Using the Selection and Visibility Pane

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2015)

4

Word includes a handy management tool called the Selection and Visibility pane (in Word 2010) or the Selection pane (in Word 2013). This tool is meant for working with objects in your document, particularly shapes and images. To use the tool, display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon and click the Selection Pane tool in the Arrange group. The pane appears at the right side of the document. (The Selection Pane tool is a toggle; clicking it a second time hides the pane.)

The purpose of the pane is to list all the objects on the current page. You can then use the controls in the pane to hide or display the objects or to change the order in which they appear. Assuming there are objects listed for the current page, note that there is a small icon at the right of each object's name. Click this and you alternately hide or display the object.

When you select an object in the Selection and Visibility pane Word also selects it in the document itself. With an object selected you can adjust the ordering of that object, relative to other objects on the page, by clicking the up and down buttons at the bottom-right of the pane. Ordering only has practical value if your objects overlap each other in some manner; in that case the ordering determines which object is in front of or behind the other objects.

It should be noted that the Selection and Visibility pane displays only the objects on the currently displayed page, not all the objects in the document. This means that as you scroll through the document, what is listed in the pane will necessarily change as you move from page to page.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8342) applies to Microsoft Word 2010 and 2013.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Shortcut for Full-Screen Mode

Want to get rid of almost everything on the screen except your document? Here's how to easily maximize what you see.

Discover More

Elapsed Days as Years, Months and Days

Need to know how many days there are between two dates? It's easy to figure out—unless you need the figure in years, ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files

Hidden text is a great boon if you want to make sure something doesn't show up on the screen or on a printout. If you want to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Using Object Anchors

An object anchor is used to signify the point at which an object is inserted into a document. If you want to see these ...

Discover More

Setting the Wrapping Default for Objects

Want to have objects such as text boxes and shapes always appear using some formatting you like? Here are some ideas on ...

Discover More

Changing the Size of a Drawing Object

Documents are often made up of more than just text. If you have drawing objects in your document, you will doubtless need to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 0?

2016-05-21 11:26:01

Phil Reinemann

Is there a similar selection tool in Word 2011 (OSX)? [I know 2011 is 2010 plus one but that doesn't always mean it's better or with more features than 2010.]


2016-04-04 20:10:03

Derek

Do you know where this selection pane is located with microsoft word 2016 on Mac?


2016-01-05 04:39:19

Charles

The Selection Page option will be greyed out if you are looking at a document in the old (Word 2003) .doc format even if you're using Word 2007 etc


2015-09-16 15:54:03

Chris

And it's only possible to hide/show/reorder images that have a text wrap setting other than "In Line With Text".


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.