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Selecting Objects

To change the properties of an object, you first need to select it. As you might expect, there are several ways to do this.

To select an object:

Do one of the following:

  • Click the object in the Canvas.

  • Click the object in the Layers tab.

  • Click the object in the Timeline (for more information on working with the Timeline, see Chapter 5).

Selecting an object in one of these areas selects it in all of them. When the object is selected, a bounding box appears around the object in the Canvas, the object row becomes highlighted in the Layers tab and in the Timeline, and the object bar in the Timeline darkens. (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1. When you select an object in the Canvas, a bounding box appears around it. Selecting an object in the Canvas, Layers tab, or Timeline selects it in all three places.


✓ Tips

  • The object you want to select may be obscured behind another object in the Canvas, making it difficult or impossible to select by clicking it. In this case, it’s easier to select the object using the Layers tab.

  • While you’re in the Layers tab, you can temporarily hide the object(s) in front of the object you want to work on by clicking the Active check box under the On column for each object you want to hide, or you can Option-click the selected object’s Active check box to “solo” the object and make all other objects inactive and therefore hidden. Option-clicking the same check box again makes the rest of the objects visible again (active). Note that you can still manipulate inactive objects by changing their Position, Scale, Rotation, and other properties.


Don’t Forget to Play!

Remember that you can do pretty much anything you want in Motion while the project is playing—this unique capability opens up your creativity because you can see your project unfold in real time as you build it. However, if the object you want to select and manipulate is moving because you have previously animated it, it could be a little difficult to grab! In those cases, pause playback to make your adjustments.


To select multiple objects:

Do one of the following:

  • In the Canvas, click one object to select it; then, hold down the Shift key and click additional objects.

  • In the Canvas, click in an empty area and drag a bounding box around the objects you want to select.

  • In the Layers tab, select one object by clicking it, then either Shift-click another object to select all objects in between, or Command-click additional objects one at a time.

When you select multiple objects using any of these methods, bounding boxes appear in the Canvas around every selected object (Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.2. If you select multiple objects, then bounding boxes will appear for each one.


✓ Tips

  • Drawing a bounding box in the Canvas is a good way to quickly select multiple objects that are all in the same area.

  • To select two groups of objects, draw a bounding box around one group, then hold down the Shift key and draw a bounding box around the second group.

  • To select all objects in the Canvas (including all layers that contain objects), choose Edit > Select All or press Command-A. To deselect all, choose Edit > Deselect All, press Shift-Command-A, or just click in a blank area of the Canvas.

  • To remove an object from a selection, Shift-click it in the Canvas or Command-click it in the Layers tab.

  • You can also select objects by using the Timeline tab in the Timing pane. The Timeline is discussed in Chapter 5.


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