Selecting Objects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 3, 2015)

1

The Windows interface relies on a series of objects to represent either logical or physical items. For instance, there are objects that represent files, hardware devices, and other resources. The existence of an object within Windows is shown by an icon. This means that every icon you see in Windows represents an object, either logical or physical.

There may be times when you need to select an object. This is natural, because Windows requires that you select an object before you can act upon that object. Selecting a single object is easy—you simply point at it with the mouse pointer and then click on the left mouse button. The method that you use to select multiple objects may not be as evident, however.

There are two ways that you can select multiple objects. The first allows you to select all of the objects between a starting point and an ending point. For example, if you have a list of files shown on the screen, you can select a consecutive group of files by following these steps:

  1. Select the first object that you want in the group.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and select the last object that you want in the group.

The second method of selecting multiple objects is to select a noncontiguous group. To do so, you can use the following steps:

  1. Select the first object that you want in the group.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and select the next object that you want in the group.
  3. If necessary, hold down the Ctrl key and click on an object that you previously selected; it is then removed from the group.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you select all of the objects that you want in the group.

Once you select the objects that you want to act upon, you can then specify the action. For instance, you may want to move a group of files to another drive or you may want to delete a group of icons on the desktop. Each of these actions is more efficient when you take the action only once on an entire group of objects, rather than repeating the steps to perform the action on individual objects.

 This tip (10861) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Inserting an Em Dash

Em dashes are often used to combine independent clauses or to signal digression within a sentence. Here's how to add one of ...

Discover More

Making Use of Extra Labels

Got extra labels left over after printing a mail merge? Here's what you can do to put those labels to good use.

Discover More

Determining Month Names for a Range of Dates

Given a starting date and an ending date, you may want to generate the names of all the months between those two dates. This ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding the Start Menu Search Box

The Start Menu Search Box is a great addition to Windows. It can save you a great deal of time by putting frequently used ...

Discover More

Understanding Virtual Memory

Computers can address far more locations than may exist in physical memory. The key to this feature is the use of virtual ...

Discover More

Regaining Control of Your System

The Windows Task Manager is a useful utility that provides information about what's running on your system. You can also use ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 + 8?

2015-08-03 10:13:20

Jennifer Thomas

You can also drag over icons to create a 'select box'; all items covered between when you press the left mouse button and begin dragging to when you release the left mouse button are selected (you can see the select box borders as you drag). This is quite useful for selecting objects in the desktop or any other folder when they are displayed as icons.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.