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Select, move and edit content on the page

You may want to select existing content on the page to edit or move it. There are two main ways to select objects.

The Lasso Tool

The Lasso Tool is one of the most useful and powerful tools in Goodnotes. It allows you to select objects on the page and do all sorts of things on them, such as:

  • Move around the page
  • Copy and paste 
  • Resize and rotate
  • Convert handwriting to text or rendered math (Math Conversion is currently only available to subscribers)
  • Take a screenshot of anything on the page that is selected
  • Change Pen and Highlighter stroke colour 
  • Delete selected items
  • Add to Elements

Using the Lasso Tool

With the Lasso Tool, you can lasso an area on a page by circling it. By default, a circular (free-form) lasso is used, but you can switch to the rectangular lasso from the contextual section so that you can drag your pen diagonally to create a frame to enclose the content you want to select.

Start by selecting the Lasso Tool in the Handwriting Toolbar. Then select objects created in Goodnotes (handwriting & highlighting, text boxes, images), by drawing a loop/frame that encloses all the desired items on the page. (If the loop/frame is larger than intended, it might select unintended objects nearby, too.)

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To perform an action on the selection, tap on it to bring up the pop-up menu as shown above.

  • Take Screenshot - Takes a rectangular screenshot of the selected area. This screenshot can then be shared.
  • Resize - This lets you resize or rotate the selection.
  • Arrange - This lets you send the selection to the topmost ("Bring to Front") or bottommost layer ("Send to Back"). 
  • Color - This lets you change the color of handwriting, highlighting, or typed text.
  • Convert - Converts your handwriting to typed text, which can then be shared or copied to paste it back to the page as a text box. The convert tool will also be able to convert your handwritten mathematical equations into rendered math with LaTeX.* You will be offered the option of Text or Math after selecting Convert.
  • Cut/Copy - Cuts/Copies the selection. You can then long-press on the page with your finger and choose Paste.
  • Delete - Deletes the selection
  • Add Element - Lets you save content for efficient reuse across Notebooks. See Elements Tool: Enrich and reuse your notes

Pro Tip: You can move a lassoed selection across pages in vertical scrolling

Select only particular types of objects

By default, the tool selects every kind of object that you created on the page, but in case you want to select a particular type, tap the tool twice and enable only the relevant option. For example, if you want to select handwriting on an image, excluding the image itself, make sure Handwriting is enabled and Images disabled.


Universal Object Selection 

You can conveniently select whole objects, namely images and text boxes, without using the Lasso Tool to circle them. This allows seamlessly manipulating different types of content without constantly switching to the Lasso Tool and back to an editing tool.

For example, if you're handwriting some notes and an existing text box or image gets in the way, you can easily select the object with a single finger tap on it while the Pen tool is still active. Then you can reposition the selected object and resume writing your notes. In fact, this feature works when you're using any editing tool!

Turn off Universal Object Selection

Sometimes, you may not want the feature activated, for instance, if you are editing a Notebook with a lot of objects on the page and don't want to accidentally move these. You can switch this off while in the Document View, by opening the More menu (...) in the top-right corner > Document Editing, then disable "Image and text box".