Illustrator Quick Tip: Selecting Behind a Shape

Illustrator Quick Tip: Selecting Behind a Shape

Sometimes there are little things I do in illustrator that I just accept and do without seeking out an alternative (better) solution. For example, in the past I would always lock top objects in order to select and move objects underneath. Last week I discovered a much easier way to select objects behind a shape. And the best part is it’s incredibly simple.

Make it Happen

With the selection tool selected simply Press Command+click twice (for Windows press Ctrl)… Be sure not to double click, just click the object twice (slowly), and there you have it… An easy way to select a shape that is beneath another shape on you artboard!

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.


(+add yours)
  1. Perfect! Thanks for the tip.

  2. WOW THANK YOU! That makes things so much easier!

    In Photoshop you can ctrl + rightclick (I guess cmd for mac), and then you get a list of layers that are under your cursor. Can be helpful in big files with lotsa layers!

  3. Eric

    Only works in CS5. This is a new feature… one I wish I had in CS4 :(

  4. Michael

    Yeah, doesn’t work in CS4, you can right click though to select the object behind.

  5. What was the purpose of this post ?

  6. eyeheartart

    I use it in InDesign CS4 without any problems

  7. satish

    Select the top object by single clean then, (Mac) Command + Option or Cntrl (PC) alt will select { to sellect bottm next below in succession one after in underneath stacked object!

    } to sellect Top next above in succession one after in underneath stacked object!

  8. Hi colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you want to say about this article, in my view its truly amazing for

  9. Sivan

    Thanks!! soo easy :)

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