One method to select an underneath object (and other objects deeper in Z-order) is clicking it (repeatedly) with while holding the Alt key down.

Is there another method, maybe with some advantage?

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is.

Hold down the Alt key and rotate the mouse wheel.

The advantage of this method lies in temporary displaying

  • the currently selected object in full opacity, while

  • all other objects in the stack as semitransparent.

                                        enter image description here

  • That does not seem to work. I think you mean you should open the "Layers & Objects" dialog first.
    – s.ouchene
    Jun 16 at 20:56
  • @s.ouchene, no dialog is necessary. It works just out of the box.
    – MarianD
    Jun 17 at 7:34
  • I have tested that on both Inkscape 1.3-dev and Inkscape 1.2 and it doesn't work unless you use the Layers & Objects dialog.
    – s.ouchene
    Jun 17 at 12:52
  • @s.ouchene, I don't know how to help you, for me, it works both in Inkscape 1.1 and 1.2, without opening any dialog. I wish you to solve it somehow.
    – MarianD
    Jun 17 at 13:40
  • Sorry, I misread the post, my bad. on the L&O dialog it highlights objects (not necessarily overlapping) but in your answer, the trick works only with overlapping objects.
    – s.ouchene
    Jun 17 at 13:48

I recommend learning to make selections in the objects panel as an alternative. It can happen that something has been sunken below opaque bigger shapes - you cannot Alt+Click it because its place is not sure. But it can be selected by clicking in the objects panel. There you can access also items inside groups.

In complex works it's useful to rename at least some items and groups in the objects panel. Renaming layers is even more useful if there's several of them.

In objects panel one can lock and also hide items which shouldn't be got selected accidentally.

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