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Group and Ungroup Objects in Adobe CS5 Illustrator

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator allows you to manage objects by grouping and ungrouping. The Group function is handy when you’re creating something from multiple objects, such as a logo. Using the Group function, you can ensure that all objects that make up the logo stay together when you move, rotate, scale, or copy it.

Creating a group

Follow these steps to create a group:

  1. If you aren’t already working with an illustration that contains a bunch of objects, create several objects on a new page — anywhere, any size.

    For example, select the Rectangle tool and click and drag the page several times to create additional rectangles.

  2. Select the first object with the Selection tool and then hold down the Shift key and click a second object.

  3. Choose Object→Group or press Ctrl+G (Windows) or Command+G (Mac).

  4. Choose Select→Deselect and then click one of the objects with the Selection tool.

    Both objects become selected.

  5. While the first two objects are still selected, Shift+click a third object.

  6. With all three objects selected, choose Object→Group again.

    Illustrator remembers the grouping order. To prove it, choose Select→Deselect to deselect the group and switch to the Group Selection tool. (Hold down the mouse button on the Direct Selection tool to access the Group Selection tool.)

  7. With the Group Selection tool, click the first object; all anchor points become active. Click the first object again; the second object becomes selected. Click the first object again and the third object becomes selected.

    This tool activates the objects in the order you grouped them. After you group the objects, you can treat them as a single object.

To ungroup objects, choose Object→Ungroup or use the key command Ctrl+Shift+G (Windows) or Command+Shift+G (Mac). In a situation where you group objects twice (because you added an object to the group, for example), you have to choose Ungroup twice.

Using Isolation mode

When you use Isolation mode in Illustrator, you can easily select and edit objects in a group without disturbing other parts of your artwork. Simply double-click a group and it opens in a separate Isolation mode, where all objects outside the group are dimmed and inactive.

Do the work you need to do on the group and exit from Isolation mode by clicking the arrow to the left of Group in the upper-left corner of the window.

Click the Isolate Selected Object button in the Control panel to quickly access the Isolation mode.

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