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Selecting multiple objects in group (in Designer)

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When double clicking a group with multiple objects, how can I drag-select without "exiting" the group?


Right now when I drag-select after entering a group, the context switches to the parent, and I select the whole group. Is this not possible in AD? Is the only option shift-selecting all the items individually?


The problem is worse if all this is on top of another shape. Then, the background shape is moved instead of selecting object.

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Shift plus click to add objects


Press down Alt and drag a marquee completely around the objects you want. You do need to be outside the first object when you start to drag or it copies the object.


If you press Alt and the right mouse button, then drag a marquee, it will select objects the marquee just touches, rather than completely surrounding them. You must release the left mouse button first. Again, you do need to be outside the first object when you start to drag or it copies the object.


Alt plus click selects hidden (or buried) objects. 




Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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Thank you both for your help!


So the good newsis that there's a way it should work: the ALT+click+drag.

The bad news is that it doesn't work for me. It behaves just like a normal selection, basically selecting the whole group.

(btw I'm on mac ;) )




I attached a short video, and in it, after entering the group, I first do ALT + drag-select (which doesn't work) and then I try the CMD + drag-select which works as intended, but has the downside of selecting objects from all groups. 

AD selection.mov



Is there a setting somewhere or maybe a custom key binding that could affect the ALT method? Should I report a bug somewhere?



AD version 1.5.5 and a couple of betas including latest. 

OSX 10.11.6,   I'll try on a newer OS tmrrw




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Hi sldx,
There's no way to select all objects inside a group (dragging a marquee around them) if they are overlapping other objects. The shortcuts described don't work because as soon as you press ⌘ (cmd) (direct selection) it will override the ⌥ (option/alt) pressed initially to bypass the object/group below where you started dragging the marquee thus picking objects from that group as well.

Have you tried to use layers instead of groups (not sure if it's applicable to your case)? You can limit the scope of the selection to just one layer disabling the Edit All Layers icon on the bottom left of the Layers panel. So click once on an object on that layer (to select it - the layer) then dragging a marquee around all objects will pick just the ones that belong to that layer. To quickly convert a group to a layer, select the group then go to menu Layer ▸ Promote Group to Layer (you can set up a shortcut for this in Preferences, Keyboard Shortcuts).

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Oh I see, thx for the clarification. 

Don;t know about how others work, but to me, an isolation mode would be so handy. For all UI layouts that I'm working on I keep things grouped. But when I try to change the layout inside a group, it's super awkward: I have to use either the layer palette which is not visual so I don;t know what I'm selecting, or locking things which again is a lot of work on the layers pane, and shift clicking is a most of the times out of the question for the sheer number of objects. 


I think the layer trick might work, I'll have to try it some more, but seems odd to be honest. Because if I promote a group to layer, then I loose the group functionality, objects are just free as a bird. 


I'll post a feature request, maybe others have this problem too.



(later edit: didn't know the ALT-drag to avoid dragging, it's so useful! It saved me a lot of layer locking. thx!)

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True, but still requires quite a bit of layer-pane clicking, which I try to avoid like the plague. And I feel the workflow: group -> promote group to layer -> group again -> edit all layers off -> finally select, is not the best workflow for something I use a lot. 


I proposed a solution, if anyone's interested.

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What would help would be the possibility to assign a shortcut to Edit All Layers.


You could click the shortcut for Edit All Layers, select an object and then unset Edit All Layers. That way only the layer including the object you just selected could be edited. And so on.


At least I think so O.o


I did look but it is a glaring omission from preferences. Or maybe I just need new glasses.

Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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  • 1 year later...

AEC industry, CAD, PS, Ill, etc for 30 years. Dumbest selection process I have ever seen. You absolutely must be able to Marquee ANY OBJECT and it becomes selected all the way from front to back, whether it is on one layer, sub-layer, within a group, hidden, whatever,. If it inside the marquee (or crossing if you prefer) it MUST become selected. This is how you locate missing objects. I have thousands of objects easy. What am I supposed to do scroll thru the layer list inside a group....using "select next" or "select previous" or clicking with option key down? ...What if you forget what group an object is in and you have 2000 objects within many different groups? Unbelievable...frustrated!!! Sorry.....Makes this otherwise decent and affordable program unusable.

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  • 1 year later...

I don't like the way this works in Affinity either. Should be able to double-click "into" a group and then know that I'm in that group, and only acting on that group, until I decide to exit from it.

However... I think there is a kind of a workaround for this, or at least it seems to work for me at least sometimes.

1) Select a single object within the group

2) Leave it selected

3) Now draw a marquee

4) It seems to select multiple items, but only items in the same group as the single "selected" item from stage (1).

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