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John D
John D, BS Degree in Engineering
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 9666
Experience:  Worked on Macs and PC's for 20+ years.
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Select multiple objects on a spreadsheet I have just upgraded

Customer Question

Select multiple objects on a spreadsheet
I have just upgraded from Excel for Mac 2008 to 2011 and cannot locate the Select Tool in the new setup. Tedious and impractical to Shift + Click on dozens of tiny objects in a tech drawing, I need to draw a marquee (?) around them and group them.
Can anyone assist please?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.



To select all objects on the sheet, click Edit > Go To > Special > Objects


Hope this helps


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks John D,

That's not quite what I want. Edit > Go To > Special > Objects selects EVERY object in the spreadsheet.

What I am looking for is the 2011 equivalent to the white arrow in 2008 version that allowed you to draw a rectangle around a subset only of the objects in the spreadsheet. Everything in the rectangle and only those within it are then selected.

Does such a facility still exist in Excel:mac 2011?


Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.



There should not be any difference between the two versions in this regard


Is this what you have in mind. If not, could you send me a screenshot





Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have taken a screen shot but do not know how to send it, perhaps you have a suggestion? I will try to attach it to my reply to your last email advice.

Let me try to describe my need in case the screen shot does not reach you. If I create a technical drawing with lines, arrows, text boxes etc, I may end up with 50-100 objects (which may include some groups of objects). Many of these could be created at x 200% Zoom so you can see that to select some of them for copying or to be grouped would require a tedious number of Shift + click operations.

I want to draw a rectangle around my choice of objects and select only those enclosed in it. The white arrow in the drawing toolbar in Excel 2008 did that. I cannot find how to recreate that move in Excel 2011.

The solution you offered selects ALL of the objects on the ENTIRE spreadsheet including spare lines and text boxes set to one side for later use.

Hope this makes it more clear.

Regards, David.
Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.



Ok go to and upload the image file (no need to signup) then copy the "File ID" number (or the download link) that you will be given and paste it here in your reply.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
File ID: 446818
File size: 57.5 KB
Time to live: 7 days
Download link: shot Excel multiple objects.png
Forum link: Screen shot Excel multiple objects.png

Did you get the email I sent with image attached? I guess it went into the Black Hole of the system instead of back to you.

Its 1 am here in Eastern Australia so I may need to retire soon, 'tomorrow is another day' has already happened for me!

Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.

I see what you mean


In later versions of Excel the select object tool is in the Find & Select button under the Home tab. Just choose Select Object from there and then drag the mouse across the objects that you want to select


Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for clicking Accept if you are satisfied with the solution



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks so much for persevering - I'm trying to hold on to a conclusion, and it's just gone 3 am!

Nowhere can I find a 'Find & Select' button, it is definitely not under the Home Tab on my screen. There are only Past, Fill and Clear buttons under Home. I cannot find it under any other tabs either.

I have checked to see if there are any toolbars or icons not displayed and checked Excel Preferences but can find no more.

I am using Microsoft Excel For ac 2011; Version 14.0.0 (100825); Latest Installed Version 14.0.0 if that might help.

Over to you.


Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.

You are still up?


Ok this should help you locate the Find & Select option



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I found everything shown in that image EXCEPT the binocular icon. Nowhere could I locate it. The drop down menu for 'search in sheet' (actually "Quick Search"?) offers a choice of 'search in sheet', 'search in workbook', 'advanced search' and 'replace'. No icons. I don't think there's a drop down menu I haven't tried!

Nearly 4 am, Good Night and thanks for your help so far John. I've learned a few other things on the way anyhow. I trust I will awake to find the final answer waiting for me.

Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.

Ok I will try to find another resource/image. In the meantime don't forget to click Accept as this is the only way I get credit for helping. Thanks


John D and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.

Thanks David


Well I did some additional research on this but it seems that Microsoft for some strange reason has not included the select object tool in Office 2011.


However you should be able to add it using the Customize Toolbars feature (View > Toolbars > Customize Toolbars) as shown in this video


If you still can't get it I can write a macro that will automate this task (i.e, select all objects in the selected range). Let me know


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Wed 26 Oct 2011
Good Morning John,

Surfaced thismorning to find your request to Accept Answer, which I did, and later, your link to the little video by the NZ economist.

I have been through it a few times and attempted unsuccessfully to apply it in my situation. The 'select' commands available to me there ( under View > Toolbars > Customise Toolbar and Menus) are three in number: 'selected object', 'select visible cells' and 'select current region'. The command/icon in the video for 'Select Drawing Objects' doesn't appear to be there or anywhere else, at all. I tried all three of the commands provided but cannot discover how they work.

I accept your offer to write a macro - happy to pay for this and the time you have already put in.

In coming days I will not be able to maintain our exchanges at the same pace as previously but I'll hang in there.

Thanks and Regards,

Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.



I can set up the macro on a sample file and send it to you but you will need to copy it and adapt it to your actual file. If however you're not familar with macros I suggest that you send me your file so I can set it up on directly.


Let me know




John D and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I assume that I can take it as a macro on a spreadsheet and then copy it across to the Excel Normal Template. Otherwise there is no file for me to send to you.

I created and used Excel macros extensively in the 80s and 90s things have changed a good bit since then but I should be able to handle the transfer. I haven't used VB or its successor since then either.

Thanks and regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I haven't used macros since the mid 90s, no doubt things have changed a bit. However, I am confident I can struggle through.

I want an icon for "Select Drawing Objects" to appear in my Excel application to be used in whatever file is open when i need it, so there is no file to send to you. (It needs to be able to select a number of objects whether all of one type or a combination of different objects, pictures, graphs, drawing objects, whatever.)

Is it feasible to send me a spreadsheet (.xlsx) with the macro included and I shall endeavour to copy it across. I want it to go into the Normal Termplate, not a .xlsx file.
Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.



I can only send you the code in an "xlsm" file with a button applicable to that sheet only. So you will need to know to copy the macro with the button to each of your other sheets, which will not be easy unless you know how to do it. That's why I asked you to send e your file




Expert:  John D replied 5 years ago.

Hi David,


I haven't heard back from you, so in order not to leave the issue open I went ahead and wrote the macro


Here is the file with the macro



Please note that since there is a macro in the file you need to make sure that you have your Excel Options configured so that macros are allowed to run, otherwise nothing happens when you click the button. If you need assistance in this regard please let me know,.and provide the version of Excel you are running


Hope this helps