If I understand if I want to create a mask all the objects must be in the same layer. (if previously are in different layers, they move to one layer only). I find difficult to keep organized when I have many objects in the same layer. For instance, I have shadows behind some objects and I cannot even select them and make changes. My question is what is the best way to organize different objects in the same layer in Inkscape? How to select an object that is in the bottom of the layer and it's very close to other objects?

3 Answers 3


If you have the latest Inkscape 0.92, you can use Alt+mouse wheel to scroll through the selection of objects hidden under another.

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  • I use a mac and I have the Apple Mouse that has no scroll wheel, so I cannot check that
    – Nrc
    Dec 16, 2017 at 16:43
  • The equivalent of a scroll wheel on an Apple Mouse is to swipe your finger up and down on the end surface. Does that work for you in Inkscape?
    – fred_dot_u
    Dec 16, 2017 at 17:21
  • I tried that, but it does not work or there is something I do not know
    – Nrc
    Dec 16, 2017 at 17:24
  • I also tried crtl + alt + finger up and down and it does not work
    – Nrc
    Dec 16, 2017 at 17:26
  • @Nrc - Alt+click also works on PC to cycle through selections, but without the preview under the top object. Not sure about a Mac however - perhaps try Option+click
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 16, 2017 at 18:07

How to select an object that is in the bottom of the layer and it's very close to other objects?

With Ctrl-Alt-Mouseclick you can iterate through the z-axis to pick hidden objects.

The mouse has to be over the hidden object, it's not sufficient to be above the hiding object. Considering Billy's demo, you have to be over one of the circles, to include them in the iteration.


The answer of @Billy Kerr is right in Windows. I have a mac and it does not work.

I have a Mac, so I have to go first to XQuartz (general menu up left) > Preferences > Input > "Option keys send Alt_L and Alt_R"

With that, Alt + click will select the top object, the second click will select the object behind and so on.

If you have a Mac Mouse (Magic Mouse) it also works alt + finger up and down to the surface (that's the equivalent of the scroll wheel in other mouses)

  • Ok, sorry, I have corrected
    – Nrc
    Dec 18, 2017 at 16:39

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