A New Way to Unlock Stuff in Adobe Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke shows you how a new feature in Adobe Illustrator 2021 helps you (sort of) get around one of the Achilles heels of the 33-year-old heroic software: unlocking an object.

I say “sort of” because it’s very convenient (right-clicking), but it only works if the object is already locked. This was enough for a relative Illustrator novice like me to get stumped. I kept trying to Unlock things, ending up with a different mysterious command in my menu, and needed Deke to come up to my office and explain that the item needed to be locked in a conventional way (most easily by locking it down from the layers panel) in order for the new Unlock feature to be available from the contextual right-click menu. I think that’s the Achilles heel of the actual Achilles heel fix.

I feel like not having both sides of the Lock/Unlock dichotomy in the menu might make me ever forget to try looking for it in the menu. But I am stubborn. And then again, I love having right-click services at my fingertips, so I could be fooling myself. I’m curious what other, more seasoned Illustrator users might think. Does this seem delightfully convenient, if only half-implemented? Check out Deke’s take and demo in the video.

Meanwhile, if you’re a member of LinkedIn Learning, Deke’s got a follow up movie that shows you another new way to unlock stuff in Illustrator.

Deke’s Techniques, revealing the hero’s fatal flaw’s flaw. (Illustrator, still an epic hero, though.)

Next entry:The New Line Tool in Photoshop 2021

Previous entry:Clearing the Illustrator Home Screen

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