Selecting the graphical element requires placing the mouse pointer over the element and then clicking the primary mouse button. Gnumeric indicates the element is selected by drawing eight 'grab handles' around the element; these are small circles at the four corners and in the middle of the four edges of a rectangle surrounding the graphical element.
The mouse pointer will also change shape when placed over a selected element or over the element's 'grab handles'. When the pointer is placed over a selected element, the mouse pointer will change to the 'move' shape, ; when the pointer is placed over the element's 'grab handles' it will change to one of the resizing mouse pointer shapes, which are presented in Section 4.8 ― The Mouse Pointers used by Gnumeric.
Some elements, such as the widget scrollbars, may be difficult to select because they interact themselves with the primary mouse button. An alternative selection process, which involves first invoking the context menu and then dismissing it, can be used for these elements and will work with any graphical element. When the mouse pointer is anywhere over the graphical element, clicking with one of the secondary mouse buttons will cause the element to be selected and a context menu to appear. If the primary mouse button is then pressed while the pointer is anywhere over the desktop other than over the menu, the context menu will be dismissed but the element will stay selected.