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Why do selected colors sometimes not show for the Selection Tool but they show for the Direct Select

Engaged ,
Feb 16, 2023 Feb 16, 2023

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I have some artwork with lots of different shapes and colors. I use the Selection tool to shift + click multiple shapes to change the colors, though when selecting some of the shapes the fill and stroke swatches will show ? marks, while selecting other shapes with the same colors the colors will show in the fill and stroke swatches. Most of the shapes selected with the Selection tool show nothing. However, if I do the same thing with the Direct Selection tool the colors will show.

 

1. Why do the colors some times show for some shapes but not others with the Selection tool?

2. Why do the colors seem to always show for the Direct Selection tool?

 

Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Feb 16, 2023 Feb 16, 2023

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The question mark typically appears when your selection has different fill colors

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Engaged ,
Feb 16, 2023 Feb 16, 2023

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Some of them are solid colors and the Selection tool does not identify them though the Direct Selection does...

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Community Expert ,
Feb 16, 2023 Feb 16, 2023

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Screenshots would help. Please make sure to include the layers panel.

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 17, 2023 Feb 17, 2023

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Hi @media kat,

 

I can imagine how difficult it must be to work on your designs when the colors are not showing up properly with the Selection tool in Adobe Illustrator. It's never fun to encounter technical issues that disrupt your workflow. Thank you for sharing your experience and seeking assistance.

 

@Monika Gause is the expert here. Please correct me if I am wrong here:

  1. The reason why the colors sometimes don't show for some shapes when using the Selection tool could be because the shapes might have their "appearance" attributes hidden. The appearance of a shape in Adobe Illustrator refers to the combination of its fill, stroke, effects, and other attributes. If any of these attributes are hidden, the shape may appear as if it has no fill or stroke, and it will display a "?" question mark.

 

To check if this is the case, select the shape with a question mark icon and go to the "Appearance" panel. If the fill or stroke attributes are hidden, you can click the "Show/Hide" button next to the attribute to reveal it.

 

  1. The Direct Selection tool selects individual anchor points and line segments rather than entire shapes. Therefore, it will always show the color of the selected anchor point or line segment in the fill and stroke swatches.

 

If this is not the case,  it would be helpful for us to see the file and screenshots of the issue so we can further investigate the problem. Please share the file and relevant screenshots (layers panel, appearance panel, etc.), so we can better understand the issue and find a suitable solution for you.

 

We'll be looking forward to hearing back from you.

 

Thanks,

Anshul Saini

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