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Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

Learn how to select, deselect, view, and hide shapes using the Selection pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac. The Selection Pane can also be used to deselect, view, and hide shapes and other slide objects.

To format any slide object in PowerPoint, you must select it. There are a couple of ways to select any slide object, as explained in our Select and Deselect Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac tutorial. Other than the obvious way of clicking the slide object to select, you can also use the Selection Pane. The Selection pane makes it easy to select slide objects that are difficult to locate, such as overlapping slide objects or objects placed behind a larger object in busy, populated slides.

Follow these steps to select shapes using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac:

  1. Select the Home tab of the Ribbon, and within the Drawing group click the Arrange button as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, to bring up the Arrange drop-down menu. From this drop-down menu, choose the Selection Pane option, that you can see in Figure 1.

  2. Figure 1: Selection Pane option
  3. Alternatively, select any object on the slide such as a shape, a picture, or a video, and click the resultant Format contextual tab in the Ribbon. This tab can be Shape Format, Picture Format, or Video Format etc., based on your selection. Within the Format contextual tab, click the Selection Pane button, as shown highlighted in red with Figure 2.

  4. Figure 2: Selection Pane option
  5. Either way, you summon Selection Pane (highlighted in red within Figure 3).

  6. Figure 3: Selection Pane
  7. The Selection Pane lists every single object on the active slide, be it shapes, WordArt, sounds, videos, 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.
  8. Follow these guidelines to use the Selection Pane:
  9. Click the shape in the Selection Pane to select it on the slide. Figure 4 shows “Sun 4” selected in the Selection Pane as well as on the slide.

  10. Figure 4: Shape selected in Pane and on the slide
  11. + click to select more shapes in the Pane (and on the slide). See Figure 5 with three shapes selected in the Pane and on the slide.

  12. Figure 5: Two shapes selected in Pane and on the slide


  13. Click any shape twice (not quickly) in the Pane. This enables you to rename the shape. Just type the new name, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.

  14. Figure 6: Rename shape(s)
  15. Reorder any selected shape(s) in the Pane by dragging them to the new position within the Selection Pane. In Figure 7 you can see the Cloud shape being dragged to the position below the Sun shape.

  16. Figure 7: Reorder shape(s)
  17. Click the eye icon next to a shape(s) listing on the Pane to make it invisible, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8. Click it again to toggle the visibility.

  18. Figure 8: Hide/show the shape in the Pane
  19. Click the Show All / Hide All buttons located at the top-left of the list within the Selection Pane (highlighted in red within Figure 9) to show / hide all the \ shapes on a slide.

  20. Figure 9: Show All/Hide All buttons

See Also:

Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows