I recently reinstalled Illustrator CC 2014 (have been working with it since it's initial release) and suddenly, my rectangle shapes have no handles - I can't select and resize with my selection tool. If I draw a circle, I have handles; an octagon, I have handles...it seems to only happen with the rectangles and rounded corner rectangles.

Yes, I have selected Show Edges & Show Bounding Box. I have also figured out that if I turn the rectangle into a path, I see my handles again...

Have restarted several times and uninstalled/reinstalled now twice.

Help? How can I get the handles to show when I create a rectangle in Illustrator?

  • really wish this had some screenshots to know if I'm having the same problem. Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 23:39

7 Answers 7


I contacted Adobe about this issue because I was having the same problem.

They said that in order to use the latest version of CC you need to upgrade your OS (operating system) to 10.9. I am on 10.8.5 which is as high as the OS X Mountain Lion goes. This means that you need to upgrade to the OS X Mavericks, which is currently on 10.9.5.

I have been avoiding moving to Mavericks because it has gotten terrible reviews and I didn't want to deal with any potential issues. If you would like to stay with Mountain Lion, your option is to reinstall in older version of illustrator.

Good luck!

  • Thank you...was definitely putting off the upgrade for the same reason. Fingers crossed that will help. Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 20:55
  • I just finished upgrading to Mavericks and just made a rectangle in Illustrator. I now have the usual abilities with the selection tool, so it did work.
    – Nichooco
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 22:02

You’ve come across the Live Rectangle bug which is limited to the MAC versions starting with 10.7 and 10.8, but not 10.9 (Mavericks), see this thread (official Adobe Illustrator Forum): probleme with the handles on new version of AI CC 2014

Since we’ve already experienced some serious problems with the Live Rectangle (snap to grid bug) I’ve decided to write my own plugin (available for free for personal and commercial use) which imitates behavior of the ‘old’ Rectangle Tool. It doesn’t replace the Live Rectangle – it works completely independent!

My Plain Rectangle Tool correctly snaps to grids/objects/points and correctly aligns to grid/points on resize. Of course it supports the SHIFT and ALT/OPTION keys, Snap to Grid and Smart Guides options. In other words it works almost 100% the same as the Rectangle Tool we know from CC (17.1), CS6 and earlier.

The installation package (zxp) adds ‘Plain Rectangle Tool’ icon into the Ai panel (of curse you can assign your custom keyboard shortcut to it as well)

enter image description here

Note: The Plain Rectangle can be easily converted into the Live one using Object > Shape > Convert to Rectangle.

Grab your copy at Free Plain Rectangle Tool and share it with your friends. It’s completely free!!!

I’ve also created a separate discussion (official Adobe Illustrator Forum) https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1587587 for the Plain Rectangle Tool. If you have any comments or request please post it there. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


You do not need the bounding box. It is possible to work 100% of the time and never use the bounding box on any object. In fact, the only reason the bounding box was ever added to Adobe Illustrator is to make CoreldDraw users feel more comfortable (no joke, that's the truth). Seriously, there's only one thing the bounding box does which can not easily be done elsewhere - resize an area text box. But even that can be done in other ways.

I immediately hide the bounding box after every Illustrator installation. If you desperately need handles to draw just tap the e key to select the Free Transform Tool and it will do everything the bounding box does, plus more.


You likely have corrupted your preferences. I would delete them and rebuild the application. It is very unlikely your OS or your graphics card would be the culprit. Find the Illustrator Pref file and delete it, then relaunch. It's also possible that 2 preferences are conflicting with one another. Show Handles, Show bounding box, etc. I'm at work so I can't run through the list until I get home.


I too am experiencing the lack of control handles in the latest upgrade in Illustrator CC and do not want to upgrade to Mavericks. I have reset my prefs with no avail.

One option is to place a smaller object on top of the object to transform, select them both and "POOF" control handles.


I have the same problem but I've just started making a hexagon and then using the delete anchor point tool on the two sizes to turn the shape into a rectangle then your able to transform it as you wish (as you would if you made a rectangle). Its a little bit irritating but if you don't have the upgrade and haven't got mavericks then thats an easy fix for the short term.


I have the same problem i have Mountain Lion and I have the problem with rectangles in the last version of Illustrator.

My solution is clone the rectangle and voila! The control handles appear.

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