A freeform selection tool for a computer system with a graphical user interface allows a user to draw a freeform selection path so as to select one or more graphical objects. The user is provided with the freedom to input selection ink, in any orientation, and using any desired selection path size provided by the select tool. The selecting tool may change the visual appearance of any graphical object once selected. The selecting tool provides the ability to select ink or graphical object with a particular property to be used for the selection. The selecting tool can recognize various selection gestures coordinated with a semantic relationship of the ink so that the number of selection ink strokes can be minimized. The selecting tool may change for different selection modes depending on the type of graphical object encountered and change of the context for a particular selection.