Lock, group, and hide content in Adobe Illustrator to make it simpler to select artwork.

What you learned: How and why to lock, group, and hide artwork

Make it simpler to select and edit content by locking, grouping, and hiding artwork.

Hide content to make selections

  • To make selecting other artwork simpler, hide selected artwork by choosing Object > Hide > Selection, or pressing Option+3 (macOS) or Alt+3 (Windows) on the keyboard.
  • To show all hidden artwork, choose Object > Show All.

Lock content to make selections

  • To lock selected artwork, choose Object > Lock > Selection.

View artwork in Outline mode

  • To facilitate selecting content, choose View > Outline to show the artwork as outlines without fills.
  • To show the artwork with the original appearance, choose View > Preview (or GPU Preview).

Group artwork

  • To group selected content, click the Group button in the Properties panel.

Select content in the group

  • If you need to select content within a group, double-click the group with the Selection tool to enter Isolation mode.
  • To exit Isolation mode, press the Escape key.


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