Illustrator: locking a single object – what’s the quickest/most efficient way to re-unlock only that object again?

I find my workflow for temporarily locking/unlocking single objects to be very awkward. I often refrain from this operation since the process of re-unlocking only that, one, particular object at a later stage, is simply too cumbersome.

I assume you can relate to what I’m referring to, but for clarity, here’s my typical use case:

You’re inside a tangled mixture of paths, groups, objects… trying to prevent affecting this one, particular object, while working on others. Once you hit Command-L/Ctr-L on that object… continue working… then sometime later want to revert the locked state on that one, particular object, you’re pretty much screwed, having to either:

  1. Locate the needle in the haystack (Layers palette) prior to unlocking it… or

  2. Unlock All with Command-Opt-2/Ctr-Alt-2 which is obviously pretty stupid, since you only wish to (referring to the scope of this question) unlock that one, particular object under your mouse cursor.

…You can’t just right-click on the locked object and select unlock.


What’s your workflow for this operation – how can I improve it?



  1. Hit v to select the selection tool
  2. Object > Unlock all… (Command/Ctrl-Option/Alt-2)
  3. Shift-Click the object you want to keep unlocked
  4. Object > Lock > Selection (Command/CTRL-2)

Seems to be the fastest, easiest method here.

Basically you unlock all locked objects, remove one object from the selection, then re-lock everything else.

Source : Link , Question Author : Henrik , Answer Author : Scott

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