Updated: 08/03/2018 by Computer Hope

SelectSelecting is the process of highlighting text or picking an object. For example, a user may select text to copy, cut, or move that text to an alternate location or select a file they want to view. If something is selected, you can deselect text or another object by clicking somewhere else on the screen.

Selecting options

When selecting from options, checkboxes are often used as shown below. Clicking the mouse or tapping your finger on a touch screen will select each checkbox you click.

Check box example.
Check box #2.
Check box #3.

Tip: If you are using the keyboard and a checkbox is highlighted, you can press the spacebar key to select or deselect a checkbox.

How to select text

You can also select text by double-clicking on a word to select the word or triple-clicking to select the full sentence or paragraph. Below is some text that can be used to practice this form of selecting text.

Tip: You may deselect text by pressing the Esc key.

How to select a file, folder, or another icon.

To select a file, folder, or other icons on the computer click your left mouse button once.

Tip: Once a file or folder has been selected you can copy the file, delete the file or folder, or move the file or folder.

Tip: You may deselect a file, folder, or another icon by pressing the Esc key.

Selecting a portion of an image

The steps required for selecting a portion of the image can vary depending on the image editor you're using. However, with most image editors to select a portion of an image use the marquee tool and drag a box around the portion of the image you want to select. Once selected, you could crop that portion of the image or copy it into another picture or program.

How do you deselect one icon from a group of highlighted icons?

With most programs, if multiple files, pictures, icons, or other items are selected, you can hold down the Ctrl key and then click each highlighted item you want to deselect.

Drag-select, Highlight, Marquee, Select all, Software terms