if any layer or group or object is "active" that is the light blue highlight color is showing over that item in the layers panel, we are able to use the "options for selection" command from the layers panel menu.

If I draw any object and "active" it by clicking on it in the panel, the "options for " gets active (the "options for selection" greys out for no active item). then clicking for the options pops out a window with several options for that item.

For an object, the pop out window only shows three options that is name, show and lock. if I check the lock then in the edit column the lock icon appears for the item.

My question arises when clicking the object and activating it from the layers panel, doesn't let us use the "Object>Lock>Selection" command as if I click and drag over the object only then am able to use "Object>Lock>Selection" although the result is the same using these two different methods ("options for selection-> lock" vs. "Object>Lock>Selection") showing the lock icon in the edit column beside the object thumbnail.

What is the difference between click and drag over the object to select it vs. click the object thumbnail from the layers panel?

And what does it mean by selecting object and activating layer or group or object?

2 Answers 2


I think there is confusion about selecting an object and merely highlighting it in the layers panel.

Highlighting the object in the Layers Panel does not select it. To Select an object in the Layers Panel you must click on it's "meatball" (the circle on the far right side of the object in the Layers Panel). This will show it selected on the artboard.

With an object selected (either by clicking it on the artboard, or click/dragging across it on the artboard, or clicking on it's meatball in the layers Panel the Object> lock> Selection will be available.

The highlighting an object in the Layers Panel is typically used to move the object in the layers stack, or duplicate it, etc.- all the controls that are available from the Layers flyout menu.


It's merely two different ways to achieve the same thing. There's no practical difference between the two operations.

In other words, it's simply inconsistency in the language used by Adobe within an application. This is a common occurrence at times with Adobe applications - let alone between different Adobe applications.

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