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2.3 The Selection Tools

We’ll cover two essential tools in this lesson, both used for making different types of content selections.

2.3 The Selection Tools

[MUSIC] Now, the next tool that we're going to look at are probably two of the most important tools in the whole program. They are the selection tool, so I call this the main selection tool, and the direct selection tool. So you can see these at the top. Now the darker shape, this is the main selection tool. Essentially, this is used to select anything in Illustrator. So if you want to go and apply any multitude of different effects, options that you've got available, it's always a good idea to select the main selection tool. And it will select that complete shape and it will select all the anchor points within that shape as one object. So if you went to copy and then edit, paste in place. We now have a copy of this shape. If I wanted to group these shapes together, I would use the main selection tool to drag over both of them so they are both selected. Go to object and then I can group them, I can lock them or I can hide them. So lots of different options here. And then now they're grouped, I can move them around as one with the main selection tool. So what's the difference between the main selection tool and the direct selection tool? Well the direct selection tool, that's the lighter one here, this is geared towards selecting specific anchor points. So you can see just by clicking anywhere along that shape, it highlights all of the anchor points, but just for that one shape even though they're grouped together. And I can select that anchor point and we can pull that around. Now as I pull it, it does nicely try and adjust those curves, which is very helpful. But with a selected anchor point, it kinda shows these handles for nearby points as well. So you can see these little handles pop out. Now, I can actually adjust them. And if I hold down the Alt key while I'm doing that, it will adjust just the one side. So that you can see as I bend it, it kind of curves that round and adjusts the curve on all of the shapes. So, incredibly useful because when we come to create the logo here, later on in the course, we're gonna be using the main selection tool and the direct selection tool a lot. The direct selection tool is probably one of the most useful tools in Illustrator because once you've drawn a custom shape with the pencil, or even if you've just drawn a standard shape, it gives you that freedom to adjust the shape, move it all around as you like. So, incredibly useful. So another example of how useful it can be is if I zoom in and I create a line. Let's just increase the weight of that. So we've got a line and we'll just left-click, hold Alt+Shift and drag that across to create a second line. Now if I want to join these up I can select both of them but I want to just specifically join this anchor point here, to this anchor point here. And for that I need the direct selection tool because what it allows me to do is drag over this point here. You can see it's now marked as selected. I can hold Shift and single left-click on the other anchor point that I want to join up and I can then go to Object, down to Path and select Join. And it will let me join those two anchor points together, whereas before with the main selection tool it would select the whole line. So you can't join an entire line to an entire line but now I've joined those points up. With the main selection tool, I can move this around as one complete line. So, essentially, the direct selection tool allows you to go to Object > Path > Join, and join up separated shapes into complete shapes.

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