There is a very handy functionality in many vector handling software that I've used (Rhinoceros 3D, Impact CAD packaging designer, Autocad, for starters). Said functionality is a selection window, that, when drawn in first direction (let's say right) selects all objects that even slightly intersect the selection window, and, when drawn the second direction, selects only the objects that are completely inside the window.
In other words (these I copypasted from AutoCAD LT manual):
"1. Drag from left to right to select all objects that are entirely enclosed in the selection rectangle or lasso (window selection)
2. Drag from right to left to select all objects that are crossed by the selection rectangle or lasso (crossingselection)."
Also, a hotkey modifier for just deselecting objects by cursor clickedy-clackedy, instead of shift modifier select/deselect, but maybe we'll leave that for the next century.