Selecting Actors

Overview of methods available for selecting Actors in the Level Editor viewports.

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Selecting Actors, while simple in nature, is an important part of the level-editing process. The ability to quickly and easily select the Actors that you want to work with enhances productivity and speeds up the design process.

There are many different ways to select Actors, or groups of Actors. Each of these is detailed below.

Simple Selection

The most basic method of selecting Actors is simply to Left-click on them in the viewport. Clicking on an Actor will deselect any currently selected Actors and select the new one instead. If you hold down the Ctrl key while you click on a new (unselected) Actor, the new Actor is added to the selection. If you hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on a selected Actor, the Actor is removed from the selection.

This method is good for selecting small numbers of Actors or several isolated Actors spread out across the map, but it can be slow and tedious for selecting large numbers of Actors.


When you select multiple Actors, you can then move them as a group, and you can modify their properties simultaneously in the Details panel.

When you have two or more Actors selected, you can add them to a group for easier selection and manipulation. For more information about grouping Actors, see Grouping Actors.

Selecting with the World Outliner

The World Outliner is a panel in the Unreal Editor that contains a list of all Actors in the level. You can select and deselect individual Actors in the list the same way you would in the viewport. In addition, you can range-select by clicking one Actor, holding down Shift, and clicking another Actor to select those Actors and all the Actors in between them in the list.

Selecting any Actor in the World Outliner also selects it in the viewport, and vice versa.

Marquee Selection

Marquee selection is a quick way to select or deselect a group of Actors within a certain area in the viewport. This type of selection involves holding down a combination of keys and dragging with the mouse to define a box. All the Actors within the box will be selected or deselected depending on the combination of keys and mouse button that is held down while the mouse is being dragged.


The following table shows the possible keyboard combinations for marquee selection.

Keyboard Shortcut


(Left Mouse Button) LMB

Replaces the current selection with the Actors contained in the box.


Adds the Actors contained in the box to the current selection.


Removes any select Actors in the box from the current selection.

Advanced Selection Techniques

You can select Actors that share specific things in common, such as class, asset type, or Material. To see your selection options, Right-click a selected Actor, click Select, and then review the list of options on the context menu.

The options available on the Select context menu vary depending on what is selected. For example, if you have a Static Mesh selected, you will see different options than if you have a Blueprint selected.

Select by Asset

In addition to selecting related Actors, you can also do the following with the Select context menu:

  • Invert your current selection (in other words, deselect everything that is selected and instead select everything that was not selected) by clicking Invert Selection.

  • Select lights that affect your Actor by clicking Select Relevant Lights.

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