Select anchor points

All path and shape objects are built from a series of anchor points (also sometimes named points or nodes). To change an object's shape, you often have to select one or more of these points. When you select an object by using the Selection tool or Group Select tool, all the anchor points are selected. Microsoft Expression Design offers two tools for selecting individual anchor points:

  • Direct Selection tool Cc294671.a4e92365-1fd6-473c-b727-1487d8a466c9(en-us,Expression.40).png

  • Lasso Selection tool Cc294671.81bef400-2dac-4493-9ff4-8a9fc9153a33(en-us,Expression.40).png

The Lasso Selection tool has all the features of the Direct Selection tool, but offers more flexibility.

If you cannot see an anchor point, you can click anywhere on the path with the Direct Selection or Lasso Selection tool to highlight the path and its anchor points. You can then select individual anchor points in one of three ways:

  • Clicking   Click an anchor point by using either the Direct Selection tool or the Lasso Selection tool to select it.

  • Dragging a marquee   If you drag the Direct Selection tool instead of clicking with it, you can drag out a rectangular selection marquee. Any anchor point that falls within this selection marquee becomes selected.

  • Encircling   You can use the Lasso Selection tool to drag a nonrectangular selection area (such as a circle or any other closed shape), and all the anchor points that fall within the selection area become selected.

Dragging a selection area with the Lasso Selection tool


Note that if you drag out a rectangular or nonrectangular selection area that touches or cuts across another object, one or more anchor points on that object will also be selected. If you want to select anchor points on one of several overlapping objects, consider putting the other objects on a separate layer and hiding or locking them.


If you select a path or shape and still cannot see its anchor points, the Show Edges feature may be enabled. To disable Show Edges, on the View menu, point to Show, and then click Edges.

Adding or removing anchor points

After you select one or more anchor points, you can select additional anchor points with the SHIFT key. For example, you can press the SHIFT key and click an unselected anchor point to add it to the selection, or press SHIFT and then drag to add a group of anchor points. To clear one or more anchor points from the selection, press the SHIFT key and click a selected anchor point, or press the SHIFT key and drag over selected anchor points.

You can clear all anchor points by clicking anywhere on an empty part of the document, or, on the Select menu, click Deselect from the Select menu (or press CTRL+SHIFT+A).

Quick Select

With the Quick Select feature enabled, you can select an anchor point just by clicking it, even when the object itself is not yet selected. You can then move the object in one dragging action. If the feature is not enabled, you cannot select anchor points on a path until you first click the object once.

To enable or disable Quick Select

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Options, and then click General (or press CTRL+K).

  2. In the General panel, under General, select or clear the Quick (area) select check box.

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