Can not show vector anchor handles

Explorer ,
Jun 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017

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(I'm using Illustrator CC 2017, v 21.1.0)

I don't know how, but I'm constantly accidentally hitting a new keyboard shortcut for "f everything up."

The problem this time is: I'm using the direct selection tool to select an individual anchor point, but I can not see the point OR the handles to control the angle of the curve. They appear as I drag to move the anchor point, but disappear as soon as I let go.

"View > Show Bounding Box" is enabled.

"View > Show Edges" is enabled.

Preferences > Selection Anchor Display, "Object Selection by Path Only" is disabled.

Preferences > Selection Anchor Display, "Show Anchor Points in Selection Tool and Shape Tools" is enabled.

Preferences > Selection Anchor Display, "Show handles when multiple anchors are selected" is enabled.

Everything is set to "show," I've messed with turning on/off all kinds of preferences, but nothing is working.

I think I reset Illustrator's preferences, I held Option+Command+Shift while opening Illustrator (and tried again just after clicking to open Illustrator) and it forgot my recent files... does that mean it worked? I wasn't prompted or anything so idk if I did it right.

I don't know what the hell that keyboard shortcut was, but it rendered Illustrator literally useless to me in one fell swoop.

How can I fix this and how can I prevent it from happening again? CMD+H isn't it, Show Bounding Box isn't it... I've looked through the forums but none of the answers are helping me.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Oct 19, 2017 Oct 19, 2017

we have fixed the issue of anchor points and handles not been seen once you break symbols. Please upgrade to version 22

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New Here , Aug 14, 2022 Aug 14, 2022

I was dealing with this issue today. I don't think it's a glitch/bug anymore but there is a shortcut to hide all anchor points and handles which is (Command H) I must have accidentally hit that when I was working. Hit it again and everything is back! Hoping this helps someone out.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017

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Just to make sure that you've deleted your preferences correctly try the manual method. In a Finder window in column view click on your Home folder and with the option key pressed go under the Finder Go menu (which will make Library appear) and then follow the screen shot below and delete the two preferences files highlighted. Make sure that Illustrator is not launched when you do this:

DELETE PREFS.png

When you relaunch Illustrator brand new preferences will be automatically created.

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Explorer ,
Jun 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017

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Thanks Bill--I deleted those files and launched illustrator.

I messed around with my AI file and discovered it has to do with symbols. I know I can't directly edit the points when its a symbol, I'd need to double click to "edit symbol definition" & those edits would apply to all instances... BUT the problem is I right-clicked an instance and selected "break link to symbol," which gave me the ability to directly edit points BUT not see them. I can even delete the symbol from the symbols panel and choose "Expand Instances," and all those instances of the path will have this problem--can't see anchors or handles.

Maybe I found a bug I need to report? Even when the paths are NOT symbols anymore, they're still hiding the anchors from me.

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New Here ,
Aug 19, 2017 Aug 19, 2017

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I'm encountering this exact problem. I was going through the Illustrator Classroom in a Book, doing the exercises on Symbols, and playing around with the results. After doing the "Break Link to Symbol" command, the resulting path ends up in a strange state where its anchor points will simply not show, even after toggling all of the various Show/Hide options for Edges and Bounding Boxes. The anchor points can be grabbed via Smart Guide text blurbs showing up when you mouse over them, and the anchor points and handles actually appear while you're dragging the point around, but then disappear immediately when you let go.

(I should clarify that this is a file I created from scratch to play around in and experiment with, not one of the actual downloadable files from the Classroom in a Book series.)

I do have a simple solution that might work in some circumstances: select the offending path and apply an effect to it, such as Effect > Path > Offset Path... with a zero pixel offset. Then Object > Expand Appearance and the anchor points return. Obviously, this is just a workaround and might interfere with complex artwork you're trying to preserve.

When I create a new file and just attempt to pull a symbol out of the Symbol palette and Break the Link, everything works fine. The anchor points DO show up. So there must be something in the workflow of the file I was using for my Classroom exercises that has corrupted the file somehow. Similar to whatever workflow the original poster was going through.

Testing on a different computer (also a Mac), a different installation of the same version of Illustrator CC 2017, I'm able to see the same behavior in the same particular file. Just as on the previous computer, however, opening a brand-new file, or any of the many other files I've been using on that machine already, does not provoke the behavior. I'm able to drag a symbol out of the Symbol palette, break the link, and the anchor points show up just fine.

I'm hoping that this means it's just a bug that's corrupted something about that particular file, and I don't need to go through the hassle of reinstalling my application.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 20, 2017 Aug 20, 2017

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xianpryde,

You may try to copy the artwork from the ailing document, maybe in bits, into a new document and hope that you can end up with a sound document, maybe with small bits to recreate.

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New Here ,
Aug 20, 2017 Aug 20, 2017

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Thankfully, it was just a temporary file I was playing around with, not a crucial workflow file. However, it seemed in my testing that even when I copied the "tainted" paths into a new file, the anchor points still would not show up. Whatever setting that somehow got applied to the path to have it hide its anchor points (something to do with being a symbol that was edited in symbol mode, I suspect) carries along with the path to the new document. Only applying an effect (like Offset path) and then expanding the effect seems to make the path rejuvenate.

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Explorer ,
Dec 07, 2019 Dec 07, 2019

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I know this post is 2 years old but I'm having the same issue in a doc now only with certain paths and wanted to say thank you for saving my sanity tonight with that offset trick, nothing else has worked to fix these paths!

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Community Expert ,
Jun 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017

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You've tried all the usual trouble-shooting techniques. If this is happening only on one file, the file may be corrupt. If it is happening on multiple files, sounds like its time to try Creative Cloud cleaner tool Use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems

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Explorer ,
Jun 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017

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I've got a hunch you're right, my Illustrator installation is probably corrupt--its not unique to one file and I'm running into a glitchy eyedropper now.

I tried following the instructions in that link but it fails at step 8 (I'm on a mac). I used the uninstaller to uninstall Illustrator per steps 3-4 & restarted my computer... but once I've uninstalled Illustrator, it's not in Cleaner Tool list so I can't clean it afterwards. I tried doing stuff in a different order: installed AI, "cleaned" it via the Cleaner Tool, reinstalled it. Tried good old fashioned uninstalling and reinstalling without the Cleaner Tool. Still got the glitchy symbols.

Thanks anyways for your help!

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Community Expert ,
Jun 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017

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Sorry the cleaner tool didn't work for you. Next step would be contacting Adobe support, 1 (800) 833-6687. You'll need to be persistent.

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 16, 2017 Aug 16, 2017

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Hi kelly.knowles

I would like to know if the issue is solved by customer care team as suggested by Barbara, or still persists.
Kindly update the discussion if you need further assistance with it.

Thanks,
Srishti

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Community Expert ,
Aug 17, 2017 Aug 17, 2017

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Kelly,

Did you try full reinstallation as below (see especially the ticking of the box in 1))?

A) Uninstall (ticking the box to delete the preferences),

B) Run the Cleaner Tool, and

C) Reinstall.

To uninstall:

https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/search/index.cfm?loc=en_us&term=uninstall&cat=support&produc t=illustrator&self=1

Cleaner Tool:

http://www.adobe.com/support/contact/cscleanertool.html

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 19, 2017 Oct 19, 2017

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we have fixed the issue of anchor points and handles not been seen once you break symbols. Please upgrade to version 22

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 08, 2018 Dec 08, 2018

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You can simply export your artwork into a new file and it'll work.
At least worked for me. I guess that file was corrupted.

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2022 Aug 14, 2022

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I was dealing with this issue today. I don't think it's a glitch/bug anymore but there is a shortcut to hide all anchor points and handles which is (Command H) I must have accidentally hit that when I was working. Hit it again and everything is back! Hoping this helps someone out.

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