Powerpoint: how do I select something without moving it!?

ARG! I’m not very experienced with Powerpoint but I’m having massive problems with one specific thing that is driving me ape. Every time I select something, it gets nudged just a tiny bit, so I have to do an “undo” every time to undo the nudge but keep the select. It doesn’t matter how still I keep the cursor when I click, it always does this.

Also is there a way to select a group of things without holding shift and clicking each one? (Especially since with my nudging problem, that means shift-click-undo-click-undo-click-undo etc)

Also: is there a way to lock something so that it can’t be selected? I’m about to murder someone because I am having trouble clicking on something without the thing behind it being selected instead… ArG!!! This program and my brain do not mesh well.

You have to select all the way around it; if you exclude any part of from your, what, lasso, it isn’t selected. Once you get used to this, it makes certain things easier. But you have to be able to switch your brain over from Adobe-type selection to MS-type selection if you go back and forth like I do. Eventually it’s second nature.

So in your second example, select around everything, then hold the shift, and deselect each item you don’t want included.

Try using Move to Back (under right-click) on the thing you don’t want to select.

If nothing is selected (click outside the slide area or press ESC) you can cycle through selecting each slide object by using the tab key.

I don’t have PowerPoint on this computer to test it right now, but in AutoCAD, if your start your lasso from the top left and take it to the bottom right, it acts like you’ve described. If, however, you start it at the bottom right, it will select everything that’s partially in the lasso, too.

If all of the above fails, you can always try to zoom in a bunch and see if it helps in breaking out the two forms. But as yoyodyne said, the tab key should work. If you’re still stuck, I’d be happy to try tinkering with it if you can email the file in the next few hours.

Santo, just tried that on my version (PPT 2003, SP3) and no joy.

Sorry, just re-read your OP and zooming in may not help with the problem. Tab key will, though.

Tab scrolls through all object contained within the slide. Just make sure you first mouse down in Slide Pane so the focus is in the right place.

Thanks for all the tips, guys. I do use the “move to back” and so on but sometimes I can’t do that for whatever reason, and it’s frustrating :X

Is there a way to select something by clicking on it (rather than encircling it) without having it move? I frequently have grouped objects that, when selected, encompass pretty much the whole slide, so grabbing EVERYTHING and then deselecting all the stuff I don’t want would be…uh…time consuming.

Using tab to select an object will not move it anywhere. You don’t even have to be touching the mouse.

But you have to scroll through a bunch of things. If I have 50 things on the page I don’t want to tab through to get to the one I want, I want to just click on it…

Ah, OK. I didn’t know how busy your slide was. You could turn on Snap To Grid, which may give you some leeway when drag selecting, since it won’t move unless it’s a few twips closer to a coordinate. You;'d get some wiggle room, but not much. You could also change the zoom to get a better grab at the specific object you want.

Shift-click on an object will restrict its movement to vertical or horizontal only, so a small movement at an angle may not register.

Try reducing the sensitivity of your mouse a bit. You can find mouse properties in the Control Panel. For my mouse driver, the sensitivity control is in the Pointer Options tab.

I use a thumb ball, so I can lift my thumb from the ball when I click. I suspect that running out to buy a new kind of mouse and then getting used to it is not the best solution for you.

I’m going to have to try that Tab trick – didn’t know about that one.

I don’t use a mouse (I hate them: you have to actually have clear desk surface space to use them–can you imagine?!), I use a trackball (the kind with the big ball that you use three fingers on, then use the thumb for the buttons. I can completely not be touching the ball at all and just have the mouse over the item, then when I push the button, the little bastard moves :frowning:

And yes, these are very busy slides. It’s my art portfolio and in addition to the layout items there are pages of thumbnail images and so on and lots of different areas of text, blah blah blah.

Well heck! It might be worth it to try changing the mouse’s sensitivity, but that sounds like a quirk with the mouse, not any problem I’d expect from PowerPoint. Good luck.

I was having the same problem with objects moving upon selection in Win PPT 2003. The culprit turned out to be a ‘feature’ found, not in any sensible place (like maybe the Options menu), but buried multiple layers down under the Drawing toolbar: Draw > Grid and Guides … > Snap objects to grid. Turn off that checkbox & it should solve the problem. The companion checkbox “Snap objects to other objects” looks suspiciously capable of producing the behavior too, so you might want to get that puppy while you’re at it.

I know this is an old thread, but it was the top Google hit on the topic, so posting here in hopes of saving someone else some grief.