Learn how to use the Selection and Direct Selection tools.
- [Instructor] Here's a maxim for you in Illustrator, this very short rhyming line that is at the top of this document. You've got to select it, to effect it! And basically what I'm saying here is if you don't target something, it's very unlikely anything will actually happen with it. So here we're going to look at how we select things, and in particular two tools, we're going to be looking at the selection and the direct selection tool.
So the default tool in illustrator is the selection tool, and it's active at the moment at the top of the toolbox on the left hand side, and you can access that at any time by tapping V on your keyboard, in fact I'll do that for you now. If I tap P to get the pen tool that we're looking at later, and then tap V, you'll see I switch back like so. So here's how we use it, we simply click on individual objects if we want to select them, and if we want to add to that selection, we can hold down the shift key and click on other objects.
Here you can see if I move them away, that I've got the circle and the triangle selected there. We can also select by dragging, so if I drag across all three shapes, now all three of them are selected, and the shift key can also be used as kind of a toggle. If I hold it down again and click on one of the objects that's selected, then it deselects it. So it's very easy to pick up your selections and move things around. The direct selection tool however is slightly different.
If I tap A on my keyboard, you'll see I get this icon that's like a white arrow, but let's not call it that, we'll call it the direct selection tool, because that's its proper name and it makes it easier for you to read documentation later. And this works by selecting the actual points that make up a shape, and if I click on the middle of this yellow circle, you will see the points around the edge of the shape. And you might think, well that's exactly the same, and to be honest, if I was selecting something in a group, which is one of the things this tool can do, then it is pretty much the same.
But if I come away and then click on the edge of this, you'll notice the selection is very different, in fact, if I mouse down and moved, then something very, very different happens, because that's actually selecting that particular line segment and the points that are connected to it. I'll undo that. You can drag as well with this, and any points you drag across become selected. And also, if you want to use the shift key, you can do that too.
So if I wanted to add in this point down the bottom here, or even the point from another shape, then I can do that and effect all of those at exactly the same time. Now there is one other tool you can use in groups that's related to this one. If I just make a quick group, so I'll just select two objects, it's the bare minimum really I need for a group, you can do only one, but it's kind of nice if I have two at least here, and I'll click group inside of the properties panel.
The direct selection tool will let me get elements inside that group, but there's a better tool that lives with it, and it's the group selection tool. And this is expressly for picking up things in groups, and as you progress with Illustrator, you'll find this tool incredibly useful, especially if you start using charts and graphs. Just one other thing before we move onto the next movie, whenever you've got anything selected, the top of the properties panel will tell you what you have selected.
So here you can see I have a group selected. Here you can see I have a polygon selected, and if I drag across both, then it says mixed objects, because it doesn't know which one to tell me about.
- What is Illustrator?
- Navigating documents
- Saving a custom workspace
- Working with multiple artboards
- Creating and deleting layers
- Drawing shapes
- Transforming objects
- Adding fills and strokes
- Working with color
- Creating complex shapes, such as compound shapes
- Working with type
- Editing graphics
- Adding content to CC Libraries
- Printing and exporting artwork
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/04/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover modifying Anchor Display and opening PDF files in Illustrator.