Cycle through overlapping objects to select them

When you have objects overlapping on a slide, it may be difficult to select the object you want. For example, you may find yourself selecting the text placeholder when you want to select an image. But when you move the text placeholder to select the image, getting the placeholder back in its exact location is difficult.

Instead, select any object and press the Tab key. PowerPoint selects another object on the slide. Continue to press the Tab key as PowerPoint selects object after object until the object you need is selected.

3 comments to Cycle through overlapping objects to select them

  • Sometimes, a large object is covering many other objects on the screen. So I don’t have to keep cycling using Tab and risk selecting wrong objects, I’ll often use “Send to Back” (not “Send Backward”) on the “covering” object to temporarily have access to the covered objects. When I’m done, I select the large object and “Bring to Front” again.

  • Alessandro Santini

    These is a more formal way of doing this – from the “Home” ribbon, click on the “Select” button located at the right end of it. Then click “Selection Pane”. That will display the full hierarchy of items in the slide. You can even rename them so that you can easily find them later.

  • Yes, the Selection pane is a great new feature for PowerPoint 2007 and 2010. It also lets you hide objects. Thanks for bringing that up.

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