Proceedings: GI 2009

QuickSelect: history-based selection expansion

Sara Su, Sylvain Paris, Frédo Durand

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2009: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, 25 - 27 May 2009, 215-221

  • BibTex

    author = {Su, Sara and Paris, Sylvain and Durand, Fr{\'e}do},
    title = {QuickSelect: history-based selection expansion},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2009},
    series = {GI 2009},
    year = {2009},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-470-4},
    location = {Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada},
    pages = {215--221},
    numpages = {7},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
    keywords = {2D drawing, grouping, operation history, selection},


When editing a graphical document, it is common to apply a change to multiple items at once, and a variety of tools exist for selecting sets of items. However, directly selecting large sets can sometimes be cumbersome and repetitive. We propose a method for helping users reuse complex selections by expanding the set of currently selected items. We analyze a document's operation history to determine which items have been frequently edited together. When the user requests it, items that have been previously edited with the current selection can be added to it. The new selection can then be manipulated like any other selection. This approach does not require a semantic model of the document or relations between items. Rather, each expansion is based on what the user has done so far to create the document. We demonstrate this approach in the context of vector graphics editing. Results from a pilot study were encouraging. Reusing selections with pre-existing histories, users were more efficient at editing tasks with our QuickSelect tool. Subjective preferences from a usability study in a free drawing context indicate that selection expansion is easy for users to learn and to apply.