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Entity Selection

Modified on: Wed, 10 Jun, 2020 at 12:35 PM

The Entity selection panel includes various functions which allow you to manipulate graph selection.


Link vs Entity Selection

Maltego can operate in two different modes – Link Selection mode, or Entity Selection mode. The default mode is Entity Selection mode. To switch between modes, use shortcut keys Ctrl + M or use the mode selection icons:



To quickly switch between modes,  press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard while dragging or selecting. Read more on link selection here: Link Selection.


Selecting Links (Link Mode)

In Link Selection mode you will be selecting links. Dragging a box around links will select multiple links:



The selection in the image above will result in the selection below:



Link Selection mode is enabled in the image above, you will notice the selected links are highlighted yellow.

Links can also be selected by selecting nodes (in Entity Selection mode) and then switching to Link Selection mode.


Selection Shortcuts

Select All and Select None



Select All and Select None will do what their names suggest, respectively they will select all Entities on your graph and de-select all Entities on your graph.

The keyboard shortcut for selecting all Entities on your graph is Ctrl + A.


Invert Selection

Inverting the Entity selection will de-select all currently selected Entities and select all currently de-selected Entities . Clicking the Invert Selection button with the graph below:





Will result in the graph below:


Add Parents

You can select a child node and press Control + Shift + Up arrow to select the parents while keeping the children in the selection. This is useful for selecting a family tree, but from a child node’s perspective.



Add Children


Select child nodes while keeping parents selected.


Add Similar Siblings


Add Similar Siblings will add all Entities to your selected that have the same parent Entities and are of the same Entity type.


Add Neighbours


Add Neighbors will keep the present nodes selected and select the nodes directly adjacent to the present node as well.


Add Path


The Add Path selection shortcut selects the nodes in the path between multiple nodes (this function is disabled unless multiple nodes are selected). This is best shown with an example. Let’s assume the following nodes are selected:



On a complicated graph, such as the one above, it would be quite difficult to find all the Entities that connect the person and the email address. Clicking the Add Path button selects all the Entities that connect the two selected Entities together as shown in the next image. (The Detail View shows all selected Entities).


Copying the selection to a new graph shows how this person and email address is connected:



Another "Add Path" Example

The example below (with a simpler graph) will demonstrate how Entity links can also be added to the selection between two Entities using Add Path function. The selected links will then be edited to change their properties to highlight the path between the two originally selected Entities.


When these nodes are selected and the Add path button is clicked the following nodes will be selected (those along the path):


If the above graph is switched to Link Selection mode, the links between the highlighted Entities are selected:



They can now be edited. Let’s assume we want to mark the path between the Entities with a thick, dotted red line:



The Property View for these links ends up looking like this:



Select Parents


You can select a parent of a node (e.g. the source of the selected node). This is useful to get to the original source of a child node. You can also select the node and pressing Ctrl + Up arrow.


Select Children


Selecting the children of a node (e.g. all the nodes that were created from the node) is particularly useful. You can do this by selecting the parent and pressing Ctrl + Down arrow.



Select Neighbors


Select Neighbors will select the nodes directly adjacent to the presently selected node (incoming and outgoing nodes).


Select Leaves


Select Leaves will select all Entities on the current graph that have no outgoing links.


Select Bookmarked


Select Bookmarked allows you to select bookmarked Entities by the color.


Select by Type


Select by Type is useful for selecting all the Entities on your graph of a certain type. Clicking Select by Type will open a dropdown menu displaying all the Entity types that currently occur on your graph which you can choose from.


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