Section 31. Selecting Obscured Objects

#31. Selecting Obscured Objects

Have you ever found yourself working on a fairly complicated Illustrator document and spending more time trying to select the objects in your artwork than manipulating them? Selecting objects positioned on top of each other in Illustrator can be quite a challenge, if not downright annoying at times. The good news is that Illustrator offers a complete set of tools and commands devoted to helping you select just the objects you want.

Switching to Outline Mode

Many of us are so accustomed to working in Preview mode that we often forget Illustrator offers a simplified Outline mode (View > Outline) that's ideal for finding and selecting those hard to reach paths and points. Working in Outline mode can also be faster since Illustrator doesn't have to render all those fancy fills, strokes, and effects.

Illustrator CS2 includes five tools for common selection tasks: Selection, Direct Selection, Group Selection, Magic Wand, and Lasso. All of these tools perform well in their own right, but they can seem rather limited when you attempt a more complex task such as selecting an object obscured by another. This is where the Next Object command comes in handy. To select an object below a selected object, choose Select > Next Object Below (Figure 31a). Notice that you can also choose Select > Next Object Above for the opposite situation. Keep in mind that these commands will skip over locked objects, as they rightfully should.

Figure 31a. The Select > Next Object commands are available from the Object menu or via the contextual menu by Control-clicking (Mac) or right-clicking (Windows) on an object.

But if you're still having trouble selecting certain objects, head on over to the Layers palette. In its default setup, the Layers palette provides a row for every discrete object in your document. You can drill down to the very paths that make up an object and then click the Target icon beside it to select it (Figure 31b).

Figure 31b. You can also use the Layers palette to access those hard to select objects or paths.

Selecting Same Attributes

The Magic Wand tool selects objects with attributes that are similar to the object you click with it. You can also select objects with similar attributes by selecting an object and choosing Select > Same > object attribute. From this submenu, a few additional attributes are available that aren't available via the Magic Wand tool. However, the Magic Wand tool offers tolerance settings, making it ideal for selecting attributes that may not be exactly the same.

Adobe Creative Suite 2 How-Tos(c) 100 Essential Techniques
Adobe Creative Suite 2 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques
ISBN: 0321356748
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 143

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