Selection tools in Adobe Illustrator are used to organise and stacking objects. A object can be selected using various tools, such as

  • Direct Selection Tool
  • Selection Tool
  • Group Selection Tool
  • Lasso Tool
Selection Tool above Direct Selection Tool
Selection Tool above Direct Selection Tool

Selection tool

It selects entire objects. Select this tool (shortcut V), and then click on object to select it. Click hold and move the shape to adjust the placement on the Artboard. Releasing drops the shape where you want to put it. To select multiple objects, hold the Shift key and click on any additional objects to select. Bounding box in the below figure shows the selected object. Hold the Shift key and click on a selected object to deselect that object.

Direct Selection

It allows you to select and modify paths within shapes. You can click, hold and drag to move the shape. More useful though is the ability to modify individual path points. Direct Selection tool will always select the points or segments that make up a frame. It is used to reshape a path.

In the below figure, a blue circle and five blue squares shows when the circle is selected using this tool. These squares are known as anchor points. You can click and hold the anchor points and move them around. Once you have clicked on the anchor point you will also see lines coming off it. These are known as direction points. Using the tool you can drag these to change the shape.

Group Selection Tool

Click and hold on the Direct Selection Tool to open up a flyout menu, Group Selection Tool is part of this menu. This tool allows you to click once and select one object. If you click again it will select everything in the parent group of the object. If there are other groups that are grouped with the parent group you can click again to select those.

Below image shows the order (from left to right) of object selected from ‘Group Selection Tool’.

Lasso tool

This tool lets you select objects, anchor points, or path segments by dragging along all or parts of the object. To select objects

  • Click the Lasso tool from sidebar or press Q.
  • Drag to draw a shape around the elements you want to select. If you don’t close the shape, Illustrator automatically connects the endpoints.