I am not sure I understood your question, I will explain about ArcGIS 9.3 because you tagged ArcGIS 10.0. Thus, I am not sure are you talking about version 10 or need older than 10 like 9.3.
You can clear selection from Options as you already knew or from
Selection Menu -> Clear selection
Using ArcGIS 9.3 and under the section
Selecting features by clicking them in the map it is written in the Tip section the following:
- To deselect all selected features at once, click the map where there are no features, click a feature of a layer that is not
selectable, or click the Clear Selected Features tool on the Tools
To clear selection from the table:
- Click Options in the table window and click Select All.
- You can also click the box in top-left corner of the table view next to field heading to select all or deselect all records.
- The Selection menu contains additional tools for selecting features.
- You can right-click the row button on the left side of the table and be able to deselect individual records.