Illustrator 2019 direct selection not functioning properly

Community Beginner ,
Oct 17, 2018

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Is anybody else experiencing the direct selection tool not working at all in Illustrator 2019?

Several issues:

  • paths, anchor points, and handles are not selectable and only highlight on rollover
  • anchor points and handles are completely invisible unless you guess right
  • anchor points and handles are only moveable on click and drag in one action

It is rendering Illustrator useless to me at this point. And, yes, I have tried virtually every selection and anchor display preference combination. !

Correct answer by Daveesh | Community Beginner

So it turns out that it was only this one legacy document (created in 18) that was the problem. This was the first document I opened after installing 19. I deleted preferences. I reset the workspace. I tried everything. I then opened a brand new document and found there was no problem. I opened another legacy document created in 18 and no problem with that one either. I then copied and pasted the elements from the problem document (luckily not a complex one) into a new document and it’s working fine now. Can’t really explain why this worked but it did.

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Illustrator 2019 direct selection not functioning properly

Community Beginner ,
Oct 17, 2018

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Is anybody else experiencing the direct selection tool not working at all in Illustrator 2019?

Several issues:

  • paths, anchor points, and handles are not selectable and only highlight on rollover
  • anchor points and handles are completely invisible unless you guess right
  • anchor points and handles are only moveable on click and drag in one action

It is rendering Illustrator useless to me at this point. And, yes, I have tried virtually every selection and anchor display preference combination. !

Correct answer by Daveesh | Community Beginner

So it turns out that it was only this one legacy document (created in 18) that was the problem. This was the first document I opened after installing 19. I deleted preferences. I reset the workspace. I tried everything. I then opened a brand new document and found there was no problem. I opened another legacy document created in 18 and no problem with that one either. I then copied and pasted the elements from the problem document (luckily not a complex one) into a new document and it’s working fine now. Can’t really explain why this worked but it did.

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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If you installed CC 2019 using the option to retain previous preferences and settings then it is possible that may be the problem. Try trashing your Illustrator preferences and see if things improve.

To do so:

For Macintosh Users: The User Library folder in which Illustrator’s preferences are stored is hidden by default on most Macintoshes. To access it make sure that Illustrator is closed and click on the desktop to launch a Finder Window (Command-N).With this window in column view follow the path User>Home folder (it’s the folder with an icon that looks like a house—it may have the user’s name rather than “Home”) and click on the Home folder. With the Option Key pressed choose Library from the Finder Go Menu. “Library” will now appear within the Home folder. Within the Library folder find the folder called Preferences and within it find the folder called “Adobe Illustrator <Version #> Settings” (earlier versions of Illustrator might just say “Adobe Illustrator”) and the file called “com.adobe.Illustrator.plist” and delete both that folder and that file. When Illustrator is next launched it will create new preference files and the program will be restored to its defaults.

For Windows Users: You can try the quick way of resetting on a PC which is to hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift when launching Illustrator and respond affirmatively when asked if you want to reset. There have been some recent reports that the window asking if you want to reset is not popping up but that the prefs are being reset anyway. If this works great but if it doesn’t you may have to manually delete them.

To do so:

On Windows 7 and above the preference files are hidden. To find them go to the Control Panel and open Folder Options and then click the View tab. Then select “Show hidden files and folders” or “Show hidden files, folders or drive options” in Advanced Settings. Then delete (or rename) the folder at the end of this path: C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator [version number]\ Settings\<Language>. Make sure that Illustrator is closed when you do this. When you relaunch the program it will create  new preference files and the program will be at its default settings.

The advantage of manually deleting preference files is that after you’ve reset up the program (make sure that no document window is open) to your liking, you can create copies of your personalized “mint” preference files (make sure that you quit the program before copying them—that finalizes your customization) and use them in the future to replace any corrupt versions you may need to delete.

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Oct 17, 2018 2
Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2018

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Thanks for the suggestion, Bill, but that didn't work. It is exactly the same.

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Oct 19, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 24, 2019

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It worked great for me. You have to make sure you search for the file "adobe.Illustrator.plist" which is not easy to find by going through the folders. It took me a couple of tries and it worked.

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Oct 24, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2018

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I do not see that behaviour. Did you try to turn off GPU Preview? Maybe it is your graphics card.

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Oct 19, 2018 0
New Here ,
Nov 12, 2018

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I had the same problem today. I fixed it my resetting your workspace. To do this: Select Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials

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Nov 12, 2018 0
New Here ,
Nov 13, 2018

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I am having a similar issue, i can see my anchor points and bars but is ridiculously hard to grab them. I have my selection tolerance at 8px but still cant seam to land on the handles. its incredibly frustrating. i have to zoom in extremely close to the handle and then i cant see the rest of my artwork so have no idea where i am dragging it to. Also to mention i am having way to many issues with Photoshop and am just using .18. i would rather trash 19 then ever use it.

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Nov 13, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 13, 2018

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So it turns out that it was only this one legacy document (created in 18) that was the problem. This was the first document I opened after installing 19. I deleted preferences. I reset the workspace. I tried everything. I then opened a brand new document and found there was no problem. I opened another legacy document created in 18 and no problem with that one either. I then copied and pasted the elements from the problem document (luckily not a complex one) into a new document and it’s working fine now. Can’t really explain why this worked but it did.

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Nov 13, 2018 5
New Here ,
Nov 20, 2019

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This option worked for me as well. I also found that if I saved the 18 doc as a 19 then the paths worked better. Still clitchy, but at least it doesn't seem like the paths are locked anymore. Thanks!!

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Nov 20, 2019 0
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