Selection Tools

Many tools and commands in smile2 operate on a selection (of objects, groups or points). This section describes how to select objects (or points), and how to operate on them.

Selection Modes

smile2 offers three selection modes for different tasks:

  • Select groups select_groups,
  • Select objects select_shapes and
  • Select points select_components.

Depending on the task, one of these modes should be chosen. In Fig.1 the control buttons where to set the selection mode are shown. They can be found in the Main Toolbar under View tools . Also some tools include this elements in the editor-tools (which can have different operations for different selection modes).


Fig. 1 Selection modes.

select_groups Groups

This selection mode is intended mainly for working with groups.

If this mode is active, “whole groups” are selected. With a single click on an object, alwas the “topmost” group is selected. This mode is important if one wants to change properties of a whole group (Fig.2), not of only one single object.


Clicking more than once on an object that is part of a group hierarchy selects the “child” group of the already selected group. In this way, one can “travel” through the group hierarchy until the “bottom-most” object is reached.


Fig. 2 Selection mode “Select groups” for grouped objects.

The shown Transform settings in the Attribute Editor correspond to the selected group, and not to an object within the group. To unselect the group, click outside on some “free” space.


The Pivot Placement modes for one selected group has the pivot in the selection center as the origin of the group coincides with it.

select_shapes Objects

This selection mode is intended mainly for working with object.

It works very similar to the Groups Mode, but with the difference that in this mode, only objects (“bottom-most” of the group hierarchy) and no groups are selected.


If the “Show Group Membership of selection” group_indicators is switched on (in the second part of the Document view Toolbar) the group membership of the selected object will be shown (Fig.3).


Fig. 3 Selection mode Select objects with function “Show Group Membership of selection” on (b,c) and off (a). Selection of one object (a,b) objects ungrouped, (c) objects grouped.

select_components Points

In this mode individual ‘points’ (eg. the vertices of polygons) of objects can be selected.


A selected vertex of a polygon.


Only points of already selected objects can be selected. However, with a click on a not selected object, the object selection can also be changed in this mode.

Selected points/vertices can be moved, rotated, scaled or deleted (with the delete command. Shortcut Del). There are several other tools that are working only in the Select points mode, eg. the Attach points tool anchor (connect points in special ways) or the Insert points tool insert_points_m) (insert new points to the object contour), or the Bevel edges (bevelCorners) command.


All actions that require one or more selected objects or groups (e.g. booleans) can not be done in this mode.


Selection from Outliner

The Outliner can be used to change the selection. Consult the Outliner chapter for information on how to select object in the Outliner.

Selection with tools

There are two tools dedicated only for selection:

which helps to select objects/points in the Document View. The tools differs only in the “boundaries” (Fig.5): The Select tool can be used to select rectangular regions, while the Lasso selection tool can be used to select objects inside an arbitrary region.


Fig. 5 Selection tools: Select tool (a) and Lasso selection tool (b).

The object can be selected with a simple LMB click on it, more objects can be added to the selection by kicking on other objects while the Shift key is held down.


All Manipulation Tools (move, rotate, scale) offer the same functionality as the Select tool.

Many-object selection can be done with the help of the Rectangular select_tool_sm or Lasso lasso_tool_sm selections.


Fig. 7 Three objects are selected with a drag-select operation.

The boundaries determine the selection area and the objects to select. Depending on the chosen drag-selection mode in the document settings (found in the Attribute Editor under Behavior/Selection) one can select only objects that is completely inside the selection area (Fully inside mode) or objects that have some overlap with the selection area (Partially inside mode) (Fig.6). In both cases objects outside stay unselected.


Fig. 6 Drag-selection mode for object selection in the Attribute Editor.


During a drag-selection the Shift and Ctrl keys can be held down with the following effect: Ctrl

Adds not-yet selected objects to the selection (inside the selection area)
Adds not-yet selected objects to the selection. Removes already selected objects form the selection.

Selection Filter

In complex documents with many different objects in one layer which have overlapping cross-sections it is sometimes difficult to select the “right” object with the standard selection tools. To exclude some objects form being selected, the selection filter can be used. The filter is located the document view toolbar and consists of several buttons which enable/disable the object types that can be selected (Fig.10).


Fig. 10 Selection filter.

Each button in the selection filter corresponds to a certain object type. For example, to restrict the selection to object of type Position Marker all the buttons can be unchecked except the button sfMarkers (which enables the marker type). For more information about the selection filter and corresponding types see the Document view toolbar.


Independently on the filter state ANY object can be selected from the Outliner!