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How to select only objects within a selection marquee?

Explorer ,
May 24, 2011 May 24, 2011

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I am a new user of Illustrator CS5, switching from Freehand. I am trying to find out if there is a way to select only the objects within a selection marquee? In AutoCAD you can make a selection window from left to right and only those objects entirely within the window are selected. If you window from right to left all objects that are "crossed" or touched by the window are selected. Is there a similar technique in Illustrator?

Currently I have to select the objects, then go back and hold the shift key to deselect the object I don't want, or lock layers to prevent extra objects getting selected.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Sep 04, 2012 Sep 04, 2012
No

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Engaged ,
Sep 13, 2012 Sep 13, 2012

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or. a better way. create a poll and let everyone vote. this would make more noise

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 14, 2012 Sep 14, 2012

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Adobe doesn't care.  When faced with several concrete examples of defects in the Photoshop UI (which persist today), a Photoshop rep answered, "Those are misunderstandings."

Illustrator is abandonware.  Fortunately, Windows users have a much better option in Corel Draw.  On the Mac, vector-art creators are really screwed.  I've tried all of the alternatives (that I could find as of a couple years ago), and they suck.  Your best bet at this point is to run Corel Draw under Boot Camp, Fusion, or Parallels.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 14, 2012 Sep 14, 2012

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Your best bet at this point is to run Corel Draw under Boot Camp, Fusion, or Parallels.

Your "best bet"? Why not just add a Windows box to your shop? Just as there's no law against using multiple drawing programs, there's also no law against using more than one OS. Suitable PCs are quite affordable these days. Broaden the capabilities of your shop, without having to do everything on one box.

JET

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 15, 2012 Sep 15, 2012

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The ability to run Windows programs on a regular PC is a given.  I made that comment because we're in a Mac-only product forum.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 15, 2012 Sep 15, 2012

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Mobius,

The Win and Mac forums were merged into this one in April 2009.

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 15, 2012 Sep 15, 2012

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Ah, OK.  Either way, I didn't feel it was necessary to point out that you can run Windows programs on a Windows machine.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2012 Sep 16, 2012

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...didn't feel it was necessary to point out that you can run Windows programs on a Windows machine.

Nor did I and that wasn't my point. You said the "best bet" is to run Draw in a separate Windows partition on a Mac. My argument is that doing so still boils down to a workaround and is not automatically a "better bet" than simply doing the more obvious thing--adding a Windows box to your shop.

It's parallel to those who those who will cling to Illustrator only, come hell or high water, by adding cumbersome third-party plugins to force-fit into it a few things in a half-baked way that other programs do natively and more cleanly, when just buying a competitive side-grade to the other program instead is less headache and gains all the ancilliary advantages inherent in being more versatile.

JET

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 17, 2012 Sep 17, 2012

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You can run Windows natively on a Mac, making it "a Windows box."  I included Boot Camp among the options.

Because it's not necessary to point out that you can run Windows apps on a Windows machine, you can infer that I'm talking about ON A MAC.  And on a Mac, your best bet is to run a competent Windows program in whatever way you choose.

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2012 Sep 17, 2012

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Now play nice. The issue for me, I originated this thread, is I am working on a computer and programs provided by my emplorer. It isn't an option to choose PC or Mac, or to work on different programs Everyone here uses the same programs so we can all share or work on any document as needed. So this sidebar discussion isn't helping.

Someone suggested running a poll so if anyone has access to that function please do so.  Here is the original question:

I am a new user of Illustrator CS5, switching from Freehand. I am trying to find out if there is a way to select only the objects within a selection marquee? In AutoCAD you can make a selection window from left to right and only those objects entirely within the window are selected. If you window from right to left all objects that are "crossed" or touched by the window are selected. Is there a similar technique in Illustrator?

Currently I have to select the objects, then go back and hold the shift key to deselect the object I don't want, or lock layers to prevent extra objects getting selected.

Thanks to all who offered helpful suggestions. Looks like it is a deadend and there is no EASY way to accomplish this process.

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2012 Sep 17, 2012

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OK, finally getting back to this after a few months. I am going to try the scripting thing again to see if I can get it to work. If I can I will post my steps here. I also posted this to the Scripts forum, for what it is worth.

FYI, as a not so expert user I rely on these forums to help me learn skills in each program. And I really appreciate those of you who answer honestly and helpfully and don't use these forums to air grievences and pet peeves which is very distracting and just slows down my learning curve! Although it can be pretty entertaining at times.

Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Sep 21, 2012 Sep 21, 2012

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So, I think I have this working. The follow is what I did:

1. Copy the script by Carlos Canto in post #11.

2.  Open the ExtendScript Toolkit by going to Utilities>Adobe Utilities-CS5.5>ExtendScript Toolkit CS5.5>ExtendScript Toolkit CS5.5.App

3. When the program opens paste the script into the large panel to the left.

4. Then go to File>Save As.

5. In that dialog box click on the arrow next to the Save As box to extend the options section.

6. Next, navigate to Applications>Adobe Illustrator CS5.1>Presets>en_US>Scripts.

7. Next, in the Save As box type in a name to recognize the script (I named mine Window1).

8. Click Save and close the Toolkit.

Launch Illustrator and open a drawing.

1. Using the rectangle tool I drew a rectangle around some objects.

2. Make sure the new rectangle is selected.

3. I went to File>Scripts>Window1.

4. Got an error message - Error 8705: Target layer cannot be modified Line 25 -> iart.selected + true:

Oops, you have to have ALL the layers unlocked in case one of the objects is on a locked layer.

5.  Clicked OK.

6. Unlocked all the layers.

7. Reselected my rectangle.

8. Went to File>Scripts>Window1.

9. Voila! The objects within the rectangle are selected and the rectangle is deleted.

So yes, this script does work as requested. Thanks Carlos.

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Engaged ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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well i don't want any deletion to happen , just selection and just just selection, anyone. a better script?

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LEGEND ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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well i don't want any deletion

Arjun,

You don't seem to understand that the intent of Carlos's script is that you draw a rectangle to serve as the "selection marquee".  That rectangle is not supposed to be one of the objects that you are trying to select. It's a temporary rectangle that you draw, just in order to make the selection. That's why the script deletes it. It's intended to be a temporary substitute for an actual selection marquee.

Nonetheless, if you want it to stay, simply open the script in any plain text editor, comment-out this line of the script…:

topPath.remove();

…by typing two forward slashes in front of it like this…:

//topPath.remove();

…and save the script.

…anyone. a better script?

Did you not try the script mentioned in post 41? To use the JET_DeselectPartial script, you:

1. Make the desired marquee selection using the white pointer as normal. This "partially" selects paths which were not completely enclosed within your selection marquee.

2. Run the script. This deselects the paths which were not completely selected (i.e.; the paths which were not entirely within the selection marquee.

That is not exactly what a proper contact-sensitive setting would do, but it is about as close as you are going to get in one move, and works for the vast majority of instances. For example, it is possible that when you make the initial selection, only part of a segment of a particular path is beyond the selection marquee, but all of its anchorPoints are within the marquee. In that case, the "whole path" would be selected and would not therefore be deselected by the script. In that situatuion, you would simply need to ShiftClick that path to remove it from the current selection, using the same tool you already have selected (the white pointer).

There is no way with AI's Javascript to actually draw a selection marquee interactively. That would have to be done by writing a plug-in. So Javascripts for things like this are very often workarounds for the exact functionality desired. So in this case, no one is going to write you a Javascript that does exactly what you want. Even if the necessary functionality could be scripted, the very fact that you have to tediously dig for the script from the File menu would make it inferior to a proper contact-sensitive setting for the selection tools.

JET

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Explorer ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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Thanks Jet, you are right, it's still a work around but if you have a complicated drawing with multiple objects it might be worth the extra steps to achieve the result and save having to painstakingly deselect all the unwanted objects.

My cheif desire to have this selection option is when I have hidden objects that I know are there and want to bring forward. Either way, there are multiple steps to find and work with those hidden objects.

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Engaged ,
Oct 04, 2012 Oct 04, 2012

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thanks jet, i didn't find it earlier, my bad observation :-S ...sorry .

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017

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Unfortunately intelligent FH selection methods disappeared in Illustrator. (Totally contained objects in selection rectangle + optionally change to 'touched' objects).

There's only the option for the second one in Illustrator.

Very sad.

For all of us who worked both with FH and AI and can make a comparison it's very sad to see so many smart options disappeared

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017

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It should be pretty clear by now that Illustrator is abandonware.

This idiotic defect has persisted for its entire existence.  Your top options are:

1. Use Affinity Designer.  It has other idiotic UI problems, but at least you can select objects properly.

2. Use Corel Draw, in a virtual machine if necessary.  It kicks áss over Illustrator in basically every way, although it's not perfect either.

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Explorer ,
Feb 01, 2018 Feb 01, 2018

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This is so true! Why does Adobe can't fix such simple issue???????

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2018 Feb 01, 2018

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either vote on this issue or post your own suggestion:

Select inside marquee window – Adobe Illustrator Feedback

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Explorer ,
Feb 20, 2018 Feb 20, 2018

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Voted for!

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New Here ,
Sep 03, 2020 Sep 03, 2020

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CoolSelection plugin solves this problem.  
It's similar to the Selection Tool (V), but it selects only objects fully inside the selection rectangle.  
You can select objects overlapping with many other objects, objects placed over complex backgrounds etc.  
https://www.cool-selection.com/index.html
This post was written by the author of CoolSelection.

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Engaged ,
Mar 14, 2021 Mar 14, 2021

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I last posted here 8 and a half years ago out of frustration. I faced the same frustration again today. Still I have to use a plugin or script to do a basic inside selection like this? No particular toggle setting within Illustrator 2021?

 

Like it's been more than 8 freaking years since users posted here and expressed their concern for a basic...basic...basic command lacking in Illustrator!

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 25, 2021 Sep 25, 2021

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LATEST

We had a similar plugin from Esko that does this exact function and live under your Direct Selection tool in Illustrator. Quite handy.

 

https://docs.esko.com/docs/en-us/boostx-for-ai/16/userguide/home.html?q=en-us/common/bx/topic/to_are...

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