I'm trying to figure out an easy way to select multiple paths in inkscape 0.48, ubuntu.

I've read in Inkscape (4th Edition) by Bah, that you can left drag and a rectangle will display and select the objects within the mouse (pg. 135). The rectangle appears but nothing is selected or only 1 path will be selected. (For reference, I've seen this action described in some documentation as "rubber-band selecting").

I've also tried the Alt+Left Mouse Drag: "Touch Select Multiple Objects: This will select all objects that the mouse cursor touches while being dragged.... multiple paths as found in engravings or hair. Holding the Shift down will prevent dragging an already selected object if the drag begins over that object." This isn't working because I'm on linux and there's a key conflict.

I have made sure that the paths are on the same layer and I am able to select them and manipulate them if I click on each of them while holding shift.

Any other suggestions ?

Grouping them will enable me to select multiple paths at a time, but I don't want to click on every path in order to create the group in the first place.



3 Answers 3


You are using the correct procedure to select multiple paths, but there's an aspect to consider, you need to have the rectangle covering the entire portion of each path intended to be selected:


Notice that the rectangle covers the three desired paths completely, covering all of their edges.

  • What if the objects are connected? (for example through arrows made with nodes, tangencies...) When I select and move the end of the arrow I woul like it to move just the nodes not the whole arrow
    – skan
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 14:12

According to the Inkscape FAQ, under "How can I make Alt+click and Alt+drag work on Linux?" there are two solutions:

  1. Re-map keyboard shortcuts in Inkscape to use a key other than "alt".

  2. Change which key is used by your Linux window manager for moving windows around.


From version 0.46 onwards there is an option in the ~/.config/inkscape/preferences.xml file to allow another modifier key to be used as an alias for Alt within Inkscape. The option is "mapalt" under group "options" and has a numerical value. This value equates to the modifier key that is mapped to Alt, 1 indicates Alt, ie, no mapping). The value you need to use depends on the setup of your particular keyboard and may be 2, 3, 4, or 5. The program xkeycaps available from www.jwz.org is useful in finding which mod values are assigned to which keys on your keyboard, as well as setting them. The value associated with a particular key is shown in that program at the top of the screen beside the word "Modifiers" when the mouse is held over a key on the main display.

Note that this setting makes the new key an alias for Alt in every keyboard shortcut, not just those concerned with the mouse.

Or you can re-map the key that your window manager uses to move windows around. Instructions are given for various window managers, eg Gnome 3:

Under GNOME 3, open a Terminal window and type:

gconftool-2 --type string --set /apps/metacity/general/mouse_button_modifier '<Super>'

This actually changes the key used for dragging windows around to the "Super" key (another term for the "Windows" key on keyboards with a Windows key).


Old thread, but maybe when this was asked we faced the same issues Howard Stark did (I'm limited by the technology of my time..) Anyway, this worked for me on Inkscape 0.92.0 r15299 on Windows 10

  1. Click on Edit Paths by nodes (F2)
  2. Select a node (path) object
  3. Go to Edit → Select same → Object Type or press Shift + Alt + A

This will select all of the nodes in your file.

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