Selecting characters lets you edit them, format them using the Character panel, apply fill and stroke attributes to them, and change their transparency. You can apply these changes to one character, a range of characters, or all characters in a type object. When characters are selected, they are highlighted in the document window and the word “Characters” appears in the Appearance panel.
Selecting a type object lets you apply global formatting options to all the characters in the object, including options from the Character and Paragraph panels, fill and stroke attributes, and transparency settings. In addition, you can apply effects, multiple fills and strokes, and opacity masks to a selected type object. (This is not possible for individually selected characters.) When a type object is selected, a bounding box appears around it in the document window and the word “Type” appears in the Appearance panel.
Selecting a type path lets you adjust its shape and apply fill and stroke attributes to it. This level of selection is not available for point type. When a type path is selected, the word “Path” appears in the Appearance panel.