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In Illustrator, there is a way to select objects based on shared attributes such as Fill Color or Stroke Color. I've been using this feature often.

However, I am puzzled by the option to select objects based on "Appearance". Whenever I try this feature, all the objects in the Artboard get selected and the Fill and Stroke color indicators show a "?".

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What does "Select Same Appearance" do exactly?

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It matches everything, meaning all properties have to be the same.

If you open the Appearance Panel (Window → Appearance or Shift + F6), all items in that panel have to be the same between both(+) paths.

If you apply a transform effect to one object, it will not pick up as "Same Appearance" since the effect shows up in the panel:

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If they do have different properties, when you select it, it will come up as "Mixed Appearances"

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