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Anchor Points and Handles Missing in Adobe Illustrator [Solved]

nchor Points and Handles Missing in Adobe Illustrator

When working with adobe illustrator, you can suddenly face an issue when the anchor points and handles get missing. They won’t come back, and it’s hard to select items.

I will discuss an easy fix for this error in this blog post related to View Menu and Preferences. I will also let you know why this happens in the first place.

Why do Anchor Points and Handles get missing?

When you select an Object in illustrator with a Direct Selection Tool, you will see a thin blue line, all points and handles around it. But sometimes, without you knowing the cuase, you can no longer able to either select the item or see the anchor points and handles.

Below is an image showing how the objects will appear with and without anchor points.

  1. Anchor Points and Handles are visible
  2. Anchor Points and Handles are hidden

So how do you toggle between these two? It’s simple. By turning on/off, Detect Edge in View Menu. You can also use the CMD+H command on Mac and CTRL+H on windows to toggle this setting.

Here is a pictorial guide for the steps you need to follow.

Why did this happen in the first place?

CMD + H is a famous command in mac to hide stuff, and people often use this inside illustrator to hide layers and objects.

Unfortunately, this command toggles the Hide Edges feature in Adobe Illustrator. Simple.

Preferences Setting in Adobe Illustrator

Sometimes, you will not be able to see the handles and anchor points as they used to be. It’s most probably due to an update with the default settings changed.

To fix this problem, you must follow these steps to change how the anchor points should appear in the preferences settings.

  1. Click on illustrator in the top left corner & Click on preferences
  2. Click on Selection & Anchor Display

Once the preferences window appears, you can select among a different set of features to make your handles and anchor points appear when you are working inside adobe illustrator cc.

Other Reasons: Handles and Achor Points are not visible

There can be other reasons you cannot select, find or change anchor points and handles in adobe illustrator.

Locked Layer

You may not be able to highlight, select or see anchor points and handles of an object if the primary layer is locked. Check in the layer section to confirm if it’s locked or not.

Make sure to unlock it before you can make changes to it.

Locked Object

If the object is locked, you will again be unable to select the handles or anchor points. You can use the keyboard shortcut CMD+2 (CTRL+2 for windows) to unlock all objects.

Clipping Mask

Another reason for you not being able to select or see an object’s anchor points is being under a clipping mask.

To confirm, right-click on the object and see if you can find an option to “Release Clipping Mask.” If you get this option, release the clipping mask before you can see the handles and anchor points.

Its a Symbol

If an item is a symbol, you will not be able to change it. Symbols are more like patterns and brush sprays which can be easily duplicated and placed.

You will have to open the symbol window to make changes to symbols.

The object is inside an Opacity Mask

Just like photoshop, illustrator also offers a few features around masking. One of them is in an Opacity mask. Ensure the object you try to edit is not closed under an opacity mask.

Either isolate it or release the mask to make the changes if it is.

Inside an Envelop

If the object is inside an envelope, you will still be unable to make direct changes to it. Therefore release it from the envelope before you can make any changes.

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