Selection tolerance does not apply for selecting handles and is broken for points
Selection tolerance does not work for handles selection. You need to be very precise to select them. When smart guides are on, it works, but not when they are off.. For my type of work it's better to work without smart guides.
Ben Bourbon commented
This is the biggest issue with Illustrator right now! between between this and the stupid dot floating in front of the brush tool, it is becoming inferior to old versions like CS5 for the type of work that I do. It's extremely frustrating.
It is almost impossible to work with point handles. I have to use smart guides, which I really don't like. Selection tolerance does not work for handles selection. I am on Windows OS and 4k monitor. Please fix this annoying bug!
Jason Burnett commented
All of Adobe products suffer from focus issues. But Illustrator is really bad when it comes to things like layers. The fact that you have a layers panel that you can select layers (without selecting the corresponding objects on the layers) is confusing and counter-intuitive. Usually, you click a layer to activate the content on that layer.
Adobe could fix both problems by introducing a "focus" feature that allowed to you "lock" in your focus on something.. So If I am editing a large tree with lots of fruits and leaves in the way, but I wan to focus on the tree branches, I would click a button on the control bar once I had the branch selected. This would force my focus to be on the branch.
With focus locked, selecting anchor points or handles would be a piece of cake. There would be no doubt that when you clicked anywhere near an anchor or handle, it would select the anchor or handle. You might even be able to allow multiple handles to be simultaneously selected when focused.
You could alt-click or right-click or click the toggle lock button in the control panel to return to mormal.
In our tree example, once you had the complicated branch selected, then you focused your selection, you could easily move even normally hidden anchors and handles because Illustrator would KNOW for sure that is what you intended. Otherwise, how could it tell that you wanted to grab that tiny handle and not the object in front of it?
You could even allow for people to grab and manipulate the handle bars. Instead of having to grab a handle, clicking anywhere on the bar that the handle was attached to would allow you to maintain the angle while moving the curve.
When in focused mode, the screen could be surrounded in Yellow, like when in isolation mode. Lots of things then would become possible. LIke offset dragging where you select your points then click and drag somewhere on your artboard to move the points relative and offset from your current position. (Like 3D apps occasionally do).
Alexis Schofield commented
Im not sure why this i still an issue in Illustrator when After Effects and Photoshop handles beziers without any issues.
This is still driving me crazy, pleaaase Adobe fix this!!!
Eword john commented
If smart guides are turned on, the handles become easier to select, but when they are turned off, the selection becomes more difficult. This may be due to the fact that the handles are small or closely spaced, making it hard to select them accurately without the aid of smart guides.
Alexandre Soubrier commented
This is totally insane to see that a CORE function of a vector program doesn't work as expected.
And next to that, you have deep development of totally useless functions like Intertwine (WTF ?!!?!).
Eric Cobain commented
105 votes now and absolutely nothing from adobe. This is not the only place this is being documented. Its also on the adobe forums. They just don't care and it really shows. They already have our money.
Margaret Trauth commented
I cannot upvote this enough, I have basically moved away from ever touching individual curve handles whenever possible because it is SO. *******. PAINFUL. now. I, too, have a workflow that is the antithesis of what works for smart guides.
Basically now whenever I try to move a curve handle I misclick, swear, try to select the object again, misclick, swear, and hit my hotkey for Astute's InkScribe tool, which ACTUALLY GRABS THE ******* CURVE HANDLES instead of requiring me to click on the absolute center point of the curve handle with my drawing stylus, regardless of what selection tolerance and anchor point size are set to.
(This is not a Windows-only bug either, I only use Macs and this has been driving me up the ******* wall for the past several years.)
Eric Cobain commented
This is just one of those examples of where Adobe just doesn't listen to it's users and instead decides to break what was not broken. In an 8 hour day, I can honestly say I lose a minimum of an hour in micro amounts of poor UI.
Dealing with layers is an even bigger issue. WTF would you have a lock and a visibility option for layers and groups if visibilty acts like lock? Why can't I drag something out of a layer thats hidden when it's not locked? Why do I need to unhide layers for them to get accept transforms given to the parent layer? Wouldn't that be what lock is for?
This causes another hour lost to combine for an average of 2 hours a day in nonsensical UI. Every action requires 5x more work than necessary. Other art programs do not have these issues.
I also find it very difficult to choose a handle. Long ago, the selection was easy.
Anchor points can be selected normally, but the behavior of handle selection is different.
Maximizing the visual size of handles in preferences does not make them easier to select.
Since it is a function related to basic operation, I would like you to improve it as soon as possible.
I like to work with smart guides turned off when I`m drawing new paths and shapes, because the smart guides always snap to places and don`t want. To refine the shape, I use the Direct Selection tool to select the anchors and move the handles as I like, but with smart guides turned off, is really hard to select them, you need to be very precise and click exactly in the few pixels that represent the handles ands anchors. And I don`t want to enable smart guides at this stage of my workflow, because, again, they make the handles and anchors snap to places I don`t want. For some reason, with smart guides turned on, is way more easy to select anchors and handles. I believe that turning smart guides off should only disable the snapping behavior, not the selection one. Switching smart guides on and off using shortcuts is not really a good solution, because it would only slow me down.
Karel Schoonejans commented
It's extremely frustrating and makes working with handles in Illustrator almost impossible. I tried both mouse and Wacom pen.
I took a screenshot. I've set the handles to the biggest size and even when I click inside of them, I get a selection marque in stead of moving the handle.
Zach Dominguez commented
One solution I found was to go to Preferences > User Interface > UI Scaling
I also went to Preferences > Selection & Anchor Display > Increased the Size of Anchor Points, Handle and Bounding Box DIsplay.
I switched from an HD monitor to a 4K monitor and everything was super hard to select, but this helped a ton. Not saying this will work for everyone, but worth a try!
Jason Burnett commented
I think this may have to do with screen magnification on my PC. I often can't grab a handlebar or a point on a path. Often, when trying to change the width of height of something, the cursor changes to indicate width or height, but the item rotates instead. The latest version eliminated all of these abilities without the transform tool active--which sucks. I think it is because I have a 38" curved monitor that I have to run at 175% to read the content on it. I don't think Illustrator has got that part figured out yet.
Agree this is a bug and that turning on Smart Guides is not a good solution. Instead try making sure “Highlight anchors on mouse over” in Preferences > Selection & Anchor Display is checked. When checked the issue seems to be diminish (on M1 Mac, Illustrator v26.2).
Therese Spina commented
The bezier handles are extremely difficult to work with unless the smart guides are on. Frustrating!!!
Ray Cabarga commented
This should be under "Bugs" and not under "Feature Requests". The feature is already there, it just doesn't work since CC was introduced.
Scott Deyett commented
I haven't had this issue until the recent update to the newest version. Completely aggravating having to stop/slow progress on a project to try and meticulously move the cursor over the point, hope it's the right place to grab, only to find out... nope. You just selected the entire form again. It is such a time and project momentum killer.