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This is in a file originally created in this version and installation of Illustrator CS4.

I have a simple text item, with one character in it. Alternately, I pick a drawn element, doesn't matter.

I have the Selection Tool, i.e. the all black arrow. I'm not touching the keyboard. I click on the object (selected or unselected, doesn't matter), and drag, the cursor changes to the copy object version, and it copies the object. But I want to move it.

Illustrator knows properly what mode my keys are in, it does the right thing if I type in option-e e to get a é.

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Odd. Now, this doesn't remove the actual problem, but what if you option-drag the layer? I mean, as this normally copies the dragged layer, could it revert your action to normal? –  koiyu Jan 26 '11 at 7:15
I'm not sure what you mean. I tried getting into the layers panel, and option-dragging the layer callout there, and it simply didn't move, and nothing happened. When I simply dragged it, it pulled on outline which snapped back, since I have just one layer. –  Hack Saw Jan 26 '11 at 8:17
If I option-drag the object, it copies it, as you'd expect. –  Hack Saw Jan 26 '11 at 8:18
What OS (including exact version number if on Mac OS X)? –  NSGod Jan 26 '11 at 16:27
Hmmm, coulda sworn I mentioned this earlier. OSX 10.6.6 –  Hack Saw Jan 27 '11 at 6:50

2 Answers 2

After a visit to the Adobe forums and trawling around there for a while, I saw someone with the opposite problem who solved it by logging out. It was worth a shot, it's not something I do often.

This fixed it.

Thank you to everyone who offered me suggestions, I do appreciate the support.

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+1 When in doubt, reboot. In fact, I reboot every Monday morning as a matter of course. –  Philip Regan Jan 28 '11 at 11:02
My brother the IT guy says if any problem can be solved by restarting, rebooting, or logging out and in again, you have to put a quarter in his Guru Jar. That usually takes out a third of the problems people would otherwise bring him. –  Lauren Ipsum Jan 28 '11 at 14:22
As an longtime computer guy, I hate problems that are fixed by logging out. :) –  Hack Saw Jan 28 '11 at 19:44

Some troubleshooting ideas:

  • Does this happen in other files you created in this version and installation?
  • Does this happen in files originated on someone else's machine?
  • If you copy this file to someone else's machine, does it happen there?
  • If you copy the contents of the file to a new file and save it under a new name, does it still happen? (don't just save-as. Select all, copy, new file, paste, save.)
  • You said "option" so I'm guessing you're on a Mac. Did you check in System Preferences --> Universal Access to make sure you didn't turn on a helper key by accident? (I've done that with the zoom on occasion — scares the crap out of me when my text suddenly blows up to 4000%.)
  • In the same vein, are you clicking with the correct side of the mouse or the correct mouse button? (that is, you're not right-clicking when you mean to left-click, or holding down the right mouse button at the same time that you're dragging.)
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Does it happen to other files: Yes –  Hack Saw Jan 26 '11 at 2:26
Universal access: Universally off –  Hack Saw Jan 26 '11 at 2:27
Right side stills shows a context menu, no nope, they aren't switched. –  Hack Saw Jan 26 '11 at 2:28
I can't test the other machine ideas, but I also don't know what that might tell us. I can say this: It's happening on files where it didn't before, so I don't think it's a per file thing. –  Hack Saw Jan 26 '11 at 2:29
Other machines can confirm that the problem is on your machine, rather than part of your files. If you can, go more drastic: uninstall and reinstall Illustrator. –  Lauren Ipsum Jan 26 '11 at 13:06

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