To select all objects on all visible layers in a multi-layer document, change the default selection setting in the Preferences dialog box. (See Setting Preferences.)
Choose Object | Hide Selected Objects.
Locked objects cannot be hidden. If a locked object is selected, this menu option is disabled.
Choose Object | Show All Hidden Objects.
The following table gives you a quick description of all the methods for selecting objects.
A single object
Click the object with a Selection tool.
Shift-click each object with a Selection tool.
Objects using a selection box
Drag a box around the objects with a Selection tool.
All objects touched by a selection box
With a selection tool, press Ctrl and drag out a box that touches the objects.
One object within a group object
Click the object with the Direct Group Selection tool (hollow arrow).
Multiple objects within a group
Click the Direct Group Selection tool and drag your cursor over the objects' boundaries. If an object's boundaries are not completely contained within the area being dragged over, the object will not be selected.
No objects (deselect all objects)
Click a Selection tool in a blank area, or press Esc.
Choose Edit | Select All.
The inverse of the current selection
Choose Edit | Invert Selection.
An object behind another object
Tab-click the object’s location until it is selected.
Click the object’s border, or press Tab and click inside the object.
An object on a layer other than the current layer, or an object on a master page
Tab-click the object with a Selection tool.
All objects created by a particular tool
Select the tool, then choose Edit | Select All.
Objects based on their attributes
Choose Find | Edit.
indicates that an object is selected by displaying the object’s bounding box, a rectangle with solid blue squares, called handles, at each corner and side midpoint.
A bounding box with handles surrounds a selected object
The first object selected is called the key object. The key object is indicated with solid blue squares in the bounding box. If several objects are selected, the other selected objects have solid white squares in their respective bounding boxes. The key object may affect alignment and distribution of the other objects. (See Aligning and Distributing Objects.)
If 1000 or more objects are selected, bounding boxes around each individual object will not be displayed. Instead, one large selection boundary will be drawn.
When an object is selected, its bounding box is visible even if it has attributes (the same color as the background, for example) that make the object itself invisible. Also, a selected object’s bounding box is visible even if it’s covered by other objects.
When selected, displays the object type at the right end of the Status bar. When more than one object is selected, the Status bar shows the number of selected objects.
The key object in a selection can be changed via the context menu.
Select the objects and then right-click the object that you want to be the key object. Select Make Key Object in the context menu. Note that this change is only temporary.
Select one object, (by default it’s the key object). Press Shift and right-click the object that you want to add to the selection but also designate as key object. Select Make Key Object in the context menu. The object becomes part of the selection as well as the key object.