Selecting multiple objects (to copy or align)

Tuesday 10 November 2009 @ 11:23 pm

Have you ever copied a group of objects and then pasted them to another section or another report?  When you click “paste” you only see one of the objects on your cursor and the rest appear when you click on the page.  So which object is the one you see first? The one on the right? The left?  So you guess and select a spot for that object (oops), click undo, try again (oops), etc.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly which object is on your cursor so you know how to align the group?  Or even better, wouldn’t it be nice to select this “cursor” object at the time of the copy?

The same challenge comes up when you select a group of objects and want to align them all by their bottoms, lefts, etc.  Which one will sets the alignment position for the others?

Both of these are simple to control if you remember that the last object is the “Leader”. This is because the last item you select is the one that currently has Crystal’s focus.  So whichever one you clicked on last is the one that will be on your cursor when you copy and paste.  The same holds true when you do alignment.  The one you click on last is the one that shares its alignment coordinates with the others.

The trouble comes when you select a group of objects without individual clicks.  You might use the Lasso to select the group, or you might right-click on the name of a section and use “Select all section objects”.  In these cases it is had to determine which object is considered the Leader.  Fortunately there is a simple way to appoint the leader object in a group.  Once you have selected the entire group you can either:

1) Hold down your CTRL key and click the object you want to be the leader once, and then click it a second time.  This takes it out of the group (temporarily) and then puts it right back in.  And because you added it last it becomes the Leader.

2) Click one of the selected items in the group.  As long as you click on a selected item it becomes the leader.  But if you click anywhere else your entire group is cleared.

Now you can copy the group and click paste and align the object on your cursor to where the leader object should be pasted.  And if you align a group of objects they will all take their position cue from the leader.

1) Hold down your CTRL key and click the object you want to be the leader once, and then click it a second time.  This takes it out of the group (temporarily) and then puts it right back in.  And because you added it last it becomes the Leader.

2) Click one of the selected items in the group.  As long as you click on a selected item it becomes the leader.  But if you click anywhere else your entire group is cleared.








2 Responses to 'Selecting multiple objects (to copy or align)'

  1. Dean Holsonbake - November 23rd, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    No need to hold down CTRL, deselecting and reselecting an object, to make the object the leader; simply click any grouped item and it will be promoted to the group leader. Just be sure not to misclick an ungrouped item or empty space – you’ll deselect your whole group! I use CR10.

  2. Ken Hamady - November 23rd, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Good point, thanks.


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