I am a bit confused about how Illustrator works. Adobe's Illustrator help site says:

Layers panel

Lets you quickly and precisely select individual or multiple objects. You can select a single object (even if it’s in a group), all objects within a layer, and entire groups."

So why is it that when I select a layer with multiple objects on the artboard or sublayers with the individual path objects from within the Layers Panel, it says No Selection to the left of the Control Panel?

I keep selecting objects in the Layers Panel and then attempting to change them, only to discover that I am messing with the default fill and stroke.

So how do I select objects from the Layers Panel in Illustrator?

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    Jun 4, 2015 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


The Illustrator Layers Panel is not like Photoshop's layers panel.

It's important to realize that if you merely highlight a layer in the layers panel, it does not select anything on the artboard. You can highlight and move layers by dragging within the layers panel. This allows you to control the stacking order of the layers or objects.

To actually select something, you have to click the circle to the right of the layer/object name.....

enter image description here

See those circles? That's where you have to click to select that object.

The color squares indicate what is selected. The small square indicates the layer with something selected on it and the larger square indicates the actual selection. The squares change color based on the layer highlight color.

You'll want the panel set up to display the objects... You can adjust what is visible by choosing Panel Options from the Layers Panel Menu.

enter image description here

CS6 screenshots, but it's basically the same in most versions since 1990-something.

  • 1
    Is there no better way to select multiple things other than just clicking 100 times?
    – JustGoscha
    Jul 29, 2020 at 15:42

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