How to align rotated shape back to 0 degrees?

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I have a “rotation” issue with Illustrator. I’ve rotated some shape which has no horizontal component which I could align to guide, so I have no idea how to rotate the shape back to 0 degrees. In the case of multiple shapes (I’ve rotated letters) I have a problem to align them back.

Any suggestions to solve the problem?


How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

In CC 2015, there is a way:
After you’ve rotated something, open the “Transform” window and you can type 0 into that value.

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HOWEVER in CS6 this does not work. I just installed CS6 to confirm. This same window “Transform” does have the rotate field, but it clears to 0 after any changes. This does not work in CS6. (As you already know. I am just updating this answer to correct myself.)

Method 2

I’ve found some solution to the issue if you rotated the shape once only.

  1. Select the rotated shape. You will see the bounding box if it is not disabled.
  2. Locate the cursor to the point where the rotating sign will appear.
  3. Click and start moving the shape – you will see the exact angle by which was rotated from the 0 degrees – remember that number and
  4. Release the button.
  5. Right click on the shape → Transform → Rotate and in the rotation angle insert the number you’ve remembered and
  6. Click OK.

The shape will come back to original settings if you don’t press Reset Bounding Box before the zeroing.

Method 3

Since the feature doesn’t really exist I should suggest keeping a copy of your shape previous to rotating it.

I would probably set up a separate layer for shapes in their original position and just hide it and then reference it if I need a particular shape back at 0 degrees.

Method 4

Use the measuring tool the get the angle of the 2 point on the object (straight line) you want to reset to 0 degree.
Then type in the angle measured (clock wise @ counter clock wise) to level to object with transform tools.

Method 5

The easiest way I know, assuming it has the original bounding box still, is create a guide line (I use horizontal) on one corner, then use the rotate tool (r), select the corner you lined up with the guide, then rotate from the other corner down until it’s lined up along the guide.

Method 6

Correct, this is not a built-in feature of Illustrator (as it stands).

You can however reset text objects and bitmap images with a script called ‘Clear Transform’ by a guy called Iaroslav Tabachkovsky. It’s available to download on Vector boom:

Don’t worry, Illustrator scripts are very easy to install and use. All relevant instructions are on the page in the link.

Enjoy! 🙂

Method 7

In case you want to edit the shape without the rotation, but retain the rotation, this is what I do: I add the unrotated shape as a symbol, then rotate the symbol instance. That way, by double clicking on the symbol you can edit the unrotated shape (symbol definition), then once you finish editing the symbol definition, you get your rotation back.

Method 8

  • Ensure smart guides are enabled.
  • Drag a guide to the anchor point you’d like your point of rotation to
    be (“Anchor” should pop up as you approach it with your cursor).
  • Hit “R” to enable to Rotate tool, and click on the same anchor point
    (again, “Anchor” will pop up).
  • Pan over to the anchor point on the opposite side of the shape (which
    you’ll be rotating to get the shape back to 0°).
  • Click and drag this anchor point till it intersects with the guide.
    It should snap into place, and “Guide” will pop up).

Method 9

Illustrator CS6 has a bounding box for every object in the artboard, if you rotate an object then its respective bounding box is affected in such a way that (provided you have not reset the bounding box after said rotation operation) you can get the object back to an “un-rotated” state.

I’ve just confirmed this with illustrator 9. The rotated bounding box provides a “cartesian memory” for rotations.

  1. Pull guides to the 2 corners that define the lowest edge of the bounding box.
  2. Use the bottom edge of the bounding box as a reference.
  3. The angle of rotation is the angle between the x-axis and the line made by the bottom edge of the bounding box.

*Please note that the origin of the X-axis described above is the
lowest corner of the bounding box.

Method 10

If you select all the anchor points with the anchor point tool, then rotate it to where you need it. For example I had an object rotated 45 degrees and so the bounding box appeared to be a diamond shape. I selected the anchor points then rotated it using shift 45 degrees and now the bounding box is now a box shape surrounding the object.

Method 11

In AI CC you can click on X, Y, W or H to bring up a menu with couple of cool object properties, rotation included. Worked like magic for me!)

Method 12

Turn on Smart Guides by pressing Ctrl+U. Start rotating the object and notice that there is text that tells you the degree. Remember this. Right click on the item and choose “Rotate” under the “Transform” tab. If the angle of the object was negative, put in the same number, but positive, and vice versa. This will set your object’s degrees back to 0.

Method 13

It’s already been resolved on another post, but I’ll write it here:
you need the free plugin from astute graphics. Check the page, scroll down, check the animated gif about the orient tool. It does what it promises. I checked.
Oh, and not affiliated with them.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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