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

Learn how to select, deselect, view, and hide shapes using the Selection pane in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. The Selection Pane can also be used to deselect, view, and hide shapes and other slide objects.

Other than selecting a shape or any slide object by clicking on it, you can use the Selection and Visibility task pane to select shapes that are difficult to select, or are placed behind other shapes.

Note: The Selection and Visibility task pane option is only available within PowerPoint 2007 and later versions, it replaces the Select Multiple Objects tool in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

Follow these steps to select shape(s) using the Selection and Visibility task pane in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

  1. Select the Home tab of the Ribbon, and within the Drawing group click the Arrange button to bring up the dropdown menu shown in Figure 1.

  2. Figure 1: Selection Pane option
  3. Choose the Selection Pane option from the menu (refer to Figure 1 above).
  4. This brings up the Selection and Visibility task pane (highlighted in red), that can be seen in Figure 2.

  5. Figure 2: Selection and Visibility task pane
  6. The Selection and Visibility task 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 task pane, that object is either a part of the Slide Master or is the background of the slide.
  7. Follow these guidelines to use the Selection and Visibility task pane:
  • Click the shape in the task pane to select it on the slide. Figure 3 shows Rectangle 8 selected in the task pane as well as on the slide.

  • Figure 3: Shape selected in task 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 task pane and on the slide.

  • Figure 4: Two shapes selected in task pane and on the slide


  • Click any shape twice (not quickly) in the task 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 Rectangle is a better name than Rectangle 8.

  • Figure 5: Rename shape(s)
  • Reorder any selected shape(s) in the task pane by clicking the up and down arrow buttons, located at the bottom of the pane (see Figure 6).

  • Figure 6: Reorder shape(s)
  • Click the eye icon next to a shape(s) listing on the task pane (highlighted in red, as shown in Figure 7) to make it invisible, click again to toggle the visibility.

  • Figure 7: Hide/show the shape(s) in the task pane
  • Click the Show All and Hide All buttons located at the bottom of the pane (see Figure 8) to show or hide all the shapes on a slide.

  • Figure 8: 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 2016 for Mac
Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows