Global editing

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Often, your design contains multiple copies of similar objects or shapes, such as logos. If there is a need to make an edit to all such objects, you do not need to edit the objects one by one.

With the global editing option in Illustrator, you can edit all similar objects globally in one step.

Find similar objects for editing

Before you start editing similar objects, you can choose which objects you want to edit. To do this, you can set the global editing options to find the objects that are to be edited together.

To set the global editing options, do one of the following:

  • Click the Global Edit Options drop-down list next to the Start Global Edit button in the Properties panel.
  • Click the Global Edit Options drop-down list next to the  icon in the Control panel.
Specifying global editing options to find similar objects for editing

Select the following options:

  • In the Match section:
    • Select Appearance to find objects with the same appearance, such as fill, stroke.
      Note: This option is enabled by default when the selection includes a plug-in art or a mesh art.
    • Select Size to find objects of the same size.
  • In the On Artboards section:
    • In the Select drop-down list, specify whether to find similar objects across all the artboards or within the artboards with a specific orientation.
    • In the Range field, specify a range of artboards in which to find similar objects. The range can be specified as 1, 2, 3, or 4-7.
    • Select Include Objects On Canvas to find similar objects within and outside the artboards. This option is selected by default. Deselect this option to limit the search only to artboards. 

The Result(s) section on the top shows the total count of the objects selected for global editing.


If you do not set the editing options, by default all the similar objects across all artboards are selected for editing.

Start editing similar objects

After you specify the editing options, you can start editing similar objects together. To do this, do one of the following:

  • Choose Select Start Global Edit.
  • Click the  icon in the Control panel. Note that the Essentials workspace does not display Control panel.
  • Select an object and click the Start Global Edit button in the Quick Actions section of the Properties panel. 
Start Global Edit button in the Quick Actions section of the Properties panel

All the similar objects are selected for global editing. Now, if you edit the selected object, all edits are applied on all the similar highlighted objects.


  • Global editing is not supported for images, text objects, clipped masks, linked objects, and third-party plugins.
  • Global editing does not work when multiple objects are selected.
Selecting the objects for global editing and changing the shape of all selected objects.


While editing objects globally, all changes you make to the selected object are propagated to other similar objects according to their sizes. For example, if you reduce the height of selected object to half, the height of all similar objects is also reduced to half. If the height of selected object is 100 points and you reduced the height to 50 points (halved), then the height of other similar objects, say 20 points, is also reduced to half, which is 10 points.

Stop editing similar objects

After you are done with your edits, you can stop editing objects further. To do this, do one of the following:

  • Choose Select > Stop Global Edit.
  • Click the Stop Global Edit button in the Quick Actions section of the Properties panel.
  • Click the  icon in the Control panel.
  • Press the Esc key.

Edit specific objects

While editing similar objects globally, you can choose not to edit a particular object in the selection by deselecting it. To deselect an object, hold down the Shift key and click the object, the objects gets deselected, but still shows a highlight box.

Now, when you make any changes to the selection, the shape of the deselected object no longer matches with the other selected objects. Therefore, the highlight box is removed to indicate that this object is not a part of the global editing. 

Edit similar groups globally

You can also globally edit similar groups that contain similar objects.

Note: The groups are considered similar only when the group hierarchy and the shape of objects match.

When you edit similar groups globally, all the edits you make to objects in one group are propagated to the corresponding objects in other similar groups.

Selecting all groups with the same appearance, selecting specific shape within a group for global editing, editing the color of the selected shapes.

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