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Object Selection not highlighting in Adobe Illustrator [Solved]

Object Selection not highlighting in Adobe Illustrator

When working with adobe illustrator, you can suddenly face an issue when you cannot select objects or the objects you are highlighting is not showing up.

I will discuss an easy fix for this error in this blog post. I will also let you know why this happens in the first place.

Why Objects Not Selecting in Ai?

When you select an Object in illustrator, you will see a thin blue line around it. But sometimes, without you knowing the cuase, you can no longer highlight or select an object.

Below is an image showing how the objects will appear selected and un-selected

  1. The Objects are not highlighting
  2. The Objects are highlighted properly

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.

Other Reasons: Objects not selecting

There can be other reasons you cannot select or make changes to an object in adobe illustrator.

Locked Layer

You may be unable to highlight or select 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 it. You can use the keyboard shortcut CMD+2 (CTRL+2 for windows) to unlock all objects.

Clipping Mask

Another reason you cannot select or highlight an object 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 seeing the handles and anchor points.

Its a Symbol

If an item is a symbol, you cannot 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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