Selecting Objects

Use the Selection tool to select objects for the next command or edit operation. The Shift key and the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key are modifiers for selection actions. Create rectangular, lasso, or polygonal marquees around objects to select single or multiple objects. The following table describes the various selection methods.

Selection Action


Standard selection method; selects a single object only

Option-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Windows)

Creates a copy of the object and places it directly over the selected object, unless the preference has been disabled (see Vectorworks Preferences: Edit Tab)


Selects multiple objects as each object is clicked; also can be used to deselect one or more objects without affecting other selected objects

Option-drag (Mac) or Ctrl-drag (Windows)

Places a copy of the object where the mouse button is released; a plus sign displays beside the cursor to indicate a duplicate is being made

Rectangle, lasso, polygon marquee

Selects all objects that are completely contained within the marquee


Reverses the selection status of objects inside a marquee; if objects inside the marquee are selected, this method deselects those objects

Option-marquee (Mac) or Alt-marquee (Windows)

Selects all objects that the marquee passes through, as well as those contained within the marquee

Invert Selection command

(on the Edit menu)

Deselects everything that is currently selected, and selects all visible objects in editable layers and classes that are not currently selected


Reactivates the working plane on which a planar object was created; may also have other behavior such as symbol editing or polygon reshaping, depending on selected settings

Select Vertex in Object Info Palette

(context menu command)

For vertex-based objects, selects a single vertex for editing from the Object Info palette; see Editing Vertex-Based Objects

Force Select 

(context menu command)

Activates the object’s class, layer, or both (as necessary) and selects the object, even if the object could not normally be selected due to a different layer scale, or the current class or layer option settings

To deselect all selected objects, double-click the Selection tool, click in an empty area of the drawing, or press the “X” key twice in rapid succession.


The Selection Tool

Select All

Previous Selection

Coincident Object Selection

Selection and Pre-selection Indicators

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