Please add a way to easily multiselect items

Once we do a bit of work, or if we import something like a STP file, and when we want to organize the different things that we have, it seems like currently there is no way to select a multitude of items without physically clicking on each. If this is done with the Pencil we tap them all, and if selecting by tap we must hold shift to select more than one.

It is then possible to put all the items we selected into a new folder by making a new folder.

This works great, the only problem is that if we have something complex this can easily be 50 items we have to tediously click. So please, let me request:

  • Shift+Apple Pencil to select a range of items, e.g. select all from the previously selected one to the one just clicked
  • Shift+Cmd+Apple Pencil to add to the current selection the range from the previously clicked item to the one clicked
  • Possibly make these above also work the same for regular tap/trackpad click
  • Sorry slightly off-topic, but i would really appreciate the ability to click-hold on any UI element (or hover with trackpad) to get a tooltip for it. Just providing a name is sufficient. Example: Isolation mode button. Current workaround: Undo to get a prompt which hints for what the button did.

Hopefully this request makes sense.


I don’t quite know what you mean?
There is already a tool for Area selection. Hold down on your pencil and it should pop-up

Yes you are correct. I am talking about the linear list of objects that are generated that you can use to select items. This is called the Items Manager as far as I understand it:

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Oh I see now. You just want to like drag select or a key command select more items in the menu. That makes sense yeah!

Yes I like this: starting a tap-hold-drag on a non selected item to initiate a drag selection. We would maybe also want it to do an autoscroll or let you scroll with another finger.

I think drag based selection might be required now that I think about it. I was having tunnelvision since I use my iPad with a magic keyboard, so what I suggested in terms of modifier keys and clicks would be nice, but not relevant to most users.

Hey @unphased , that makes a lot of sense. I haven’t really seen any good implementations of a touch based tree view with a gesture based multiselection functionality. All the implementations I’ve bumped into are quite hidden and/or clumsy. Do you have an app in mind where this works really well?

Could you do it with a Select button to expose “checkboxes” and then tap or drag to select? That’s how the Apple Mail app works in iOS: you can simply drag through the “checkboxes” to select multiple contiguous messages.

What about the same method as the area selection, but in the items menu?

I can’t say that I have seen it in the wild, and the ux effectiveness isn’t a given. I would need to implement or mock it and play with it to say for sure if I believe 100% that it’s the way to go. I have built many UIs but not many touch ones. These alternatives suggested by @TheBum and @NathanD are also pretty nice ideas. Thank you for the suggestions!

I’ll also note another way I’ve seen something like this is the way Gmail works: if you tap the circular icon next to each email entry it becomes a checkbox (so all these circle icons function as a “select” button, really), and when you’re selecting, tapping anywhere henceforce toggles select.

I must say that I like the Gmail method the least and can say I’ve found it less intuitive than the Select button Apple method, which is surprising since I now know exactly how it works, and it should involve fewer actions, but it’s simply unintuitive. It’s arguably less powerful than even what is in the items manager today. Furthermore, Gmail’s doesn’t let you drag to select a range rapidly like we’re discussing.

Building on this brainstorm session, consider iOS Photos behavior. If you drag horizontally it initiates multiselect, and dragging vertically is the ordinary scroll behavior.

This might be ideal as it avoids my idea which would force a tap-hold. And this turns out very similar to @NathanD’s suggestion.

What do you think @Istvan_CEO_Shapr3D? I worry that it could potentially remain unintuitive because unlike Photos, the Item Manager is not a grid of items. With a grid of items, the horizontal swipe-to-initiate-selection gesture is a little bit more natural compared to a list that has indentation.

The thing I would explore to address this concern might be to have like an animating blue selection color sort of grow out as you swipe right on anything, to provide visual feedback that a horizontal swipe is gonna engage a selection-related action.

Side note: shapr3d is awesome! I installed Fusion360 on my M1 Max Macbook the other day and guess what, that thing is unusable (i might be able to hack up something elaborate in BetterTouchTool to let me actually use it) and has a dealbreaking bug where it flat out freezes when resuming the computer from sleep. What a dinosaur. Thanks for showing everyone what CAD should be about.

Sounds like an idea that is worth exploring! The touch items menu will get a facelift sooner than later, we will definitely investigate what we can do to make selection easier.

Really glad to hear that you like Shapr3D better :slight_smile: