DesignSpark Mechanical Online Help



You can select vertices, edges, planes, axes, faces, surfaces, rounds, bodies, solids, and components in 3D. In 2D, you can select points and lines. You can also select circle and ellipse centers, the midpoints of lines and edges, and the internal points and end points of splines.




You can select components and other objects in the Structure tree and use the Selection panel to select objects in the same part that are similar or related to the object currently selected.

Objects that can’t be selected are dimmed in the Design windowClosed.

Your selection list is shown in the status bar at the bottom of the DS Mechanical window. Status bar labels display both pre-selected and selected objects. Hover over the status message for a detailed list of what you have pre-selected or selected, including primary and secondary (Alt+selected) objects.

Select modes

You can click the arrow on the Select tool to use the following optional modes:

No matter which mode you use, the objects that will be selected are highlighted to preview your selection. You can use the Selection filterClosed to control what gets selected. To select or deselect all available filters, select the All checkbox.


If you entered the DesignClosed tab with sheet metal features selected, the Select tool will work as it does in Sheet metal. Right click on the sheet metal part in the Structure treeClosed and choose Suspend Sheet Metal in the context menu.

To select

The most commonly used selection methods are:


Click once to select a face:

Double-click to select and cycle through chains of similar, connected faces (face loops):

Triple-click to select a solid:

Click once to select an edge:

Double-click to select and cycle through chains of connected edges (edge loops):


Detailed instructions

  1. Select the Select tool from the Edit ribbon group.

  2. Hover over the vertices, edges, faces, bodies in the workspace to preview the selectable items in your design.

    If multiple objects occur at your cursor location, use the scroll wheel or arrow keys to preview each one.

    Click to select a vertex, edge, face, or body in 3D; click to select a line or point in 2D.


    To select: Do this:

    All the edges around a face or closed loop

    Double-click an edge or line. Double-click again to select the next loop of edges. Repeat as necessary. You can also right-click the edge or line and choose one of the loop options in the Select menu.

    When you repeatedly double-click outside surface edges, the selection cycles through open loop, tangent chain, and face loop, then repeats through that list.

    All tangent faces

    Double-click a face. (Tangent facesClosed are created by rounds or when edges are drawn on a face.)

    Contiguous edges or faces

    Click one face or edge, then Shift+click another face or edge to select all the faces or edges between the two.

    The sides (but not the top and bottom) of a solid

    Triple-click the solid and Ctrl+click the top and bottom to remove them from the selection.

    A solid or surface body

    Triple-click the solid, or right-click on the solid and select Select > BodyClosed.

    An entire sketch

    Triple-click the sketch.

    A component

    Right-click on the component and select Select > ComponentClosed. This option is available only when you right-click an object within the active component.

    All objects of same type as selected object

    Select an object and press Ctrl+A.

    All the objects in the active component (except layout surfaces)

    Click Select All in the Select tool menu, or right-click and select Select > Select All from the context menu. The types of objects selected depend on whether you are in Sketch, SectionClosed, or 3D mode.

    LayoutClosed surfaces

    Click the object in the Structure treeClosed.

    Anything within a selection box

    See Box-selecting.

    A lightweight component

    Check the Lightweight Components box in the Options panelClosed. Then right-click and select Select > ComponentClosed.

    The inverse of the current selection (in the active component)

    Right-click a selected object and select Select > Inverse Selection.

    A protrusion

    Right-click on a protrusion and select Select > Protrusion.

    A depression

    Right-click inside a depression and select Select > Depression.

    One member of a pattern

    Right-click a pattern member and select Select > Pattern Member.

    All members of a pattern

    Right-click a pattern member and select Select > All Pattern Members.

    Anything partially in a selection box

    Click and drag from the lower right to upper left when drawing a selection box.

    The inverse of the current box selection

    Press and hold Ctrl while box-selecting to toggle the selected state of the objects within the selection.

    Objects that are behind other objects ("query selection")

    Hold the Ctrl key and turn the mouse wheel.


    If any object was part of a group selection used to perform an action, the other parts of the group are highlighted when that object is selected. Click again to select the entire highlighted group.

    When selecting within a view on a drawing sheet, you can only select those objects that are on the cross-section plane, or that are within the boundary of a detail view. Box selecting in Sketch modeClosed selects only sketch lines. Box-selecting in Section modeClosed selects only section lines.

    (Optional) Ctrl+click and Shift+click to add or remove items from the selection set.

    Ctrl+click to add or remove one item from the selection set. Shift+click to add everything between your first click and the Shift+click to the selection. You can add or remove items both in the workspace and on the Structure treeClosed. You can also press Ctrl and drag to add the items within the selection box to the selection.

    (Optional) Alt+click to create a secondary selection set.

    Hold down the Alt key while performing any of the other selection techniques (double-click, triple-click, Ctrl, Shift) to create the second selection set. Alternate selections are shown in blue, and are used to guide the actions of the PullClosed and MoveClosed tools.

To clear a selection

Click any empty space in the Design windowClosed or select Clear Selection from the Select tool menu.

To revert your selection

Click Revert Selection in the status bar to go back to your previous selection.

This tool is especially useful when you accidentally clear your selection or add the wrong object and want to go back to your previous selection. You can find this tool next to the Selection filterClosed in the status bar.

To select by turning the mouse wheel

The up and down arrow keys work the same as the mouse wheel. Hover over the element you want to select, and press the up or down arrow keys to "scroll" through the possible selections. This is useful if you are on a laptop or when you use a mouse that doesn't have a scroll wheel.


For more information about selecting facets and the related tools, see Selecting Facets.


Tool guides


Within the Select tool, the following tool guide is available:


The Select tool guide is active by default. This tool lets you click, double-click, triple-click, Ctrl+click, Shift+click, and Alt+click to select items.


The following options are available for sketches:


Maintain sketch connectivity

Keep the connection between a sketch curve and other curves that share its end points. If you deselect this option and move a sketch curve, the curve will move independent of other curves.

Cartesian dimensions

Select a point in a sketch and then click this option to see Cartesian dimensions from the point. Cartesian dimensions show you the X and Y distances from the point you select. If you don't have a point selected, it shows you the X and Y distances from the origin. When you select a point, the X, Y, and Z locations display in the status bar.

Polar dimensions

Select a point in a sketch and then click this option to see Polar dimensions from the point. Polar dimensions show you an angle and a distance from the point you select. If you don't have a point selected, it shows you the angle and distance from the origin.

SnapClosed to grid

Select this option turn snapping on or off while sketching. The cursor will snap to the minor grid spacing increment while you sketch. The defaults are 1 mm for Metric and 0.125 in for Imperial units. See Units options to change the minor grid spacing.

SnapClosed to angle

Select this option to turn angle snapping on or off while sketching. The cursor will snap to the angular snap increment while you sketch. The default is 15 degrees. See Snap options to change the angular increment used for snapping.

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