Version 96 (modified by leni, 9 days ago) (diff)

bigger icon ; changed from BR to
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Select, Move, Scale and Rotate Objects

source:trunk/resources/images/mapmode/move/move.png Keyboard shortcut: S (Press S twice for source:trunk/resources/images/mapmode/rope.png Lasso selection mode) — is one of the working modes

Select mode

This mode is to change the selection of objects on the map.

The selected objects are drawn in a different style (red color by default); depending on preferences and the active styles. They are listed in the Selection window.

The cursor icon will also change depending on the selection mode.

Select the single object

Single left mouse click is used to select an object

Cursor: with node source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/select_node.svg; with way source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/select_way.svg

Activation steps: Left mouse click

Action: Select a node or way under mouse cursor.

More precisely, previously selected object(s) will be replaced with new object and displayed in Selection window.

Unselecting an object

Cursor: with node source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/select_node_remove.svg; with way source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/select_way_remove.svg

Activation steps: hold Ctrl when using Left mouse button

Action: a way or node will be removed from the currently selected objects

Cycle in dense or overlapping objects with pop-up

Cursor: none

Activation steps:

  • Middle mouse click to cycle objects with small pop-up
  • Left mouse click while holding the Alt (or AltGr) key to cycle through nearby objects without showing a pop-up window

This is useful when:

  • certain way which shares common nodes with one or more other ways
  • multiple objects overlap
  • multiple objects very close to each other
  • selecting between multiple nodes if they appear as single node (multiple dots appear as one)

Action: it will show a pop-up window of nearby objects and to cycle through them. To make this type of selection the default, and thus not require the use of the Alt key, change the advanced preference selectaction.cycles.multiple.matches to true. Holding Ctrl afterwards to directly select an object.

Double click selects surrounding

Cursor: none

Activation steps: Double mouse click

Action: select the surrounding object (area or multipolygon).

Selection rectangle

Select multiple objects using selection rectangle

Cursor: source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/selection.svg

Activation steps: hold and drag the Left mouse button around objects


  • Release the Left mouse button - to select all objects within the rectangle, more precisely:
    • all nodes within the rectangle and
    • any ways which are entirely within the rectangle will be selected
    • previously selected objects will be replaced with new object(s) and displayed in Selection window
  • Hold the Right mouse button when releasing the left mouse button - cancel the selection rectangle

Hold right mouse to move rectangle

You can move defined rectangle as many times as you want: simply hold right mouse button and move mouse cursor around.

Pay attention that in order to select elements, you should release right mouse button first, then left mouse button.


When the mouse button is released and either Alt, Shift or Ctrl is held, action will changed; 3 paragraphs below cover it in detail.

Combination of modifiers
  • Alt can be combined with Shift
  • Alt can't be combined with Ctrl - as this is used for the scale command
Alt modifier

Cursor: none

Activation steps: Alt

Actions: in addition to the normal behaviour, select all ways that have at least one node within selection rectangle

Shift modifier

Cursor: source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/select_add.svg

Activation steps: Shift

Actions: the objects are added to the current selection

Ctrl modifier

Cursor: source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/select_remove.svg

Activation steps:

Actions: remove all objects in current rectangle from selected objects (if there were any); nothing is added to the current selection.


You can move the whole selection by moving the pointer close to a selected object, click and drag the pointer.

Moving is also possible with Shift + Arrow keys.

source:trunk/resources/images/mapmode/improvewayaccuracy.png Improve Way Accuracy - over time many mappers switch to this tools instead of manually selecting-and-moving each node

Drag a Midpoint creates New Node

Activation steps: clicking and dragging a yellow cross in the middle of a segment; at any point in time, there N mid points to drag where N is number of segments.

Action: will insert a new node at the location of the cross

Merge nodes

Cursor: source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/modifier/joinnode.svg

Activation steps: hold down Ctrl and drag one selected node onto an unselected one

Action: merge selected nodes with another; internally it will simply use Merge Nodes - please read more details there.


Cursor: source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/rotate.png

Activation steps: Shift+Ctrl + Left mouse button and moving mouse up and down

Action: rotate selected nodes and ways around their geometrical centre.

Rotation at defined angles is possible via the ShapeTools Plugin.


Cursor: source:trunk/resources/images/cursor/scale.png

Activation steps: Ctrl+Alt + Left mouse button and moving mouse up and down


  • scale selected nodes and ways around their geometrical centre. Proportions will be kept.
  • if used only on 2 nodes, it will move them from or to their mid point (depending on mouse move)

Advanced details

Whether a mouse action is considered a selection or a move depends on some settings, to prevent objects from being moved when a simple selection was intended; this is particularly important on devices such as tablets that are touch sensitive or use a stylus. If the pointer is moved between pressing and releasing the left mouse button, the object will only be moved if the pointer moved more than 5 pixels or was held down for more than 0.2 seconds, otherwise the object will simply be selected. These two settings can be changed with the advanced preferences edit.initial-move-threshold (pixels) and edit.initial-move-delay (milliseconds).

See also

Back to Edit Toolbar
Back to Main Help

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