Sometimes I find that newly created live text objects or other objects have appearances on them that I can't see in the Appearance tab but I know that some form of extra appearance exists (unless it's a bug) because going to the top menu and trying to do Object > Expand... won't work. This is because the option is greyed out and instead Object > Expand Appearance is available. When I click this I can see nothing changes in the Appearance tab, and yet Object > Expand... becomes available again.
The existence of these hidden appearances actually causes problems with scripts I write in regards to dealing with appearances in various ways.
Repoducing this problem is very easy as all you need to do is create some default text with no appearance, then with the text selected use the eyedropper tool to click on the text. You will notice in the Layers panel that the object's selection circle(if that's what it is called?) becomes filled with grey indicating it has an appearance even though the Appearance panel shows nothing has changed. This appearance has materialized out of nowhere.
This has to be a bug right?
I will also call these schrodinger's appearances.
I cannot reproduce this in 25.2.1 Mac, the layer target button stays unchanged.
I get this behavior 25.2.1 on Windows. I forgot macOS existed ha.
Can you share a sample Illustrator file (.ai)?
Here's a google drive link to an .ai file since attaching it directly just gave me an error saying the contents of the file don't match .ai even though it's just two text objects.
Inside are two different text objects. One is just some normal default text. The other is text that I have selected and clicked on with the eye dropper tool to give it the strange invisible/pseudo-appearance.
Thanks for the file.
I can reproduce the behaviour (using the eyedropper as per your description), but only in the Windows version of Illustrator.
Apparently it's a bug. You may report it at the Uservoice section of this forum.