Objects in a clipping mask do not respect "Object Selection By Path Only".
- Draw a filled shape.
- Use Draw Inside to draw another filled shape inside it.
- In the 'Selection And Anchor Display' pane of the prefs, ensure that 'Object Selection By Path Only' is checked.
- Click and drag with the Selection or Direct Selection tools in a part of the first object that does not contain the second object. Note that nothing gets selected unless you drag over the first object's path.
- Click and drag with one of those tools in a part of the first object that does contain the second object. Do not cross any of the paths while attempting to drag out this selection area. Note that Illustrator acts as if "Object Selection By Path Only" was off, and either selects the whole clip group (if you're using the Selection tool) or starts dragging the second object (if you're using the Direct Selection tool).
The desired effect is that step 5 should only select any objects whose paths you cross with the selection box, rather than immediately dragging them. This drives me crazy every time it happens.
Margaret Trauth commented
This is still happening. It's been happening for several years before I filed this bug. It didn't used to happen. I can't remember which release introduced this behavior. It was whatever release "helpfully" started making the portions of clipped paths that are outside the clipping mask be inactive. I hated it then. I still hate it. It constantly trips me up when I am working with shapes drawn over clipping masks. Which I do pretty often.
Seriously I really hate this behavior. If you are an engineer at Adobe looking for a small thing to try and play with, and spend a day or two fiddling with this, even if you determine that this is a huger problem than it appears, please contact me and I will send you money to buy a beer, or do a small piece of art for you, or something, because you will be poking at something that has been a low-level constant annoyance in my workflow for several *years*.