I have an image. it is an object with a transparent background. how can I make the selection around the object itself and not the square with the object and transparency. I exported this image from gimp and opened it in illustrator. I have tried everything I can think of but I am not very good with adobe illsutrator. I'm currently using the CC version.
As Joojaa said, you are best with tracing your file, you can do this as follows.
Lock you layer and then create a new layer above it.
Use the pen tool (P), holding shift to draw straight lines and clicking and dragging to create a curve. You can then use the Direct Selection tool to select any point you have created and may need to edit.
All bitmap images are rectangles. There's no way to import just the opaque pixels. You'll always have a rectangular bounding box around the image.
You might be able to achieve something close to what you want with a clipping mask.
For instance if you have a photo of a basketball on the ground. Import that into illustrator (file-->place). Draw a circle on top of the basketball and make it the precise size of the basketball. Select both photo and circle and select Object-->Clipping Mask--Make.
You now have a round basketball object. The square shape is still there, but hidden by the clipping mask.