In order to modify objects on a canvas, the objects must be selected. Most commands and changes in VectorStyler, are applied on selected objects only. Objects placed on a canvas can be selected using various selection tools and commands.
The object selection is indicated by a highlight around the objects. Different editing tools use different highlighting schemes. The transform tools draw a bounding box with the scaling handles around the selected objects. The Node tool will show the object nodes, while the Corner tool the corner nodes.
In VectorStyler, objects can be selected using the following tools or commands:
- Clicking on the filled region of an object, selects the object.
- Various marquee tools, including box and lasso tools.
- Selection commands directly picking objects of the canvas, like selecting all objects.
- Selection commands picking objects relative to the current selection, like selecting all below.
- Selecting objects by their locking or visibility status.
- Selecting objects by their attributes, like fill or stroke styles.
- Selecting objects in the Layers panel.
- Saving and reusing object selections, by using the Selection panel. Complex object selections can be captured, and recalled in a single step.
- Marking objects with object markers and selecting objects containing specific markers.
- Finding objects based on name, marker, role or symbol use.
- Finding objects using multiple object attribute search conditions.
There are multiple tools and features making object selection easier in VectorStyler. Objects can be selected based on their attributes, or based on markers (named labels) attached to objects. Objects can be selected by recalling previously saved selections. There is also a find and replace command, that searches for objects based on some attributes and replaces one or more other attributes of the found objects.
The selection features available on VectorStyler are as follows:
- Select Menu - Describes commands used to modify the current selection, or to make new selections based on some criteria.
- Magic Wand - Describes the Magic Wand tool and the related Magic Wand panel used to select objects based on some attribute of a picked object.
- Saving Selections - Describes how to save and reuse object selections.
- Object Markers - Describes how to define and use object markers, to simplify selecting large number of objects.
- Find and Replace - Describes the Find/Replace command and panel of VectorStyler, use the search and change objects and text based on their content or attributes.
The type of selection made on the canvas, depends on the tool used to make selections. For example, the Node tool will select nodes of object shapes, in order to manipulate these shapes. Each tool may create its own selection types.
In VectorStyler, the following tools are used to select objects or object content:
- - Pointer tool is used to select and transform objects, including groups. Groups are selected as a whole. To select individual objects in a group, press the Command key and click on the object.
- - Shape Selector tool is used to select and transform members of composite shapes.
- - Direct Selector tool is used to select and transform objects inside groups. This tool is similar to the Pointer with the Command key held down.
- - Content tool is used to select and transform linked content or image content inside objects, independently of the object.
The interactive object selection is made by pointing and clicking with the mouse on a specific object, or marking with the mouse the selection area containing the objects. Interactive selections are always made based on the object shapes.
The point selection mode refers to the selection made by pressing or clicking on a single location with the mouse. Point selections are used in most tools, to select an object, a node, a text insertion point, or an effect attribute handle. The point selection mode is always active, and its function is determined by the active tool.
To select a single object with a mouse click, point the mouse over a region of the object and press the mouse. If the object is filled, or has a content (group, image or mesh), the mouse should point inside the object shape. If the object has no fill, the mouse should point over the stroke of the object. Objects with no fill or stroke can be selected by hovering and clicking on the object outline.
One of the common tasks done after selecting objects is to move the object. This can be done immediately in point selection, without releasing the mouse. Press the mouse on an object and start dragging. The object is selected and the movement is initiated.
To select multiple objects with the point selection mode, hold the Shift key and click on the objects.
The box selection mode is the default selection mode, available after creating or opening a document. The box tool uses a rectangular region, to select objects based on their shape. This tool is active by default, and if not, it can be activated using the Box Selection tool.
To select one or more objects with the box selection mode, use the following steps:
- Select the Box Selection tool, if the box selection is not already active.
- Click on an empty region of the canvas and start dragging the mouse.
- A rectangular region of the canvas is highlighted, indicating the area where the selection is made.
- The number of selected objects is shown in the center of the region, as the rectangle is dragged.
- The objects inside (or intersecting) the rectangular region will be selected when the mouse is released.
- The default mode in VectorStyler, is to select objects inside the rectangular region.
- To set the selection mode to intersecting objects, enable the Intersecting Selection option in the Select menu.
- The Intersecting Selection command of the Select menu enables or disables the intersecting selection mode. When enabled, objects intersecting the marquee (box or lasso) are selected. When disabled, only objects which are fully inside the marquee are selected.
- The document view rotation is also taken into account when selecting objects with the box selection mode. When the document view is rotated, the box selection region is drawn straight relative to the screen. This will result in a rotated rectangular region in the document coordinate space. The rotated rectangle is used when searching for objects inside or intersecting the selection region.
The box selection tool can also be used to select multiple path nodes when using the Node editor.
The Lasso Selection tool can be used to select objects, by painting around the objects. The lasso tool can be found in the application toolbox, grouped with the other selection tools.
To select one or more objects with the lasso tool, use the following steps:
- Select the Lasso Selection tool from the application toolbox.
- Click on an empty region of the canvas and start dragging the mouse, painting a region around the objects.
- The current region painted with the mouse is indicated as a blue transparent region.
- The number of selected objects is shown in the center of the region, as the region is painted.
- The objects inside (or intersecting) the region will be selected when the mouse is released.
- The default mode in VectorStyler, is to select objects inside the painted region.
- Use the Intersecting Selection from the Select menu, to set the selection mode to intersecting or including objects.
The lasso selection tool can also be used with the Node editor tool, to select nodes of a path.
The Polygon Selection tool, is similar to the lasso tool, in that it uses a free region to select objects. In the polygon selection tool, the region is defined by a sequence of lines, enclosing a polygon.
To select objects with the polygon selection tool, use the following steps:
- Select the Polygon Selection tool from the application toolbox.
- Press the mouse on an empty region of the canvas, and start drawing the first side of the polygon.
- Release the mouse, when the first polygon side is drawn.
- Press the mouse again, and draw the second side of the polygon.
- The polygon can be arbitrarily shaped, defined by freely drawn lines.
- An extra line to the starting point is added from the end of the last line.
- Double click with the mouse to complete the polygon drawing.
- The objects inside (or intersecting) the polygon will be selected.
- The default mode in VectorStyler, is to select objects inside the polygon.
- Use the Intersecting Selection from the Select menu, to set the selection mode to intersecting or including objects.
The polygon selection tool can also be used with the Node editor tool, to select nodes of a path.
Selecting from the Layers panel
The Layers panel is used to browse the hierarchy of layers and objects of the current canvas. In the layers panel, objects and layers are selected by clicking on the list item. Multiple objects and layers can be selected using the Shift and Command keys, typical to any other lists in the user interface.
In the default configuration of VectorStyler, selecting the list items in the layers panel will not select the objects on the current canvas. That is, the selection made on the canvas and the selection made in the panel are two independent selections. This difference is used by several features of the layers panel. For example, the Shape From Selection command picks the shape of the objects selected in the layers panel, from the object selected in the canvas.
To make canvas selection in the layers panel, use the selection buttons, shown at the end of every layer and object item in the list. Pressing and dragging the mouse over multiple selection buttons in the layers panel, will select all these objects in the canvas.
The canvas versus layers panel selection mechanism can be configured, to accommodate the user working style and preferences. By default, the selections made in the canvas and the layers panel are independent. These two selections can be synchronized, in one or both directions, depending on the configuration made by the user.
- Select the Panel Options command from the Layers panel menu.
- Select Highlighted - Enable or disable the selection of objects in the canvas, when they are selected in the panel. By enabling this option, selecting layers or objects in the layers panel, will select them in the canvas as well (but not the other way around).
- Highlight Selected - Enable or disable the selection of objects in the layers panel, when they are selected in the canvas. By enabling this option, selecting objects in the canvas, will select them in the layers panel as well (but not the other way around).
- Enabling both options will make the canvas selection and layers panel selection the same.
Isolating Groups and Layers
When working on a canvas of the current document, all objects of that canvas are available for selection, unless they are locked or part of locked layers or groups. Objects inside groups can be selected by holding the Command key, or using the Direct Selector tool.
Isolating a single layer, or a group of objects, make it easier to select only objects inside a layer or group. The isolated mode can be selected by selecting and then double clicking on a group of objects, or by selecting the layer or object in the layers panel and selecting the Enter Isolated Mode command from the layers panel menu. The isolated mode can also be selecting by using the Isolate Context command from the Select menu.
In isolated mode, all content outside the layer or group is shown in a dimmed mode, and cannot be selected. The objects inside the isolated group are shown with normal colors and are selectable. When drawing new shapes, the objects are inside the isolated group.
Isolated editing mode can be used to edit content of layers or groups, symbols or pattern tiling. If a regular, empty object is isolated, it is possible to draw the new objects inside an existing object, implicitly creating a clipped group of objects.
To exit the isolated mode and return editing all objects on all layers, double click on the canvas at a location outside of the isolated objects. Double clicking will return to the previous isolated state, or to a non isolated state. The isolated mode can also be exited to the parent using the Exit Context command of the Select menu. To completely exit the isolated mode, use the Clear Context command from the Select menu.
The Isolate to Parent command from the layers panel menu can be used to isolate the parent layer or group, relative to the current isolated mode. The Exit Isolated Mode command from the layers panel menu, returns to the non-isolated mode, showing all objects and layers in normal color and allowing object selection from any layer.