The issue is that both direct (A) and standard (V) selection tools add central (pivot) points of other objects to the selection that just happen to be encompassed by the selection.

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What I'd like to do is use the selection tools to just select the burgundy rectangle even if my selection area happens to go over the pivot points of other objects.

I could almost swear with 47% certainty that this is not how selection tools in Illustrator worked before.

Is there an option to tell Illustrator to only select anchor points and paths, not pivot points?

Please note, pivot points might not be the official name for them but that's how I've always called them.

2 Answers 2


Turn off the center marker on the Attributes Panel. (Window > Attributes)

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With the center point off you can only select objects by clicking their paths and dragging over the center of an object won't cause a selection (assuming there's no fill applied).

I'd call it a "centroid" but, depending upon the actual shape that may not be accurate either. -- "center point" seems to be something everyone understands and agrees upon for AI. It is the center of the AI bonding box, but not always the center of the actual shape... if that makes sense.

  • This does solve the issue however since it's a per object setting it can become a pretty tedious overhead when working with complex files. Something like a setting to choose default behavior for newly created objects would be really nice. Thank you.
    – user74994
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 18:48
  • @brezanac just Select All then toggle it. It won't actually make any other changed to the objects. I don't disagree. A "Global" setting would be nice, but it simply doesn't exist (silly Adobe).
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 18:50
  • Yes but the moment I make a new object it will inherit the default setting of displaying the center point.
    – user74994
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 18:53
  • You'll have to file a complaint with Adobe. There's really no other option for users. I feel your frustration, but we all deal with it.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 18:55
  • 1
    I have been using AI since the 1980s.. and I too would swear it used to be a global setting.. either on or off for all objects - Like Outline mode.. it's on and then it's off, it's not object independent. But I just tested in CS6 and CC... and well.. either I'm misremembering or they broke it at some point.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 19:17

A workaround: Select objects in the layers panel (there's a selection dot to click). You can also temporarily lock there those objects that you want to keep out of the dragged selections.

  • Working with layers panel in Illustrator has always been a pretty excruciating experience for me so I stuck with using the selection tools directly. Constant locking and unlocking while working with complex drawings would also impose a pretty significant overhead.
    – user74994
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 19:03

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