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[Ask BB] Illustrator 101: Edit Selected Paths

I recently received a good question via email from Jimmy with an Illustrator question. Although the solution is simple, if you are unaware of the solution, it can be very annoying. Jimmy's question was “When in brush mode, why is it that when you go to make a second stroke, it erases the first one?” A good question Jimmy, and I'm sure you're not the first one to become frustrated with this in Illustrator. Here we go…

[Ask BB] Illustrator 101: Edit Selected Paths

Below is a video example of what Jimmy was talking about. Using the Brush tool in Illustrator, after you make one stroke, then you make another stroke, the first one disappears.

Untitled from Jay Hilgert on Vimeo.

This happens because of a simple Brush tool setting. If you double-click on the Brush tool, the Brush tool settings window will appear. There are 3 checkboxes in this window. If you have “Keep Selected” and “Edit Selected Paths” checked, Illustrator will treat your second stroke as an effort to improve, or adjust the first one, and your first stroke will disappear. (depending on how many pixels you select with the slider setting).

[Ask BB] Illustrator 101: Edit Selected Paths

If you uncheck “Edit Selected Paths” Illustrator will no longer make your strokes disappear. You can even keep “Keep Selected” selected, and your strokes will remain selected, they just won't be adjusted, or disappeared.

[Ask BB] Illustrator 101: Edit Selected Paths

Here's a quick example video of using the Brush tool without “Edit Selected Paths” checked:

Edit Selected Paths [Illustrator Example] from Jay Hilgert on Vimeo.

I'm the editor-in-chief of I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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