Learn tips and tricks for using the software more effectively. Join Visio MVP Scott Helmers as he demonstrates how to select, multi-select, and subselect Visio shapes. You’ll also learn about lasso select and Select by Type in this online tutorial.
- [Instructor] Everyone who uses Visio knows the two most common ways to select a shape. Simply click on it, as I've done to the conference room table, or draw a bounding box by holding down the left mouse button as you drag. One of the most obvious extensions of those methods is multi select, selecting more than one shape, which you can accomplish by holding down either the shift key or the control key while making additional selections. What some people don't realize is that you can use any combination of those two methods, combining clicks with bounding boxes.
For example, let me draw a bounding box around the table in the Mozart conference room. Hold down shift and draw a bounding box around the Beethoven conference room table and now shift click on the desk and the chair in the reception area to add those to the selection. There's an interesting variation of the bounding box technique that's called "lasso select". It's as though you're surrounding shapes by dragging a rope around them instead of using a straight sided rectangle.
To activate it on the home tab , click select, and lasso select. Click in the background of the page to deselect everything that's currently selected, and let's select the blue chairs and the reception chair and desk but nothing else in that part of the office. Notice as I click and drag it looks like I'm dragging a rope so let's drag this rope around the blue chairs, and around the reception desk, and just so you end up back where you started you now have selected those things that you fully surrounded.
Notice the coffee table is not part of this selection because I did not surround it with my rope. Another technique that can be useful is hidden away behind the same button where we found lasso select, and that's to select by type. Back on the home tab, select, select by type. Notice that I can select shapes by the specific shape type, I can select by their role, connectors, containers and so forth. I can also select by layers.
In this particular case let's select all of the shapes that are groups. So I'm going to click shape type, click none to deselect everything on this dialogue, and then just add a check mark in front of groups, click OK. Notice how many shapes were selected, you might be surprised to see how many shapes in this floor plan are groups. But creating shapes by grouping various components is actually a common shape design technique. And speaking of groups, I'd like to conclude this video by introducing the concept of sub-selections, selecting shapes within a group.
The default behavior for a group is that the first click selects the group and subsequent clicks select members of the group. Let's see how this works on the conference room table that's on the screen now. If I click on this chair on the right side notice that the conference table is selected, if I click the same chair a second time then the chair is selected. Once I'm in sub-select mode, that is in this case the chair is selected, I can sub-select other chairs, other sub-shapes directly.
But as soon as I deselect and go back to a chair then I've started the selection by selecting the group a second click will sub-select. As a final example let's look at this shape which I created for a client. If I click on this database icon there's a group that is selected, if I click a second time then the icon itself is selected. In the upper part of the diagram, same thing is true. Click selects a group, a second click selects the piece of paper icon.
Now in real life these sub-shapes are locked to prevent them from being selected accidentally but you'll find many group shapes that do allow sub-selection as you explore Visio. To select shapes in Visio the majority of the time all you need to do is click on one or more shapes or draw a bounding box. However the techniques in this video will help you work more effectively when you need to include or exclude certain shapes or types of shapes.
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- Decoding Visio versions and editions
- Setting Visio options
- Navigating like a pro
- Taking advantage of hyperlinks
- Managing text on shapes
- Annotating diagrams with comments and callouts
- Inserting text display fields
- Working more efficiently
- Mastering Visio keyboard shortcuts
- Aligning and sizing shapes on a page
- Managing connectors and connection points
- Copying, pasting, and duplicating shapes