Let say I've a layer with N sublayers:

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When I select a layer of them with mouse, it always select the one I click over. How can I select the parent (thus, all its child) on the workarea without clicking on layer panel? Because for example I'd like to select all elements and drag it elsewhere, not only one sublayer at time. And directly, working over the object, not on thee layer panel every time.

Any shortcut?

I'm on Windows, Illustrator CS6.

  • 3
    Why not just make groups and select them? Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


To select by group.

  1. Select the objects to be grouped or the group to be ungrouped.
  2. Choose either Object > Group or Object > Ungroup. (or ctrl+G shortcut)

Now you can click on any of the objects and the whole group is selected. More about grouping: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/grouping-expanding-objects.html

Not asked:

If you want to edit objects in a group you can just double-click on the group and you activate isolation mode. Double click again outside of group to exit isolation mode.

  • awesome, exactly what I need! A sort of "third" level layers ;)
    – markzzz
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 8:07

Very Simple

Step 1

Copy This Whole Code And Save File As AutoSelectLayer.jsx or Whatever You Like; (USE .js Extension If .jsx Doesnt Work For You)

Furthermore; Save that script to your illustrator script folder and Restart Your Illustrator.now Open Your .ai File And select any one layer. Go to File-Scripts-scriptName.jsx and Click on It ; If Your Parent Layer Selected then congrats! You Can Move On Step 2.

#target illustrator var doc = app.activeDocument; var curLayer = doc.activeLayer; curLayer.hasSelectedArtwork = true;

Step 2

Go To Action Panel ( If Not Available Then Go To Windows-Actions)

Create New Action And Once It Starts Recording

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Create New Action But Don't Forget To Assign Function Key To F2

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Once That Red Record Button Gets Red Go To The three small lines Menu As Shown In Image And Click On it

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Click On Add Menu Item...

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Click On File-Script-ScriptName.jsx And Press Ok; Now It Should Be Like Below Now Your Action Should Contain Your Script Name; If This Happen Stop Recording Of Action And All Set

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Now Whenever You Want To Select Parent Layer Just Select Layer And Press F2 As We Set In Step 2. and Script will auto select all child objects

Tested it in illustrator 2015; It might go wrong on CS6; If I Did Any mistake Kindly Help to make this answer even Better - Regards; Phoenix Design

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