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Is it possible to get comprehensive information about all a selected element in Photoshop & Illustrator? Is there some way to select an object and get a history of transforms/effects that have been applied to an element?

Basically what I am asking is - if I click on the transparency panel, I can see that data of opacity/blend modes. If I click around, I can find all of these things, but with many elements where you can lose track of the changes which have been made to many different elements, is there some way to see all changes to an element in one place in plain text?

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The Appearance panel in Illustrator is quite useful. If you click an effect icon there you get the adjustment dialog.

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Unfortunately grouped or clipped objects do not show much. In the isolation mode you can see more. You can also select parts of a group or clipped objects in the layes panel. The appearance panel then shows the effects applied to the selected object.

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The selected object is the orange warped rectangle.

BTW. Vector images, at least SVGs are written in some structured language. Many people can read them directly in a proper editor like a pro musician can read music from printed scores. But it is beyond the scope of this answer.

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    You can select the group from the round ball next to the name in layers panel, and as a hint its filled if it has a effect – joojaa Oct 31 '18 at 19:02

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