I'm a diehard FreeHand user who has only recently migrated to Illustrator. In FH you can just click on an object (say, a closed path or text) and move it, without it being distorted. In Illustrator, I often find that some sort of transform (scaling or rotating) is spontaneously activated. Then I have to undo.

I find that the only way to get around this is to zoom in closely enough that when I click on an object to move it, I don't accidentally activate a transform. This is very time-consuming. Is there some way to disable those pesky transforms? After all, there are already other ways to do the transforms, so disabling these would be no loss. Thanks!


1 Answer 1


If you are selecting objects with the Selection Tool (Black Arrow) then I am assuming that the transformations are happening because you have the Bounding Box showing (View> Show/ Hide Bounding Box).

You can simply hide the Bounding Box and use the Selection Tool and this will not happen.

What I find better in the way I work is to use the Direct Selection Tool (White Arrow) most of the time.

  1. You can click on individual anchors or paths to move them separately (which would reconfigure your shape). You can also drag a selection of several points or paths to move/ manipulate only those parts of your shape.
  2. You can also simply alt/option click an object (or alt/ option drag over several objects) to entirely select one or more objects to move/ manipulate them.
  3. One of the nice things about using the Direct Selection Tool is that you can just use the control/command key to temporarily switch to the Selection Tool (Black Arrow) and leave the Bounding Box turned on (it only works with the Black Arrow Tool) to perform those transformations like scaling and resizing objects.
  • @joojaa, my carelessness, thanks, I deleted my comment.
    – MarianD
    Feb 17, 2021 at 6:15
  • All good suggestions...thanks! I'm gradually getting used to driving this car that has 2 steering wheels and 3 brake pedals! :)
    – CSyrett
    Feb 17, 2021 at 15:34

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