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Using the Direct Selection Tool

The Direct Selection tool selects an individual object or its content, a single object from a group, a path segment, or an individual anchor point. Use the Direct Selection tool to move and resize or to change the shape of a path.

  1. Choose the Direct Selection tool and click on a path or its content. The Direct Selection tool is more context sensitive than the Selection tool— where you click determines what you will be able to manipulate (Figure 3.2).

  2. Click on a path to select the path segment for manipulation. The anchor points of the path will be hollow (if they have dots in them, they are anchor points on a frame). If you see solid anchor points, you have selected the entire object as opposed to a single path segment (Figure 3.3).

  3. Click on a single anchor point to manipulate it and change the shape of the object (Figure 3.4). You can use your Shift key to select more than one anchor point.

  4. Click on a frame's content, such as an imported image, and you will see the bounding box for the image (Figure3.5). You can move the image independently of the frame (see Chapter 4).


To switch temporarily to the last used selection tool from any context, hold down the (Command) [Ctrl] key. The pointer will change to the last selection tool you used. As long as the key is pressed, the selection tool remains active. Release the key to return to the previously active tool. This is especially useful when the Type tool is selected and the keyboard shortcuts, V for the Selection tool and A for the Direct Selection tool, are unavailable.

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