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Isolating Groups

Digitip 036 – Adobe Illustrator CS2

(Revision 1.1)

You might have wondered about this grey box that appears around your artwork occassionally in Illustrator CS2. Well, it is a new feature included with Illustrator CS2: The “isolate selected group mode”. It works on any group, clipping masks, blends, pathfinder (unextracted) and much more.

The group

Ok, so you’ve got a (bogus) group and have it selected with the selection tool.

the original group

The isolated selected group

To isolate the selected group and see the grey bounding area either double click the group or click the isolate selected group button in the control palette, which incidently is only visible when the Focus Mode features are enabled as part of the Control palette features that are displayed isolate selected=.

isolated group, move individual object

Isolating a group enables you to move individual group components without the need to select the direct selection tool.

Amend blending modes, transparency settings

Other than moving group components, you can use the isolate group feature to easily amend blending modes of individual group objects, transparency settings etc.

amend blend mode

Adding components to group

Whilst working in isolated group mode any object that is added to your artwork either falling within the marked group area or outside it automatically becomes part of the selected group.

object added to group

Group exit

To exit the isolated group mode and return to your grouped object double click outside your artwork or click the exit isolated group button exit isolated group buttonin the Control palette.

new group

Other uses

Try some of the other uses. They are amazing, you can for instance apply 3D Effects to objects in a blend, and extract the blend, then generate animations in .SWF from that using an Adobe Bridge Automation link to Illustrator (See Tip 38).

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