Selection.Select Method (Visio)

Office 2013 and later

Contribute to this content

Use GitHub to suggest and submit changes. See our guidelines for contributing to VBA documentation.

Selects or clears the selection of an object.

expression .Select(SheetObject, SelectAction)

expression A variable that represents a Selection object.




Data Type





An expression that returns a Shape object to select or clear.




The type of selection action to take.

Return Value


When used with the Window object, the Select method will affect the selection in the Microsoft Visio window. The Selection object, however, is independent of the selection in the window. Therefore, using the Select method with a Selection object only affects the state of the object in memory; the Visio window is unaffected.

The following constants declared by the Visio type library in VisSelectArgs show valid values for selection types.






Cancels the selection of a shape but leaves the rest of the selection unchanged.



Selects a shape but leaves the rest of the selection unchanged.



Selects a shape whose parent is already selected.



Selects a shape and all its peers.



Cancels the selection of a shape and all its peers.

If SelectAction is visSubSelect, the parent shape of SheetObject must already be selected.

You can combine visDeselectAll with visSelect and visSubSelect to cancel the selection of all shapes prior to selecting or subselecting other shapes.

If the object being operated on is a Selection object, and if the Select method selects a Shape object whose ContainingShape property is different from the ContainingShape property of the Selection object, the Select method clears everything, even if the selection type value does not specify canceling the selection.

If the object being operated on is a Window object, and if SelectAction is not visSubSelect, the parent shape of SheetObject must be the same shape as that returned by the ContainingShape property of the Window.Selection object.

This Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro shows how to select, clear, and subselect shapes.

Public Sub Select_Example() 
 Const MAX_SHAPES = 6 
 Dim vsoShapes(1 To MAX_SHAPES) As Visio.Shape 
 Dim intCounter As Integer 
 'Draw six rectangles. 
 For intCounter = 1 To MAX_SHAPES 
 Set vsoShapes(intCounter) = ActivePage.DrawRectangle(intCounter, intCounter + 1, intCounter + 1, intCounter) 
 Next intCounter 
 'Cancel the selection of all the shapes on the page. 
 'Create a Selection object. 
 Dim vsoSelection As Visio.Selection 
 Set vsoSelection = ActiveWindow.Selection 
 'Select the first three shapes on the page. 
 For intCounter = 1 To 3 
 vsoSelection.Select vsoShapes(intCounter), visSelect 
 Next intCounter 
 'Group the selected shapes. 
 'Although the first three shapes are now grouped, the 
 'array vsoShapes() still contains them. 
 Dim vsoGroup As Visio.Shape 
 Set vsoGroup = vsoSelection.Group 
 'There are now four shapes on the page—a group that contains three 
 'subshapes, and three ungrouped shapes. Subselection is 
 'accomplished by selecting the parent shape first or one of the 
 'group's shapes already subselected. 
 'Select parent (group) shape. 
 ActiveWindow.Select vsoGroup, visDeselectAll + visSelect 
 'Subselect two of the shapes in the group. 
 ActiveWindow.Select vsoShapes(1), visSubSelect 
 ActiveWindow.Select vsoShapes(3), visSubSelect 
 'At this point two shapes are subselected, but we want to 
 'start a new selection that includes the last two shapes 
 'added to the page and the group. 
 'Note that the subselections that were made in the group 
 'are canceled by selecting another shape that is 
 'at the same level as the parent of the subselected shapes. 
 'Select just one shape. 
 ActiveWindow.Select vsoShapes(MAX_SHAPES), _ 
 visDeselectAll + visSelect 
 'Select another shape. 
 ActiveWindow.Select vsoShapes(MAX_SHAPES - 1), visSelect 
 'Select the group. 
 ActiveWindow.Select vsoGroup, visSelect 
 'Select all but one shape on the page. 
 ActiveWindow.Select vsoShapes(MAX_SHAPES - 1), visDeselect 
End Sub 

© 2015 Microsoft