Adobe InDesign/lost selection tools


QUESTION: I am working on mac with Indesign CS2. Suddenly lost all my selection tools. What can I do? It is urgent!l

ANSWER: Hi Elaine,

Thank you for your question.

When you say selection tools - do you mean the tool panel with the black and white arrows etc?
If you go to Window > Tools it should bring this tool panel back.

Or if you've saved a workspace - you can click on the name of the workspace you've saved and it will bring back the panels, palettes and menu customisation etc and how you placed them around the indesign program.

Hope this helps, if not - please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks H Louise

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes,s the selection tool bar. I don't even have the "tools" in my windows. Could I be missing a plug-in?


Hi Elaine,

So its not even working when you try to call up the panel from the 'Window' menu and then click on 'Tools'?

When you go to the Tool option as described above is the option ticked?

Try the steps as described and shown here -
I would show you an illustration myself but I dont have access to CS2.

If that fails then it could be a preferences issue and I'll talk you through that if the above fails, but the workspace seems to be the more likely issue.

Saving a workspace if the above link works.

Set up your space - without a document being open - with the tool box, control bar, panels, shortcuts and menus customisation and then go to Window > Workspace > Save Workspace.
Once you've saved/created a new workspace - close down indesign. Then re-open it and it should show your workspace as you've saved it. If not go to Window and then choose the name of the workspace ie 'Sheila workspace' - you just saved and it will load. You may have to teach the program to make 'Sheila workspace' the one that you want it to use when the program opens by repeating the process if it does not load when you open it.

This method is the one I would use first and then try deleting the preferences as a last resort.
Deleting the preferences I would suggest would be - for example when the content of menus or panels don't show properly - like the paragraph panel when you click on it - doesn't show all the options etc.

To delete the preferences - close the program down then hold down the Command-Option-Shift-Ctrl keys (on Windows, hold down Control-Alt-Shift) while you start the program up again by clicking on the shortcut icon on your desktop. It might take some practice getting it to do it but it should then come up with a box with the message - “Delete InDesign Preferences File?” Release the keys and click Yes. InDesign will complete the boot-up process and start a fresh. Then its a case of re-creating your workspace and menu options etc as I've described earlier.

Useful links -

Hope that helps, any further questions don't hesitate to ask.

Adobe InDesign

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


H Louise


I am an artworker in the newspaper industry working with both newspaper and glossy products. I can answer most questions on the Adobe Creative Suite CS3 (Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat Professional), however please note that I am not as experienced in the use of Illustrator. I also have experience in QuarkXpress, Property software and Photography.


I have been working in the newspaper industry since 2007. I started in QuarkXpress before moving over to the Indesign software.

I have qualifications in art and design as well as a degree in media.

©2017 All rights reserved.