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Aside from the basic Arrow Selection tool inside of Illustrator, there are two other tools that are used for point and click selections. In this movie we will explore these tools and how they can help you get a grip on your artwork. The first tool is the Direct Selection tool and it's found right here in the Tool panel. You can either click on it or simply hit the letter A on your keyboard to automatically invoke it. The Direct Selection tool allows you to select and modify paths within a shape. As you can see, when I select this object with the Direct Selection tool, you are not going to see the normal bounding box like you would when I selected it with the Regular Selection tool.
Instead, it chooses the shape or object that you've clicked on specifically and also highlights the anchor points around it. If I zoom in on this piece of artwork right here you will see exactly what I mean. When I switched to the Direct Selection tool, you will notice I see only the anchor points and the path itself, no bounding box at all. You can use the Direct Selection tool to move an entire object around just like this, but its most useful application is selecting and modifying individual anchor points around an object. Let's take a look.
As I get towards the edge of this piece of artwork, I can find one of the anchor points. You will notice when I hover over it, the anchor point highlights indicating that it is an anchor point. If I click on it, the anchor point becomes active and I can then move that anchor point independently of all of the rest of the anchor points. This is one of those things where you have to be good or otherwise you're dangerous, because you can actually do some serious damage to your artwork simply by clicking and dragging these anchor points around. So it's a good idea to take some time to see exactly how these things work and we will cover anchor points in-depth in a future movie, but I just wanted to point out how you get a hold of these things, so that when we get to that part of the course, you're ready to rock and roll.
Remember you can access the Direct Selection tool from the Tools panel or simply by hitting the letter A on your keyboard. Either way it's a great tool for targeted selections inside of Illustrator. If you want to deselect the anchor point or the object that you have selected with the Direct Selection tool, simply click away from it and it automatically deselects. The second point and click tool is the Group Selection tool, and it can be found inside of the same tools section of the Direct Selection tool. If you click and hold the Direct Selection tool, you'll see the Group Selection tool here.
Once you select the Group Selection tool you'll notice that it looks much the same as the Direct Selection tool, although it has the little plus icon associated with it. This tool allows you to click once and select an object, or click again and it will select an entire group of objects, providing the objects are grouped together. If you happen to have a group within a group, clicking a third time will then select the parent group. Let's take a look. If I come out here and select this object it selects it when I click once. If I click again it selects this part of the object, let me zoom out so you can see.
Let's click away, and again, I'll click this first, clicking it again selects the entire group. If it were a part of a bigger group, I could click again and it would select the entire thing, but there's only one single group here. It is one piece that goes diagonal. Same holds true on this one. If I click once, it selects this piece, clicking again, selects the entire thing. Let's group these objects together really quickly by making a selection of them, and then pressing Command+G or Ctrl+G on my keyboard. That creates one big group.
Then I will switch to my Group Selection tool and I will click away to deselect everything, I'll click once here, twice to select that next object and one more time to select the entire group itself. The point and click methods of selection inside of Illustrator are certainly the most primitive, but they're also one of the most effective. Making selections is one of the most important pieces of modifying artwork. After all, you can't modify what you haven't selected, now can you? No matter what your preferred method of selection, take the time to play with all of the Selection tools, so that you'll know how to use them when the need arises.
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