Select or deselect controls on a worksheet

To work with controls on a worksheet form — for example, to group, copy, resize, or format them — you must first select the controls or cancel the selection. There are several ways to do both.

 Note   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.

What do you want to do?


Select a single control that is not contained in a group

  • If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  • 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

There are several ways to select multiple controls that are not contained in a group.

Use the mouse

  1. If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  1. To select multiple controls one control at a time, hold down CTRL while you click each control.

Use the Selection Pane

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

  1. If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select.Excel Ribbon Image
  2. Do one of the following:
  • To select objects that are hidden, stacked, or behind text, click Select Objects, and then draw a box over the objects.
  • 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.

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Select a single control in a group

  1. If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  1. Click the selection border of the group (group: A collection of objects that behave as one for the purpose of moving, resizing, or rotating them. A group can be composed of multiple sets of groups.).

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

ActiveX control border

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

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Select multiple controls in a group

  1. If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  1. Click the selection border of the group (group: A collection of objects that behave as one for the purpose of moving, resizing, or rotating them. A group can be composed of multiple sets of groups.).

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

ActiveX control border

  1. Hold down CTRL while you click the controls that you want to select.

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Select a group that contains controls

  • If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.

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. If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  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

  • If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  • On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Find & Select, and then do one of the following:
  • Click Select Objects, and then use the mouse pointer to draw a rectangle around the objects that you want to select.
  • 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. If one or more controls is an ActiveX control:
    1. Make sure that the Developer tab is available.

ShowDisplay the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Excel Options.
  1. In the Popular category, under Top options for working with Excel, select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box, and then click OK.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

  1. Make sure that you are in design mode. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, turn on Design Mode Button image.
  1. Do one of the following:
  • To cancel the selection of one or more controls, click anywhere outside the control, set of selected controls, or group border.
  • 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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Applies to:
Excel 2007