I'm dealing with an issue in Illustrator CC that I haven't come across before. I've been supplied a file that I need to work with as a vector. In Illustrator itself if I hit "Crtl + Y" and go into outline mode I can see the outline of the shape but all the detail inside of it is missing. I also can't seem to select that detail on the inside of the part in either view mode.

I've checked for clipping masks and compound paths but aside from that I don't know what other settings can be applied to a shape that would "hide" the inside detail. When opening the EPS in other software the vector lines are imported (and are editable) so I know that they exist I just can't seem to work with them inside Illustrator. Where should I start looking to try and separate out these paths?

Unfortunately I am not able to post the file so hopefully that is enough of a description.

EDIT: If it helps the other program wants to attempt to rasterize the image to "retain transparency" if that might help diagnose the issue.

2 Answers 2


I can think only few reasons why you can't select objects in AI.

  1. Check Layers, maybe some layers are locked.
  2. Also go to OBJECT > UNLOCK ALL (Alt+Ctrl+2)
  3. Check object grouping (maybe it is inside another group)
  4. Transparency mask
  • Transparency mask was the issue which I had never run into before. Thanks!
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 2:32

It turns out that the object had a transparency mask (which I have never seen before) on it. Releasing this mask made the internal profiles accessible as I had planned.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.