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Selecting objects by attribute

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Selecting objects by attribute

In addition to all of the Selection tools we've been using, Illustrator also has a Select menu that allows you to make selections as well. In this menu, we will be focusing on two options. So first of all let's go find that menu item. Let's go up to the top of the screen and find where it says Select, and click. Once you have that clicked, you'll notice that it drops down with a menu and these are the two options we are going to focus on: Same and Object. Let's first worry about the Same options. So the first thing we have is Appearance. This means match the exact same appearance of this object.

Selecting objects by attribute

In addition to all of the Selection tools we've been using, Illustrator also has a Select menu that allows you to make selections as well. In this menu, we will be focusing on two options. So first of all let's go find that menu item. Let's go up to the top of the screen and find where it says Select, and click. Once you have that clicked, you'll notice that it drops down with a menu and these are the two options we are going to focus on: Same and Object. Let's first worry about the Same options. So the first thing we have is Appearance. This means match the exact same appearance of this object.

So if you had an object selected, you could pick Same > Appearance, and Illustrator automatically looks throughout your entire document to find objects that equal that same appearance, fill, stroke, effects, et cetera. You could also choose based on Blending Mode, Fill & Stroke, Fill Color only, Opacity, Stroke Color, or Stroke Weight. Let's take a look at how this works. I will click away from this and I am going to select just this object right here. When I go up to the Select menu, go down to Same, I can choose Fill Color.

When I choose Fill Color everything that has that fill color applied to it is selected. Notice it leaves out the bottom of the apple and also this heart, because technically that heart is not using the same level of gray, neither is the bottom of the apple. Same thing holds true for this object here. If I were to grab the Direct Selection tool and select this small piece of artwork, I could go up to the Select menu, choose Same and then select Fill Color and it automatically selects the other pieces for me.

Let's deselect all of that by clicking away with my Selection tool and I will zoom in on some artwork here. I am going to make some changes to some of the artwork so that we can see this in action. So I am going to select this piece of artwork here and I am actually going to add a small stroke around the outside, and in this case I will make it really obvious with a red color. So there is my red stroke around the outside. I am going to do the same thing for this talk bubble down here. Just add a red stroke, and let's do one more, let's add it to the calculator as well.

Now in order to make sure that you're adding a stroke to this, you have to make sure that you're working on the stroke color, so you just come and click right here and pick the color from the Swatches panel that you want to apply. Now I will click away and I will go right back over here to the graduation cap. I will select this object and then I will go to the Select menu choose Same and then I will choose Stroke Color. Once I do that, you'll notice that this object is selected as is the calculator. So as you can see, it's really easy to make selections of similar objects utilizing that Select > Same menu, but that's not the only thing that we have available to us in that menu.

Let me zoom back out by using Command+0 or Ctrl+0 on my keyboard, and I will go up to the Select menu, choose Object and take a look at some of these. I can choose All on Same Layer, that means select every object on the same layer, select all the Direction Handles, or if you're working on a web project, this one is really good. You can select all of the objects that are Not currently Aligned to the Pixel Grid. This is going to make it a lot easier for you to line them up and get them into pixel perfect shape. You can also select all objects with Bristle Brush Strokes, all objects that have Brush Strokes applied.

You can select all of the Clipping Masks inside of a piece of artwork. I know we haven't discussed Clipping Masks yet, but just know that you can select all of them from here when we do get to that point. You can also select Stray Points. When you're working with Image Trace, this is going to be particularly helpful because you are going to have all kinds of little stray points when you do a tracing. You can also select all of the Text Objects on your page as well. If I wanted to, I could go ahead and start using this now. I could actually create a couple of different things. Let's go out here and create just a quick text object.

I will type out my name and then I will copy that and paste it a few times to different locations on the canvas. There we go. So now I have four different text objects scattered throughout the entire artboard. I will go to Select > Object > Text Objects, and it automatically selects all four of them for me. I didn't have to go point and click on each one or hold down the Shift key. It's pretty cool. When you want to deselect objects, again, just click away.

It should also be noted that locked artwork will not be included in your selections when using these commands, therefore you should make sure that you unlock all of your artwork prior to using this command to ensure that you select everything that you have intended to select on your artboard. Take a look at this. If I select the talk bubble here, remember it's got that red stroke just like the graduation cap and the calculator. If I go to Object > Lock > Selection, it locks that piece of artwork. By selecting the cap again, going to Select > Same > Stroke Color, you notice it's selects the hat and the calculator, but the talk bubble is not selected. That's because it's locked.

Going to Object > Unlock All, it automatically unlocks that for me. One other thing that you can use which is a part of this same command without even having to go to the menu is the shortcut. The shortcut for selecting same objects is actually located in the Control panel. It's not a keyboard shortcut. Take a look at this icon right up here in the Control panel. If you click on this, you can actually see that it chooses to select the same All, that means all of the appearance items, Fill Color, Stroke Color, Fill & Stroke, Stroke Weight, Opacity or Appearance, which encompasses everything from effects to fill and stroke and all that stuff.

So for instance, if I wanted to select based on Stroke Color, I could come up and choose Stroke Color and it automatically selects all of those just like that. The best part about this tool is that it's sticky, it remembers my preferences each and every time I change them. So now if I select the cap by itself and come up here and simply click this button, it automatically selects everything based on that same stroke color, and it does that because I made that change right there. So if I wanted Fill Color, I could do that and then click away, then by selecting this object and clicking this button, it selects everything with the same fill color.

So as you're working throughout Illustrator, make sure that you utilize that shortcut menu as well as the Select menu. So the next time you need to make multiple selections, try using these commands as well as the shortcut and see if they don't help you get there just a little bit quicker.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 75800 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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