I have several assets I'm creating in Illustrator; I've used a drop shadow on a bunch of the shapes in each one to add depth to the drawing (clapboard, window frames, etc.). Unfortunately, once I've added the drop shadow it becomes part of the selection area; since a lot of these shapes are very close to each other it makes it difficult to select individual pieces since Illustrator will often select the drop shadow area of one item instead of the item below it.

Is there any way to turn this off so selection areas are based on just the actual shape within Illustrator without the gradient? Workflow-wise I'd rather not have to wait until I'm done to apply all of my raster effects.

  • 2
    Use the ouline view, Ctrl/Option+Y?
    – Vincent
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 16:09
  • You can lock items you aren't working on. Usually if I keep selecting the wrong thing, I lock it... do what I need to do, then unlock all.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 16:12
  • Yeah - that works but it adds a lot of extra steps, and sometimes I need to select an item and the next item below it. If I lock the object on the top I can't select it. Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 16:57
  • Outline view's not an option since I need to still alter gradients, fills, etc. Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 16:58
  • That's sort of where selection via the layer's panel helps -- which I realize isn't a fantastic solution either.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


Sorry deleted my original answer as I was confused. I know what you mean now. If you go into preferences menu you have a couple of options you can select under Selection & Anchor Display. You can select by path only or you can have the option of CTRL click to select objects below. You can also right click the shape and select next object below in the context menu

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