
  4. Now go to the tools panel.
  5. Double-click on the Shear tool or click on it to manually change the skewness of the objects. 

How To Change The Point Around Which The Object Is Sheared?

It may not seem like it, but all objects are sheared or skewed around a particular point. By default, Adobe sets this point in the center of the object. However, that restricts the creative freedom of users. To move the center point around to achieve a particular effect, follow the steps given below. 

  1. Select the object that you are working with.
  2. Go to the tools panel on the right and choose the Scale Tool.
  3. Under this, choose the Shear tool. 
  4. Zoom into the object if you cannot clearly see all the anchor points. 
  5. In the center, look for a small cross. 
  6. Click on this cross and drag it around wherever it fits. 
  7. You can also drag it on top of an anchor point and fix it here. 
  8. Moreover, snap the cross on top of any lines that you want. 


This article has provided a beginner-to-novice guide on shear objects in Adobe Illustrator. If you continue using our guide to practice and get the hang of it, you can move on to more advanced effects that can be created using the Shear tool; for example, making an object a 3D object.