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Illustrator randomly selects unrelated objects

Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2013 Feb 05, 2013

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About once  a day, when I click on an object with the direct selection tool, the bounding box will be way larger than it should, implying another object on another artboard is included in the selection.

This happens when the object I am selecting is NOT grouped with anything else. Moreover, is seems buggy because the mystery object doesnt have its "edges" visible the way it would if it were legitimately selected.

I can deselect all, but then anything I click on, the selection's bounding box is expanded to include the mystery object. The only way I have found to deal with it is to drag a corner of the bounding box, then undo, and then click off again. Then Voila! I am able to select my object (or any other) without the mystery selection happening.

I use clipping masks a lot, as well as many artboards, and have wondered if it's related to this, as the mystery objects are sometimes masked images, and often on another artboard. However, the mystery objects are not always masked.

Anyone else having this weird problem??

I had it with CS5, and hoped it would go away with CS6, but it has not.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

New Here , Aug 04, 2017 Aug 04, 2017

Select All (Command+A) ---> click on random object ---> then click on random area outside the artboard

Did it work for you?

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New Here , Sep 08, 2022 Sep 08, 2022

I have also just had this issue in what appears now to be an 8-year-old issue.

(I'm no Illustrator expert btw).

I solved it... through luck.

In my case, the box was linked (somehow) to a 2-letter text box which I had moved to another layer and then hidden. Somehow this 'shadow' from the text box was left behind. I didn't see a clipping mask in the layers box. When I selected it (or more normally I selected 'off' a different object) this item was left behind.

My suggestion is therefore: 

Select EVERYT

...

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replies 123 Replies 123
Explorer ,
Mar 09, 2018 Mar 09, 2018

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Thread started 2013. Five years later, bug's still not fixed.

Waiting for Affinity Publisher, then I'm goooone!

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 05, 2018 Apr 05, 2018

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Adobe, please fix this.  I could not clear this problem, so I created a new layer, locked all other layers, and copied a simple eps logo from another document and pasted it on to the new layer.  The bounding box still selected other items on locked layers, those items are selected in my links panel. I can't even change the size of the logo by typing in the measurements without messing up other object.

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New Here ,
Apr 16, 2018 Apr 16, 2018

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This has happened to me numerous times.  But, I finally figured out what it was. 

I had grouped an UNLOCKED guide with an element on my art board.  I then turned off the visibility of guides.  Even though the guides were hidden when I selected an element that was grouped with the guide it would show the bounding box of the entire area.

Hope that helps.

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Engaged ,
Jun 10, 2018 Jun 10, 2018

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After years, I still have this issue - mind numbing sorry!!!!

Even if you turn off visibility and lock all layers the selection remains - see attached.

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 3.26.27 PM.png

I don't use guides but the Select All, then click elsewhere will remove it.

Please, fix this.

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2018 Jul 10, 2018

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Yes I have it happen a few times a day.  I think it might have to do with a mask, but whatever it is, it is frustrating.  I have to copy/paste the object that I want a specific size, because it grabs the bounding box and includes it as the size.  Also, I am unable to edit Document Setup/Artboards when the mysterious bounding box is present.

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New Here ,
Feb 14, 2019 Feb 14, 2019

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ok so the same thing was happening to me and yes sometimes it's clipping masks that you're not seeing and most of these answers will help you with that, thank you guys so much

BUTTTTTTTT, HEAR ME OUTTTTT

GUIDE LINES PEOPLE!!! I was going insane with the crazy amount of things my file was selecting. Command+A would select things even OUTSIDE the grey area where you can put artworks, which... HOW?!

I copied some of the elements i wanted and copied them to a whole new file and it showed some lines that i DID NOT SELECT, better yet i wasn't seeing them. I had guidelines/rulers all over, they were unlocked and invisible, so of course when i grouped some things they would group with the guideline going through it and before i realised i had a bunch of objects grouped together thanks to the guideline that ran through them or next to them. Make your guidelines visible and unlocked, erase them or ungroup mindful of them and lock them back in place people.

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New Here ,
Apr 10, 2019 Apr 10, 2019

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It's already 2019. The bug is still here. I have to close illustrator all the time to just get it to work.

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Engaged ,
Apr 10, 2019 Apr 10, 2019

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Agreed, mind numbing.

Adobe are becoming more annoying than usual with daily pain. There's this issue, mask outlines disappearing in Premiere, and the removal of shift-to-constrain on transform in Photoshop (shift is still required on every other tool) plus others.

In particular, the removal of shift-to-constrain on the transform tool in Photoshop really makes you wonder what the hell is going on over there?

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New Here ,
Apr 10, 2019 Apr 10, 2019

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Regarding photoshop - they switched it up. Took awhile getting used to. CS6 and the earlier version of CC photoshop still has that feature... it's just a little weird when you're moving from one adobe program to another. Like you can't resize objects the same way across all their apps. @_@ I wish they could find a way to streamline it but maaaaybe there's a reason why they're doing it like that.

I just want the bug to go away in illustrator. Restarting it works but still... it's been a 6 year issue @_@ It should have been fixed by now. What's worse is I can't even get their CC App to work on windows .-. so I've had to manually install programs. Works amazing on mac though oh well. I'll stop ranting here.

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Engaged ,
Apr 10, 2019 Apr 10, 2019

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Re Photoshop: What's weird is that all the other tools in photoshop still requires shift-to-constrain, including resizing smart objects.

Don't hold shift for pixels but hold shift for vectors? It's like they switched 1st gear with reverse but only on one road!

Re Illustrator: Yep, it's annoyed me for years too.

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New Here ,
May 30, 2019 May 30, 2019

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Adobe seems to not care about this issue since it is a very old one. For those ones which doesn't know what we are talking about, please watch the following video.

https://youtu.be/l6RCyOMWNAo

It is unbelievable Adobe can't fix it and keep ignoring the issue.

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Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2019 May 30, 2019

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Yeah there is no permanent fix for this yet. Have you tried the work around? (Works for most people)

1) Select All (Cmd/Ctrl+A)

2) Then click on a random object in the Artboard

3) Then click anywhere outside the Artboard

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New Here ,
Jun 11, 2019 Jun 11, 2019

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It's very annoying. Adobe still can't solve it. It's a well known bug since soooooo much years and it's still shitty 😕

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New Here ,
Nov 14, 2019 Nov 14, 2019

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Odd that this is STILL happening in Illustrator v24.0 on a brand new Mac running Catalina v10.15

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2020 Jan 09, 2020

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Wow! worked like a charm for me! Crazy!

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 17, 2020 Sep 17, 2020

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You are a genuis- thank you- i had the same problem.

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2021 May 06, 2021

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This bug has been in illustrator for over a decade - I don't believe they'll fix it.

 

they can't

Toby from Shape
https://shapecreative.co.nz/

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New Here ,
Jul 22, 2021 Jul 22, 2021

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Hi folks, I know this is a super old thread, but the issue still happens to us all semi-regularly, and today I realized what was causing the issue for me: 

 

If you have any guides on the artboard, and you've hidden them - It might be that you have grouped an object to a guideline at some point in time, perhaps the guides weren't locked and this happened accidentally. Then, if any other object interacts with that guideline along its path, with guidelines hidden, it would appear that an object is randomly linked to another elsewhere. 

 

It would worth be doing these steps:

 

  1. Show guidelines 
  2. Unlock guidelines 
  3. Select each problem object to see if they are grouped to a guideline
  4. Select and ungroup if they are 
  5. Either then lock or delete your guides

 

I would say that this is the most likely cause of any apparent random grouping or selecting of objects. 

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Guide ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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This doesn't solve the problem, nor does the posted "correct answer".

My general solution is just to ignore it: I've yet to make a change to the intended selection and have anything else that is "pretend grouped" change as well... it's still annoying though!

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Community Expert ,
Jul 22, 2021 Jul 22, 2021

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I experienced this for the first time in years yesterday immediately after adding a library item to the document.

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New Here ,
Aug 27, 2021 Aug 27, 2021

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August 27, 2021 and this bug still not solved. 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2021 Oct 28, 2021

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Hey everyone,

You're probably only reading this because you're tearing your hair out with frustration. I hope I can help a little.

I've just had an an instance of what looks like this problem, specifically to do with text boxes. I am very aware that there may be more than one problem which all looks like the same thing so it may not apply to your particular case, but anyway, this is what I found... 

 

Issue:

I was using around 30 or 40 panels of text (NOT area type) on a simple single layer artwork with no guides.

Every time I selected one of two panels of text on the left of the document, a way oversize text box would pop up, extending to the right.

Once deselected, I tried clicking around in the area of the big phantom box, but nothing happened.

Then I found that a single line of text in one of the panels over to the right seemed to be activating it. 

After I deleted the line of text the problem persisted - it turned out there was a small 'live' area, linked to the box to the left but completely invisible.

When you moved the 'source' text panel, the live patch went with it, and vice versa.

 

Fix:

It turned out that the text I had in the problematic panels had been pasted in from an email.

On copying and pasting the text in the panel into a raw text editor, Is aw what looked like a long chains of spaces after some of the lines of text. 

Sure enough, where these line of spcaes would have ended on the Illustrator file corresponded to where the 'live' spot was. There were tiny control characters embedded in the linebreaks.

Deleting the two panels and manually rekeying the text into a new panel solved the issue. 

 

Diagnosis:

This was caused, I believe, by control characters from the email text formatting creeping into the text strings unnoticed and generating a rogue end-of-line linking character in Illustrator. Every time I clicked on it the end of one of these long invisible lines of text, it linked back to the original text, but could itself be seen when selected. You have to get rid of the whole text panel and start again.

 

Obviously, this doesn't apply to instances that don't involve text boxes, but it does read like quite a few of the other posts in this chain, which makes me think there may be more than one problem here.

 

Just because one thing is wrong, it doesn't mean that two things aren't wrong.

 

I hope this helps.

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New Here ,
Sep 08, 2022 Sep 08, 2022

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I have also just had this issue in what appears now to be an 8-year-old issue.

(I'm no Illustrator expert btw).

I solved it... through luck.

In my case, the box was linked (somehow) to a 2-letter text box which I had moved to another layer and then hidden. Somehow this 'shadow' from the text box was left behind. I didn't see a clipping mask in the layers box. When I selected it (or more normally I selected 'off' a different object) this item was left behind.

My suggestion is therefore: 

Select EVERYTHING - make everything visible and unlocked.

You may, like me, see that this phantom box is linked to a 'known' object. 

Which I simply deleted.

It has worked (for now!?).

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2022 Oct 25, 2022

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LATEST

October 25, 2022. I work all day every day on Ai. This bug has been here 9 years. How is that even possible?

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