Learn How To Show Bounding Box In Illustrator

how to show bounding box in illustrator

I’ve been using Adobe Illustrator for years, and one of the most helpful techniques I’ve learned is how to show a bounding box. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or just starting out, understanding how to display and manipulate the bounding box in Illustrator can greatly enhance your workflow. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to show the bounding box in Illustrator, so you can easily resize, rotate, and transform your objects with precision.

Have you ever struggled to accurately position and resize objects in Adobe Illustrator? If so, you’re not alone. The bounding box feature in Illustrator is a powerful tool that allows you to visualize and manipulate the boundaries of your objects. In this article, I’ll share my knowledge and guide you through the process of displaying the bounding box in Illustrator. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to use this feature to your advantage and create more precise and professional designs.

How to Show Bounding Box in Illustrator

The bounding box is a fundamental feature in Adobe Illustrator that every designer should be familiar with. It is a visual representation of the boundaries of an object or a group of objects in your artwork. Think of it as a box that encapsulates the selected element, outlining its size and position.

When working with complex designs or when you need precise control over the placement and manipulation of objects, the bounding box becomes an indispensable tool. It allows you to visualize and adjust the boundaries of your artwork, ensuring accurate alignment and resizing.

The bounding box consists of several key elements:

  1. Bounding Box Handles: These small squares on the corners and sides of the box allow you to resize the object proportionally or along a specific axis. By dragging these handles, you can easily scale or stretch your artwork.
  2. Bounding Box Rotation Handle: Located outside the box at the top, this handle enables you to rotate the object around its center point. By clicking and dragging it, you can achieve precise rotations for your design elements.
  3. Bounding Box Center Point: Marked by a small crosshair in the middle of the box, this point represents the pivot point for transformations like rotation, scaling, and shearing. It helps you maintain the integrity of your design while making adjustments.

Why Display a Bounding Box in Illustrator?

When it comes to designing with precision and accuracy in Adobe Illustrator, understanding and utilizing the bounding box feature is essential. The bounding box provides a visual representation of the boundaries of an object, allowing you to manipulate its position and size with ease. Here’s why you should always display the bounding box in Illustrator:

Better Positioning and Alignment

By enabling the bounding box, you gain access to a set of handles that surround the selected object. These handles allow you to resize, rotate, and skew the object, giving you complete control over its placement. With the bounding box visible, you can align objects perfectly to the edges, corners, or center of other elements in your design. This level of precision ensures that your artwork is visually balanced and aligned.

Accurate Scaling and Proportions

One of the primary reasons for using the bounding box is to maintain accurate scaling and proportions of objects. The handles on the bounding box make it easy to resize an object while preserving its original aspect ratio. This means that you can enlarge or shrink an object without distorting it, ensuring that your artwork looks polished and professional.

Streamlined Transformation Workflow

The bounding box feature streamlines the process of transforming objects in Illustrator. With the handles readily available, you can quickly and intuitively manipulate the selected object. Whether you need to rotate an element to a specific angle or adjust its position with precision, the bounding box makes it a breeze. This efficient transformation workflow saves you time and effort, enabling you to focus more on the creative aspects of your design.


Mastering the art of showing the bounding box in Adobe Illustrator is a crucial skill for designers looking to enhance their workflow and productivity. Throughout this article, I have provided a comprehensive guide on how to access and utilize this feature using four different methods.

By utilizing the View menu, keyboard shortcuts, the Control Bar, and the Direct Selection Tool, designers can effortlessly toggle the bounding box on or off, depending on their specific needs. Additionally, I have highlighted the importance of creating a custom keyboard shortcut, which further streamlines the process and saves valuable time.