Select items in Layers in sync with objects on canvas
We have to work with a strange legacy dichotomy when making a selection in Layers is NOT equal to making a selection on canvas and vice versa.
No other vector application does it like this:
XD, Affinity Designer, Corel Draw, Figma, Xara, Inkscape...
Other apps which have layered structures don’t do this also:
Photoshop, Blender, 3DS Max...
InDesign and Illustrator are lonely black sheep in the flock of apps.
We need a mode (as an option) to be able to sync both selection methods.
Clicking an object on canvas should highlight the name of it in Layers.
Clicking a name of an object in Layers should select this object on canvas.
These two selections are like the dark matter and the normal matter — they don’t influence each other and can’t be converted into one another.
Here is the request about it: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/333657/suggestions/32505679
When an object is selected on canvas, Layers does not get expanded to display it, and we have to click the tiny button to see it in the document structure.
Here is the request about it: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/333657/suggestions/39104935
Yeah, we can wrap it an an action and spend a precious F-keys to robotically press it after each selection, which is twice dumb, because an action which has only one operation in it is a bad action. Every command in Illustrator should be assignable to a hotkey.
Here is the request about it: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/333657/suggestions/31609237
And also we have three places to click in Layers to select an object:
1. Names, largest and most easy to click areas — clicking does nothing to select objects though
2. Target buttons, small circles, which are in fact just indicators for the custom appearance applied — clicking them both targets and selects an object, all their children (except locked and hidden), and it’s the only way to select objects on canvas via the panel. Also it support selecting ranges with Shift held — after we begged for it for 3 years (here is the request about it: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/333657-illustrator-desktop-feature-requests/suggestions/19196674-select-more-than-one-layer-at-once).
3. Selection markers, which are indicators too, but again can be used as buttons... but without the ability to select ranges with Shift. In fact, Shift here works as Ctrl/Cmd should, and Ctrl/Cmd does nothing. I have no hypothesis why. Markers can be displayed as small and large, meaning partial (some children are selected) and full selection (all children selected).
You can read about these columns here: https://helpx.adobe.com/in/illustrator/using/layers.html
Note that this article says nothing about the dichotomy.
Finally, I can see why the current approach can be useful. This allows us to put some objects in an existing group, to reorder, to move to another layer, to switch visibility or lock in mass — via a stupid dialog... without messing up with what is selected on canvas.
Is it worth the hustle though? This can be done with a context menu for Layers panel (here is the request about it: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/333657-illustrator-desktop-feature-requests/suggestions/31956982-contextual-menu-with-layers-palette-same-as-phot) with 'Lock selection', 'Hide selection', 'Isolate selection' (for objects from different groups, here is the request about it: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/333657-illustrator-desktop-feature-requests/suggestions/31540384-isolate-selected-objects-without-having-to-group-t), Copy, Group/Ungroup, etc.