Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Selecting Drawing Objects.

Selecting Drawing Objects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 1, 2021)

1

When you create a drawing in Excel, that drawing is made up of objects. The tools on the Insert tab of the ribbon allow you to create both text and graphics objects, which can be moved and arranged in virtually any manner desired.

The first step is selecting an object. Selecting an object is virtually the same as in many other Windows programs. All you need to do is point at the object with the mouse and then click the mouse button. You can tell when an object has been selected because it is surrounded by small squares called handles.

You can also build selection sets of objects. You do this by selecting the first object in the set, and then holding down the Shift key as you select each additional object. If you find you want to remove an object from your selection set, just hold down the Shift key and click your mouse on the object again.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12274) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Selecting Drawing Objects.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is two more than 3?

2016-10-22 12:14:01

Jerry

When the drawing consists of a number of overlapping objects, it can be difficult to select the object(s) you want. In that case, the Selection Pane can be helpful. You can display it from either the Home tab, Editing group, Find & Select, Selection Pane... or, if an object is already selected, the Drawing Tools Format tab, Arrangement group, Selection Pane. To select multiple objects in the selection Pane, you must hold down the Ctrl key and click on the names of the objects. (Ctrl-click also works to select/deselect multiple objects directly on the worksheet.)
Another technique is to use a selection box to surround the objects you want to select. Turn on the Select Objects cursor (arrow) from the Home tab, Editing group, Find & Select, Select Objects. Then click and drag a box around the object(s) to be selected. All objects that are completely inside the selection box will be selected. To get out of selection mode, double-click anywhere.


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