To format any slide object in PowerPoint, you must select it. There are a couple of ways
with which you can select any slide object. Other than the obvious way of clicking the slide object to select, you can also use the
Selection Pane. It’s always more difficult to select overlapping slide objects or objects placed behind a larger object in busy,
populated slides -- to select slide objects that are difficult to locate, you can use the Selection Pane.
Follow these steps to select shape(s) using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2016:
- Select the Home tab of the Ribbon, and within the
Drawing group click the Arrange button to bring up the drop-down menu shown in Figure 1. From the
Arrange drop-down menu choose the Selection Pane option, as shown highlighted in red with
Figure 1: Selection Pane option
- This brings up the Selection Pane (highlighted in red within Figure 2).
Figure 2: Selection Pane
The Selection Pane lists every single object on the active slide -- be it shapes, WordArt, sound, movies, etc. If any particular object on the slide
doesn't show up in the Selection Pane, that object must be part of either the
Slide Master or the slide background.
- Follow these guidelines to use the Selection Pane:
- Click the shape in the Selection Pane to select it on the slide. Figure 3 shows “Oval 6” selected in the Selection Pane as well as on the slide.
Figure 3: Shape selected in Pane and on the slide
- Ctrl+click to select more shapes in the Pane (and on the slide). See Figure 4 with two shapes selected in the
Pane and on the slide.
Figure 4: Two shapes selected in Pane and on the slide
- Click any shape twice (not quickly) in the Pane. This enables you to rename the shape, as shown in Figure 5. As you can see,
PowerPoint names objects in ways that are not too intuitive -- so probably “Blue Oval” is a better name than “Oval 6”.
Figure 5: Rename shape(s)
- Reorder any selected shape(s) in the Pane by clicking the up and down arrow buttons, located at the top-right of the list within the Selection
Pane (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Reorder shape(s)
- Click the eye icon next to a shape(s) listing on the Pane to make it invisible, as shown highlighted in red within
Figure 7. Click it again to toggle the visibility.
Figure 7: Hide/show the shape in the Pane
- Click the Show All / Hide All buttons located at the top-left of the list within the Selection Pane (see
Figure 8) to show / hide all the shapes on a slide.
Figure 8: Show All/Hide All buttons
Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint
2013 for Windows
Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection and
Visibility Task Pane in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado?
Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?
Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.