I started working with a new client doing a series of 1-on-1 coaching sessions. In the first session, we were going over a slide and I needed to select 2 objects to move them together.
Use the Shift key to select more than one object
Since we were working via webinar software, he couldn’t see what I was doing on my keyboard. So I explained, “I’m selecting this photo, then pressing Shift and selecting the text box with the caption, so I can move them together.”
He exclaimed, “I didn’t know that! Do you know how much time I spend moving individual objects? That tip is worth the price of all the sessions together!”
In the slide on the right, you see 2 objects, a photo and a text box, selected.
Hopefully, my client will get more value that that! But it made me think how small tips can be hugely valuable.
Select multiple objects with a selection box
If you want to select more than 2 objects, a selection box may be quicker. Click and then drag to create a box. Everything inside the box is selected.
But when you have an underlying object that covers all or most of the slide and want to select objects on top of that object, clicking on the slide will select the underlying object. In this case, the trick is to click off the slide and then drag across the slide. Be sure to include only the objects you want to select inside the selection box.
Cycle through overlapping objects
For another selection scenario, see my separate tip on selecting individual objects when they are overlapping — and you want the one on the bottom.
Do you have any selection tips? Did you find these tips helpful? Leave a comment!
If you select any picture, drawing etc, you can click on the picture/drawing tools and select selection pane. It lists all of the objects in the slide, which you can select (one object, or multiple objects). You will also see group images here. And you can re-name the objects to find them easier.
I tend to usually use Grouping when I’m going to move/copy multiple objects, especially if I may need to work with them more than once. Once the objects are grouped, you can move or copy them like a single object. However your 2 methods are faster and I will definitely keep them in mind for 1-time moves!
Yes, grouping is a great way to keep objects together for the long term.
The Selection pane (PowerPoint 2007 & 2010 only) is fantastic! Just to clarify, with the object selected, click the Format tab, then click Selection Pane in the Arrange group. You can also access it on the Home tab. In the Editing group on the right, choose Select> Selection Pane. Besides selecting objects and renaming them, you can click the Eye icon to hide them. This can make selecting the remaining objects easier. It’s a great boon for complex animation.
The Selection Pane to the rescue!!! Finally a way to rename objects!!! I knew there had to be a way to rename and have tried on the Animation Pane with no success. Now I can! Thank you! Yes, you do learn something new every day!
Thanks Ellen – good tips. I have some more that people might find handy: To re-select whatever you had selected most recently, press Ctrl+Z (Undo) followed by Ctrl+Y (Redo). For instance, that’s handy if you’ve selected another object (or clicked inadvertently) and then you realise you want to do something else to your previous selection – which might have been quite fiddly to select in the first place! (You need to have just done something with the object(s) for PowerPoint to undo and redo.) Another tip is to press the Esc key to deselect. I find that handy in 2… Read more »