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.
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.
Alexandre Soubrier commented
This is unfortunately not a new issue and Adobe is not listening... The issue should have hundred votes to be listened. Ask your communities to vote for it
25.4.1, still an issue. Please fix this critical bug.
When you have an anchor point selected and you click on a bezier handle... have it move the handle instead of selecting the artwork underneath it. Make the clickable zone of the bezier handle something like 50px radius... because it seems even being 1px away doesn't select the handle, tolerance in the prefs does nothing and one must either be olympic level precise in wacom/mouse moving skills or zoom in to 6000% percent. See attached video.
Logic to code should be: User has anchor point selected > user clicks near to anchor point handle (distance a prefs setting?) > user can now move handle of bezier.
Current code logic = user clicks 1px next to a bezier handle of a selected anchor point = user must be wanting to change selection to artwork behind!!? Really Adobe, no...
Currently its unusable.
25.3.1, still an issue. Please fix this, how long can i take for the programmers?
It's a bug. And it's still there.
The selection tolerance setting in the preferences is actually supposed to affect handles AND points. That's how it works in CS6 and older versions. So this is clearly a bug.
Please vote for this post in the bugs section instead: https://illustrator.uservoice.com/forums/601447-illustrator-desktop-bugs/suggestions/39393367-selection-tolerance-setting-on-bezier-handles-has
The selection tolerance setting for handles is clearly broken. It's stuck at 1 pixel, no matter what you set it to in the preferences.
I compared with CS6 where it works fine.
Please vote for this post in the bugs section:
Yeah, the tolerance setting doesn't work anymore. It seems to stay at 1 pixel (for the handles, it works for the anchor points) no matter what you set the tolerance to in the preferences.
Tried different tolerance settings in CS6 and it works fine. PLEASE fix this... it's extremely frustrating having to grab handles with perfect precision.
Update: I polled my Instagram followers about this and 64% reported having this problem (200 respondents).
This has been around for so long now that I just don't think it's going to get fixed. They did a prerelease version where the tolerance was adjustable up to 24 instead of 8, but it still only affected the points, not the handles, and considering we've still got a max of 8 in the retail versions then it must have been scrapped. Either way, it's just a frustrating mess on Windows and borderline unusable on a high PPI screen (because I think whatever the tolerance is on those bezier points, it doesn't multiply for app scaling - eg running the program at 2K instead of 4K).
And its problems like this that make Adobe's decision to kill previous versions of programs apart from the last 2 releases so problematic. I never had any of these problems in old versions. I've been using Illustrator for around 20 years and I'm at a point where I just dread using it nowadays.
This is still broken in the latest version in Feb 2021 - particularly on PC. Unusable without Smart Guides on but still not the greatest with Smart Guides on either. The issue exists on the Mac version with Smart Guides off as well. I've given up using Illustrator on PC.
My workaround on Mac has been to turn Smart Guides on and turn all the features of Smart Guides off except for object highlighting.