Ok, I have been using illustrator for a few years now and about a month ago i began having a problem with the direct tool. I am using CS3 on a Mac (os x version 10.5.8).
The PROBLEM: the direct selection tool is functioning like the indirect selection tool. When I select an object with the direct selection tool it does not allow me to scale it and change the dimensions. It highlights the path of each individual object.
Ideas on what went wrong and how to correct the problem?
When something becomes funny, it may be time to revive the (correct) preferences. The dirty, easy, irreversible, and less thorough way is to Ctrl+Alt+Shift/Cmd+Option+Shift during startup; the more thorough and reversible way is to Move the folder
Have you tried trashing the prefs? That may help.