# Quick Tip: How to Use the Transform Panel as a Calculator with Adobe Illustrator

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I bet that you've been working in Adobe Illustrator and had to use a calculator for mathematically aligning elements and designs. Forget that,
with this Quick Tip you will learn how to use the Transform Panel as a calculator. This is a handy tip if you need to scale, position or move objects and elements with precision.

## Introduction

I've discovered this fantastic feature by mistake. As in many projects that I've worked on before, I was using the calculator to work out size increments and divide shapes. I'm certain you know what I'm talking about.

While I was working, I found that I was going to the calculator application but for some reason, I couldn't switch between Adobe Illustrator and Calculator. So, I tried the operation inside the Transform panel in Illustrator. Do you know what? It worked. In this tutorial you will learn how to use the Transform Panel in Illustrator as a calculator to perform basic math operations.

## Step 1

The Transform Panel is a panel that I use in all my projects. It's a very powerful tool to control the exact size of the shapes that we want in Illustrator. You can use it to design elements for a website that has a pre-determined size. You can see the transform panel in the example below. You can access the Transform panel going to Windows > Transform or with the Shortcut Shift + F8.

## Step 2

Let's use this technique to change the scale of a rectangle. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and left-click (option + click for Mac) anywhere on your artboard. Then insert the values to create a 600 x 600 px square.

Let's do some basic calculations with the Transform Panel. First we are going to expand our square 200 px wide. Insert +200 after the object width in the Transform Panel. Then hit Enter. As you can see, the new width of our rectangle is 800px. Easy, right?

## Step 3

Let's assume that a 800px wide Rectangle is too much and what we really need is a quarter of the total width of the rectangle. With our new method, we don't need to go to any application, just type /4 in the Transform Panel after the width value and then hit Enter.

Done. Now we have a shape that is a quarter of the width of the previous rectangle. As you can see, Adobe Illustrator did a good job because eight hundred divided by four is two hundred, exactly the width of our rectangle after the math operation.

## Conclusion

Now you can close your calculator application when working with Adobe Illustrator. I've been using this method for a while and it has always worked pretty well. I've been testing several operations and bellow there is a list of other simple math operations.