I want to be able to select objects under other objects in Inkscape.

After watching a few tutorials I noticed that designers achieve this by clicking at the place where the object is under another object while using a selector tool and pressing Alt. I tried it and it did not work out. What may I have missed while doing the procedure?

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At the last screenshot I am pressing Alt, using the selector tool and click at the place where the ellipse is under the rectangle. But I end up with a rectangle being chosen.

I noticed that clicking twice, while pressing Alt does the job. Is it supposed to be so? Should I always click twice?

2 Answers 2


Alt-click will select deeper objects each time.

So if you have nothing selected, the first Alt-click will select the top-most object. Then the second lowest, then the third, etc.

So your double click may be actually selecting the rectangle and then the ellipse.

If you need to select hidden objects regularly, you may want to switch to outline view (View -> Display mode -> Outline). Here you see the outline of all objects, and directly select the one you wish.

  • Oh! Using outline for the purpose is the best idea I have ever heard! Thanks. Nov 13, 2017 at 13:48

Objects panel shows all layers and objects as an ordered list. You can select any object by clicking it in the list.

Other useful functionality:

  • hiding and locking objects
  • renaming (right-click an object)
  • adjusting opacity
  • changing blending mode
  • blurring
  • changing the order
  • moving from a layer to another


The panel launcher is in Object menu.


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