The following scenario is a bit simplified, but it does explain what I need to do.

enter image description here

What I want to do is select points 1 and 2 on the purple path in order to move them.

If I use the Direct Selection Tool, draw a rectangle around the points and then drag them, then points 3 and 4 get moved too. I don't want to touch points 3 and 4.

I know a possible solution is to double-click the purple line and then select the points. But in reality it's not just one purple line, it's many lines, and they are not grouped. I'm drawing a bus map, so different lines cross in different places, and I don't want to start grouping bus lines together.


4 Answers 4


I'm getting a sense, from your various questions on this project, that you are not using Layers adequately, and that you're not familiar with essential tools like Lock Other Layers and Isolation Mode.

If you're being paid by the hour, you can continue work out various complex solutions to issues like this, but you would not be having these problems in the first place if each bus route was on its own layer (which for this kind of mapping project is essential). Illustrator is the tool of choice for cartographers, and a map commonly has several dozen layers.

With each route on its own layer, you could simply use "Lock Other Layers" (assigned to a suitable keyboard shortcut) to prevent any other objects from being accidentally selected.

If you have a recent version of Illustrator, you only need to double-click on a path to enter Isolation Mode, where you can work on it alone. Double-click again to exit.

Structuring your project document based on what you will be working with is essential, especially with complex illustrations such as maps. Layers are your friends. :-)

You are slowing yourself down by not using Layers.

  • Thank you! Actually I'm not being paid at all :) Although this doesn't directly answer my question, this is an important piece of advice and I'll try to implement it. Sep 7, 2011 at 8:05
  • All the more reason to work efficiently! :-) Sep 7, 2011 at 9:30

Just click & drag with the direct selection tool Key A

enter image description here


an exact answer to the question could be:

click with direct selection tool (A) the purple line SHIFT+click each node you want to move (or SHIFT+click&drag around eache node you want to select)

the selected nodes will be "filled"

click one of the selected nodes - move them al together

having smart-guides turned on will probable help you (CONTROL+U)

but I would not do this really - I would go the way @Alan Gilbertson said and work in layers, locking the other layers...

good luck


I know this post is a bit old but javier was actually closest to the answer you were looking for, although slightly off. There is no need to click the purple line first.

With the direct selection tool, simply click anchor point #1, then SHIFT+Click anchor point #2, then click & drag either of the selected points and they will both drag.

Layers are great, but not the answer to the question.

Kaiser's answer of dragging that section of the path, although not fully explained, will only work as long as there are no anchor points between the 2 points you want to move.

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