Affect Multiple Objects At Once

Sometimes, you need to make changes to many objects at once. Those objects might not be sitting conveniently next to each other, and are often at different group levels, so editing them directly on the Canvas may not be possible.

Fortunately, combining the use of the Find pane (Find pane KB video here:, and the filter feature within the Navigator pane (Navigator KB video here:, you can quickly locate the series of objects you want to change and update them all at once.

You have likely noticed that occasionally, you will see the highlight bar within Navigator change from its usual blue color to the yellow-green color. This indicates you have made a selection which spans multiple group levels, and cannot be shown on the Canvas. Normally, you would simply re-check the "focused with Editor" checkbox to make the Navigator bar turn blue again, so that you can continue using Navigator in the most common mode. However, for this purpose, the "unfocused" state of Navigator is very useful.

Please follow these steps in a dsn file that has some Text I/O objects in it:

  • Open your dsn file, then bring up the Find pane.
  • Select the third tab "Find Object" and uncheck "All Object Types".
  • Scroll down in the object list, and check "Text I/O". NOTE: If you have MLTOs and Label objects, also select "Text" and "MLTO" if you want to affect those as well, then click "Find Now".


The results will show something similar to this:

  • In the Navigator pane, click the "Filter Find Results" checkbox at the top-right, and notice that Navigator collapses/filters to only show the results of your current Find pane results/parameters.

  • Notice that the "focused with Editor" check box can still remain checked right now, since we have no objects selected (see "No selection" at the bottom of Navigator).

 If you select just 1 object at a time, the highlight bar stays blue, and shows you your selection on the main Canvas, but if you multi-select some or all of the objects listed, chances are high that they exist at different group levels, and so that check box will uncheck and the highlight bar will turn yellow-green.

Checked with 1 object selected:

Automatically unchecked when multiple objects at different group levels are selected:

  • With all of the results selected, however, you can change all of those objects at once using the "Attributes" drop-down at the top-left of the Navigator pane.

  • At this point, any of the available inputs within the Attributes drop-down can now be changed. For example, you could move all objects over to the right 5 pixels by adding 5 to the current X value (which is the current coordinate of the bounding box of all selected items). As another example, you could use the Font attributes to assign a new font or change the dpi of the fonts on those objects.

While for most day-to-day use, you might click "focused with Editor" and continue using Navigator normally if you ever see your Navigator selection/highlight bar turn away from blue into the yellow-green color, the un-focused/multi-select editing combined with a filtered list from the Find pane provides you with a quick and powerful way to search for and edit many objects at once!


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