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How to Flip an Image in Adobe Illustrator


Flip an Image in Adobe Illustrator

Welcome to the exciting world of Adobe Illustrator, where the power of design is at your fingertips. If you’ve ever wondered how to flip an image to achieve a different angle or create a mirror effect in your artwork, you’re in the right place. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of flipping images in Adobe Illustrator, step by step. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned designer, we’ve got you covered.

Different Ways to Flip Images in Adobe Illustrator

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of image flipping, let’s explore the different methods at your disposal. Adobe Illustrator offers multiple ways to flip images, each with its unique advantages. Here are some popular methods:

Method 1: Flip an Image with Reflect Tool (O)

This method allows you to mirror an image and change its perspective or angle. Follow these steps to get started:


Step 1: 

Selecting the Image

Choose the Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut V) from the toolbar and select the image you want to flip.

Step 2:

Activating the Reflect Tool

Locate the Reflect Tool (keyboard shortcut O) on the toolbar. It’s found in the same menu as the Rotate Tool and other transformation tools.


Step 3: 

Understanding the Anchor Point

When the Rotate Tool is active, you’ll notice an anchor point in the center of the image. This point serves as the axis for the reflection or flip. You can move it if necessary.


Step 4:

Flipping the Image

Click on the image and drag to rotate it. This action will create the flip effect


If you know the exact angle you want, you can also double-click on the Reflect Tool to open the Reflect setting window and input the angle value, such as 360 degrees.


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Method 2: Flip an Image with Transform Tool

This method offers a quick and straightforward way to flip an image either horizontally or vertically. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: 

Selecting the Image

Use the Selection Tool to select the image.

Step 2:

The Transform Panel

When you select an image, the Transform panel will appear on the Properties panel. You’ll see options to Flip Horizontally, Flip Vertically, and adjust the angle.


If the Transform panel isn’t visible on your Properties panel, you can access it through the overhead menu by going to “Window” > “Transform.

Step 3:

Choosing the Orientation

Select your desired orientation. For instance, if you want to flip the image horizontally, click on “Flip Horizontally.


Note for Different Illustrator Versions

Illustrator may look slightly different in various versions, so don’t worry if your interface doesn’t match the screenshots in this tutorial. 

The methods described here are adaptable and can be applied across different Illustrator versions. The key is to understand the concepts and techniques involved.


Both the Reflect Tool and Transform Tool are user-friendly and effective for flipping images in Adobe Illustrator. The choice between them depends on your specific design needs.

The Reflect Tool is great when you want to flip an image to create a mirror effect or change its perspective. The Transform Tool, on the other hand, is a quick and easy option for horizontal and vertical flips without concerning yourself with anchor points.

Keep in mind that you can also manually flip an image by dragging the bounding box, which can be a convenient method, especially once you’ve gained some experience with these tools. It’s always good to experiment and explore the capabilities of Adobe Illustrator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use these methods to flip text in Illustrator?

Absolutely! The methods described in this guide can be applied to text objects just as effectively. You can flip text horizontally or vertically using the same techniques.

Q2: Are there any limitations to the angle at which I can flip an image using the Reflect Tool?

There are no specific limitations to the angle at which you can flip an image using the Reflect Tool. You can freely set the angle according to your design requirements.

Q3: How can I undo a flip if I’m not satisfied with the result?

If you’re unhappy with the flipped image, simply press “Ctrl + Z” (Windows) or “Cmd + Z” (Mac) to undo the action. This will revert the image to its original state, allowing you to make further adjustments.

Q4: Can I flip multiple objects at once within a group?

Yes, you can flip multiple objects simultaneously within a group. Select the group, and then apply the desired flipping method as explained in the guide.

Q5: Are there any keyboard shortcuts that can speed up the flipping process?

Yes, there are keyboard shortcuts available for these actions. For example, “V” activates the Selection Tool, and “O” activates the Reflect Tool. You can explore additional shortcuts to streamline your workflow in Adobe Illustrator.


In this ultimate beginner’s guide, we’ve covered the essentials of flipping images in Adobe Illustrator, providing you with the knowledge and skills to enhance your designs. 

So go ahead, experiment with these tools, and let your creativity run wild in the world of design. The power to flip and transform your images is now at your fingertips.

Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to try out different techniques and discover the amazing possibilities that await you in Adobe Illustrator.


  • Nakita Liang

    Nakita is a skilled Adobe Illustrator expert with eight years of hands-on experience. Nakita has honed her craft over the years, specializing in creating visually stunning illustrations that leave a lasting impact. Her design philosophy revolves around pushing the boundaries of Adobe Illustrator to unlock new possibilities in visual storytelling. Beyond her professional pursuits, Nakita is passionate about fostering a collaborative design community. She actively engages in knowledge-sharing, participating in forums and workshops to inspire and guide fellow designers.