Figma Support Forum

Changing object's rotation changes its coordinate system?

I’m a bit puzzled at how rotation/mirroring affects an object’s coordinates. Below you can see example of the issue, one image is centered in the middle of the frame, then in second frame I simply flipped the image horizontally. Once flipped, the image goes from X:288 position to X:944, making its “X:0, Y:0” coordinates result in it being off-screen instead of top left corner.

Is this intended behavior or a bug? Because with current behavior as soon you rotate/flip the object, it makes the coordinates system largely useless as you can’t modify it efficiently, or align multiple objects to same coordinates if one is flipped/rotated.

Frame 3069

This is how it usually works in computer graphics. The position of the object is calculated relative to its top left corner, and when you flip or rotate it, the position of this point obviously changes. If it stayed the same, I guess it would make sense in some contexts but in UI design that’s how the object position is usually calculated.

I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “makes the coordinates system largely useless as you can’t modify it efficiently” but if you want to reset the coordinate system for the image, you can group it and rasterize the group (for some reason in Figma you can’t rasterize an image itself). Be aware that if you resized the image previously, rasterization will occur at 1x resolution, making your image smaller than the original.

Well I only have experience with other tools as references. While what you say makes sense technically, I don’t really see why it would be exposed to the users in UI because the inverted “correct” coordinates aren’t really of any use. Looking at Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, Adobe XD and any 3D program such as Maya, even if I flip or rotate the object, its X/Y coordinates remain the same making continued manipulation of it easy.

I often have scenarios such as one below where I have an object, maybe icon or rectangle with gradient background, which I flip/rotate for its different state like hover/back, and then want to align it on the grid. Usually I just select the icon, flip it with shift+V/H, and then type in values I need into X/Y to align it after top/left borders according to our product’s margins. With the object’s coordinate system changing I can’t do that as it will get off-frame instead.

I guess one can adapt to Figma’s coordinate system, and as you say it makes sense technically, but I am not sure why Figma would expose the “correct” technical coordinates in the UI instead of off-setting them allowing manipulation as if object was not flipped, like Sketch/Adobe does, so I was confused when Figma acted bit different from them.

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Thanks for the detailed answer! That makes sense indeed, especially with other apps acting this way. I guess I just got used to how Figma works and find it comfortable.