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Using Selection Boxes Efficiently



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The ability to use selection boxes efficiently can give you an advantage and greatly increase productivity. To learn how to better use selection boxes in Pointwise, refer to the sphere in a cube example geometry and apply similar steps to make use of selection boxes for your own geometry.

Sphere in a cube example geometry

There are two different selection box styles for Pointwise: Inside and touched by box (selects all entities inside and touching the selection box's boundaries) and Inside box only (only selects entities entirely inside the box). These styles can be changed in the Edit, Preferences panel under Selection.

  1. Edit, Preferences
  2. In the Selection frame next to Selection Box, toggle on Inside and touched by box.
  3. Close

Depending on your geometry or preferences, one style may suit you more than the other. Or you may like to use both. Suppose we want to select all the sphere's entities.

  1. Place the mouse to the upper left of the outside of the sphere.
  2. Left-click the mouse and hold.
  3. Drag the selection box down and to the right of the sphere.

  4. Notice the box icon below the mouse that has a line through and outside the box. This icon means that we are selecting entities using the Inside and touched by box style.


  5. Release the left mouse button.
Inside and touched by box selection with corresponding icon
Result of Inside and touched by box selection

Not only the sphere's entities were selected, but also some of the entities on the cube because they touched the selection box. For this example, the Inside box only selection style is preferred. However, changing the preferences every time we want to switch selection box styles can be tedious. We will use a shortcut instead.

  1. Place the mouse to the upper left of the outside of the sphere.
  2. Hold the Shift key.
  3. Left-click the mouse and hold.
  4. Drag the selection box down and to the right of the sphere.

  5. Notice that the box icon below the mouse has changed and only has a small line entirely inside the box. This icon means that we are now selecting entities using the Inside box only selection style.


  6. Release the Shift key and left mouse button.
Inside box only selection with corresponding icon
Result of Inside box only selection

Now, only the sphere's entities were selected. The Shift key allows us to quickly toggle back and forth between the two different selection styles.

Multiple selections using Ctrl and Shift keys

The View icons on the toolbar are an additional way to make selection easier. Suppose we want to only select the top and bottom entities of the geometry.

  1. Click on Recall View +Z on the toolbar.

  2. Make sure that your view is set to Orthonormal. Go to View, Set View Type, Orthonormal.


  3. Hold the Shift key and draw a selection box around the bottom of the cube.
  4. Hold the Ctrl and Shift keys and draw a selection box around the top of the cube.

  5. The Ctrl key allows you to make multiple selections at one time.


  6. Release the Ctrl and Shift keys and left mouse button.

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If you have questions about the steps outlined above or on any other meshing topic, please contact us via one of the following methods.

  • Send a question using the Get Help form.
  • Call our support engineers toll free at 800-4PTWISE.
  • Email our support engineers at support@pointwise.com.