Select or deselect controls on a worksheet

You can group, copy, resize, or format controls on a worksheet form.

Notes: 

  • You cannot combine Form controls or ActiveX controls with Drawing Tools or SmartArt Tools objects (such as Shapes and SmartArt graphics) in the same group selection.

  • Make sure the Developer tab is visible on the ribbon. For more information, see Show the Developer tab. Then make sure the Design mode is enabled. To do this, click Developer > Design Mode (in Controls group).

    Design Mode on the ribbon
  • When you’re done working with controls, you need to turn off Design mode.

What do you want to do?

Select a single control that is not contained in a group

Select multiple controls that are not contained in a group

Select a single control in a group

Select multiple controls in a group

Select a group that contains controls

Select hidden or stacked controls

Select controls and objects that are on the drawing layer

Cancel the selection of one or more controls

Select a single control that is not contained in a group

  • Click the selection border of the control.

    The control border for a Form control appears as a dotted pattern and a series of sizing handles:

    Form control border

    The control border for an ActiveX control appears as a series of sizing handles:

    ActiveX control border

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Select multiple controls that are not contained in a group

Using the Selection Pane makes it easier to select one or more objects, and to show, hide, or change the order of objects.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select.

    Find & Select on the ribbon

  2. Do one of the following:

    1. To select objects that are hidden, stacked, or behind text, click Select Objects, and then draw a box over the objects.

    2. To open a task pane where you can select, multiselect, show, hide, or change the order of objects, click Selection Pane, and then click the options that you want.

Tip: To select controls using a mouse, press and hold the CTRL key until the controls are selected.

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Select a single control in a group

  1. Click the selection border of the group.

    The group selection border appears as a series of sizing handles:

    ActiveX control border

  2. Click the control that you want to select inside the group.

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Select multiple controls in a group

  1. Click the selection border of the group.

    The group selection border appears as a series of sizing handles:

    ActiveX control border

  2. Press and hold the CTRL key until the controls are selected.

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Select a group that contains controls

  • Click the selection border of the group.

    The group selection border appears as a series of sizing handles:

    ActiveX control border

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Select hidden or stacked controls

To select a control that is hidden or under other controls:

  1. Select the control that is on the top layer.

  2. Press TAB to cycle forward or SHIFT+TAB to cycle backward through the controls.

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Select controls and objects that are on the drawing layer

  • On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select, and then do one of the following:

    1. Click Select Objects, and then use the mouse pointer to draw a rectangle around the objects that you want to select.

    2. Click Selection Pane, and then use the pane to select one or more objects.

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Cancel the selection of one or more controls

  1. Do one of the following:

    1. To cancel the selection of one or more controls, click anywhere outside the control, set of selected controls, or group border.

    2. To cancel the selection of one control at a time in a set of selected controls, hold down CTRL and click the control.

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