Illustrator Basics: The Selection Tool and Direct Selection Tool

In this post, I’m going to address the basics of using the selection tool (black arrow) and the direct selection tool (white arrow) in Adobe Illustrator.

Selection Tool

The selection tool, also known as the black arrow tool, is the main tool used in Illustrator to move objects around, resize objects, and generally select in the program. Its shortcut on the keyboard is “v”.

Used by clicking with the left mouse button, you can click on or drag over objects to select them. As seen in the video, you can change the size and shape of an object by grabbing one of the squares on its bounding box (the blue outline.)

If you hold down the shift button on your keyboard, you will resize it in a way that the object will retain its original dimensions. If you don’t hold shift, it will skew the dimensions.

Direct Selection Tool

The direct selection tool, also known as the white arrow tool, acts the same way as the black arrow tool, but it grabs individual anchor points (the squares at the corner of the shape) while the black arrow tool grabs the entire object. The white arrow selects only a part of the object. Its shortcut on the keyboard is “a”.

 

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