PowerPoint – an easy way to select layered objects

Posted: March 26, 2014

PROBLEM: wasting time (and becoming highly frustrated) when trying to select a picture or object in PowerPoint.  Sometimes it seems the pic is underneath others and therefore out of reach.

SOLUTION: Learn how to work with the Selection Pane in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint 2010, 2013 & 2016 – Using the Selection pane in PowerPoint

If your slide has multiple layered objects it can be quite challenging to drill down to one of the lower objects without moving or resizing objects layered over it.  In the example below the circle and square are layered on top of the triangle.


To work with the triangle I could select it and then use the Bring to Front option, however a better way is to turn on the Selection pane.  This then allows me to hide the square and circle, work with the triangle and then display them again when I am ready.  To do this I would:

  1. Go to the Home tab and from the Drawing group click Arrange.
  2. Select Selection Pane from the list.
  3. Select the circle on the slide.  The circle’s name will be highlighted in the Selection pane.
  4. Click the “eye” symbol to the right of the name.  The symbol will change to a closed eyes and the object will be hidden.
  5. Repeat the same steps to hide the square.
  6. Work with the triangle.
  7. Display the circle and square again by clicking the eye symbol again.
  8. Close the Selection pane.

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