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Selecting

The selection tools

WE THINK OF SELECTING objects as a form of non-verbal communication between the user and the application. Before you can modify any element in a composition, you have to send a signal to LiveMotion that tells the application which object you want to work on. LiveMotion does wondrous and remarkable things, but it can't mindread.

The signaling process is accomplished by clicking on or marqueeing an object with a selection tool. Once an object is selected, the next step is to choose which of that object's layers you want to change (Fig. 1). Layer selection is discussed in Chapter 6, but let's learn the basic selection methods first.


Figure .


There are four selection tools:

  • The Selection tool (V) selects whole objects (Fig. 2).


    Figure .


  • The Drag-selection tool (U) selects by dragging a marquee—not by clicking (Fig. 3). It's handy for grabbing hold of objects that are hiding behind other objects.


    Figure .


  • The Subgroup-selection tool (A) selects subgroups or objects that are nested inside larger groups (Fig. 4). Grouping is discussed on pages 58–59.


    Figure .


  • The Pen-selection tool tool (S) is used to make an object's points and direction lines visible for reshaping (Fig. 5).


    Figure .


The selection tools are also used for reshaping, moving, and resizing objects.

When an object is selected, its selection border becomes visible. The selection border is used for scaling and rotating.

To select an object or objects:

METHOD 1

1.
Choose the Selection tool (V) or the Subgroup-selection tool (A) .

2.
Click on the object. Shift-click to select multiple objects. Note: If it's a geometric object and it has a Fill (Properties palette), click anywhere inside the object (Fig. 1). If it's a geometric object with an Outline, click on its outline.


Figure .


▸ If you click on a blank area of an object with the Selection tool, you'll select the next closest object behind it, if there is one.

METHOD 2

1.
Choose the Selection tool (V), the Drag-selection tool (U), or the Subgroup-selection tool (A).

2.
Drag a marquee completely around the object or objects you want to select (Figs. 23).


Figure .


When you select an object with the Pen-selection tool, all of its points and segments become visible for moving or reshaping.

To make an object's points and direction lines visible:

1.
Choose the Pen-selection tool.

2.
Click on the object (Fig. 4). The object's points should now be visible—not its selection border (Fig. 5). To reshape an object, see pages 42–45.


Figure .



Figure .


To select all the objects in a composition:

Choose Edit menu >Select All (Command-A/Ctrl-A). This command works with any tool selected.


Figure .


In order to select an object that's completely obscured by another object, without the Drag-selection tool, you'd have to move the top object out of the way to get to the hidden one. The Drag-selection tool gets right to the object you want to select.

To select a hidden object:

1.
Choose the Drag-selection tool (U).

2.
Drag a marquee completely over the area where the object you want to select is located (Fig. 1). If multiple objects are stacked behind each other in the same spot, they will all become selected.

3.
Optional: Drag the object (Fig. 2).


Figure .


Sometime you might get an urge to see your objects in all their naked glory without their accoutrements (selection border, handles).

To hide object edges:

Choose View menu >Hide Object Edges (Command-H/Ctrl-H).

To deselect individual objects:

1.
Choose the Selection tool (V), Drag-selection tool (U), or Subgroup-selection tool (A).

2.
Shift-click on individual objects to deselect just those objects.

To deselect all objects:

Choose any selection tool, then click on a blank area of the composition where there are no objects.

or

Choose Edit menu >Deselect All (Command-Shift-A/Ctrl-Shift-A).

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