Use resize and rotation handles

Whenever you select one or more objects by using the Selection Cc294860.959a05a6-5a4b-4b0e-98a3-fb628d2c03a2(en-us,Expression.30).png tool or Group Select Cc294860.41beee88-9aaf-40ef-b7ae-5a802596cdfc(en-us,Expression.30).png tool, Microsoft Expression Design displays eight resize and rotation handles around the objects. These handles are positioned around the bounding box, which is a rectangle that contains the whole object or objects.

You can also see the resize and rotation handles when you select two or more nodes with the Lasso Selection Cc294860.81bef400-2dac-4493-9ff4-8a9fc9153a33(en-us,Expression.30).png tool or by selecting the points with the Direct Selection Cc294860.a4e92365-1fd6-473c-b727-1487d8a466c9(en-us,Expression.30).png tool and then switching to the Selection tool, even if the nodes are on multiple objects.


These handles are a convenient way to perform following basic transformations with the selected object, objects, or nodes:

  • Moving   To move a selected object, drag on or inside the path or shape.

  • Scaling   To scale an object, drag one of the side or corner handles. Drag the handle toward the center of the selection to scale it down, and away from the center to scale it up. To scale proportionally, hold down the SHIFT key when you drag.

  • Rotating   To rotate, position the pointer immediately outside one of the corner handles so that the pointer changes to a Rotate Cc294860.c5b84279-b64b-4449-aaa1-601f6be0c7c2(en-us,Expression.30).png icon, and then drag. Hold down the SHIFT key to constrain the rotation to 45-degree increments. (To control the angles you get when you hold down the SHIFT key, on the Edit menu, point to Options, click Units and Grids, and change Rotation steps.)


  • **Skewing  ** To skew, position the pointer immediately outside one of the side handles so that the pointer changes to a Skew Cc294860.d2736045-e724-442f-b173-6de60cb3de42(en-us,Expression.30).png icon, and then drag.

Transforming around a registration point

Objects can be rotated, scaled, or skewed relative to a registration point that you can change. For example, when you rotate an object, it rotates around the point at the location you specify.

To change the location of the registration point

  • Do one of the following:

    • Select an object or objects by using the Selection Cc294860.959a05a6-5a4b-4b0e-98a3-fb628d2c03a2(en-us,Expression.30).png tool, and then drag the center point handle to a different location. This can include a different location on the page.

    • On the left side of the Action Bar, click the registration point Cc294860.be82a820-b5c5-486c-a15a-092947c5fa3e(en-us,Expression.30).png icon to indicate which part of the selected object you want to stay stationary during the transformation. For example, if you want the left side of your object to remain in position as the rest of the object is translated, click the left point of the registration point icon

When you hold down the ALT key, the registration point stays stationary when you skew or scale the object. For example, if you scale by pressing ALT and then dragging a corner handle, this action scales from the registration point. If you leave the registration point in the center, pressing ALT when you drag scales the object from the center.

Line weights and patterns

When you scale, skew, or rotate a shape, the object's stroke or fill may not transform with it.

To control the way a stroke, pattern, or image fill changes

  • On the Edit menu, point to Options, and then do one or both of the following:

    • Click General, and then, in the General panel, under General, select or clear the Transform image fill check box.

    • Click Stroke, and then, in the Stroke panel, under Stroke, select or clear the Scale stroke width check box.

Turning off handles

You may prefer not to see the resize and rotation handles when you select nodes or objects.

To turn off the handles

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Options, and then click Display.

  2. In the Display panel, under Display options, clear the Show resize handles check box.

See also


Scale objects

Rotate objects

Skew objects