Selecting and Moving Objects

The Select tool is used to select strokes in the Stage view, and apply basic transformations such as repositioning, rotating, scaling or skewing, using the different handles of the bounding box.

When you use the Select tool and select an object such as a stroke or text, it properties are displays in the Tool Properties view in the Panel view. For example, if you have pencil selected, the pencil section displays, or if you have text selected, the text section displays.

NOTE: The Select tool, when used to scale, offset, or rotate objects, retains your selection when switching layers or panels.

To select objects:

  1. In the Timeline or Thumbnails view, select the panel and layer on which you want to select objects.
  1. In the Tools toolbar, click the Select tool or press [Alt]+[S].
  1. In the Stage view, select an object. Select all object in the drawing by pressing [Ctrl]+[A] (Windows) or [⌘]+[A] (Mac OS X ).
  1. To deform or reposition a selection:
To reposition, click the selected drawing object and drag the selection to a new area.
Hold down the [Shift] key and move the selected object to force the bounding box to move in 15 degree increments.
You can also nudge a selection with the Arrow keys, or with [Shift] + Arrow keys to move in larger increments

To rotate the bounding box, rotate the box handle.

To scale, pull or push either on the top, side, bottom or corner control point. Hold down the [Shift] key to lock the selection’s ratio.

To skew, drag sideway or up and down the sides or top and bottom segments, between the control points.

Repositioning a Pivot Point

Some of the transformations such as rotation, scale, skew and flip, are done relative to the position of the pivot point. You can temporarily reposition this pivot point for a transformation using the Select tool.

To temporarily reposition the pivot point:

  1. In the Stage view, select the drawing object you want to transform.

The pivot point appears in the middle of your selection.

  1. Click on the pivot point and drag it to a new position.

This becomes the new position of the pivot point for the current transformation and will remain there until you make a new selection.

NOTE: To permanently reposition the pivot point on a drawing layer, use the Pivot Tool—see Animating Layers.


Select Tool Properties

When you use the Select tool, its properties and options appear in the Tool Properties view. The view changes according to what you select. For example, if you selected text, then the text properties are displayed.

Lasso and Marquee

Choose between the Lasso and the Marquee, to change the style of the Select tool.

Click and hold [Alt] to temporarily switch from the current mode to the other.

Snap Options

You can enable different snapping modes to help you when repositioning your drawings using the Select tool.

Snap to Contour

The Snap to Contour option will snap your selection to any line you position it on.

Snap and Align

The Snap and Align option lets you snap the selected anchor point to any existing line while displaying temporary rulers as a guide that you can also snap your anchor point to.

NOTE: Refer to the Reshaping a Drawing Using the Contour Editor Tool topic to learn more about the Snap Options utility.

Select by Colour

You can rapidly select all drawing parts painted or drawn with the colour you have selected in the Colour view.

Select All Drawings in Scene

You can select all the drawings in a scene.

Flipping Areas Horizontally and Vertically

Once you have selected areas from a drawing, you can flip them horizontally or vertically.

The Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical operations flip the current selection Horizontally or Vertically. If no strokes are selected, the layer will be flipped. If you select more than one layer, they will all be flipped individually.

To flip an area:

  1. Select the area to flip.
  1. Do one of the following:
In the tool properties, select the Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical button.
Press 4 to flip horizontally. Press 5 to flip vertically.
Select Tools > Transform > Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical.

Rotating Areas

Once you have selected areas from a drawing, you can rotate them by 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise.

To rotate an area:

  1. Select the area to rotate.
  1. In the tool properties, select the Rotate 90° CW or Rotate 90° CCW button. You can keep rotating areas at 90 degree increments by clicking the button again.


The Smooth operation is used to smooth out selected drawing strokes and remove extra points.


The Flatten operation is used to merge drawing objects and brush strokes into a single layer. If you draw new lines to fix a drawing or a line with many brush strokes, it can be useful to flatten them all into a single shape. By default, lines are drawn one on top of each other, if you intend repainting the lines or modifying their shape, it will be easier if they are flattened.

You can also access this option by selecting Tools > Flatten from the top menu or by pressing [Alt]+[Shift]+[F].
If you have selected strokes while using the flatten command, only these strokes will be flattened. If no strokes are selected, the entire current layer will be flattened. If you have selected multiple layers, they will all be flattened individually.

Pencil Selection

When working with vector layers, use the Pencil Selection field to resize the selected centre line strokes. This operation is not permitted on contour line shapes, such as brush strokes or shape fills.

Using Values to Transform Strokes

When you select strokes with the Select tool, you can offset, scale, and rotate them by entering absolute values, by using a percentage.

When using the percentage parameter, you can lock the X and Y values by clicking the Lock icon.

Selecting Text

When you select text with the Select tool, the Text tool properties are displayed at the bottom of the view.

You can also press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[T] (Windows) or [⌘] +[Shift]+[T] (Mac OS X).