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I have this object:

object

I want to select all the faces on the edge of the squarish cut-outs of sphere, so I this desired result:

correct selection

That was done manually, but there must be an easier way.

Essentially, I want to select the faces that have normals that point tangential to the curve of the sphere. Phrased another way, I want to deselect the faces that are facing inwards/outwards, leaving only the desired faces.

I know if I hit SHIFT-G, I can select by similar normal, but that gets me the global normal of the face points, not the local normal.

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In the mean time, you can use a vertex group. Also, I don't think what you want is possible without scripting. – GiantCowFilms Jan 6 at 5:21
    
Since your current object can be mirrored. As in it's symmetrical ... applying a mirror modifier will half the amount of time you spend selecting those faces. and if you mirror it twice you will cut down your selection time to a quarter. and so on... and on. – hawkenfox Jan 6 at 5:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I suggest using select similar > perimeter. Press Shift + G to bring up the selection menu after selecting a face loop similar to the desired loop with Alt + RMB , then adjust the threshold until you have the desired results. Double check your model to make sure there isn't a missed face anywhere, but this should get all of them. In my example, the threshold was 0.030enter image description here

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Lol ... I used co-planar at threshold of 5.10 and it gave me the result I wanted as seen from your video ... strange but anyhow it worked on my end. – hawkenfox Jan 6 at 7:24
    
Ok! I understand now ... basically you don't want the perimeter of the edges that you wanted to select be relatively close or similar with the perimeter of other faces you didn't want to select ... got it. Thanks. – hawkenfox Jan 6 at 7:36

Well this may not be the exact thing you are looking for but it's using mirror modifier to cut down selection and modeling time for symetrical object. Check out the blend example.

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