3D Widget only visible with transformation tools?

In 2.79 the 3D widget is always visible when selecting an object face etc.

In currently 2.8 the widget is only visible on the selection when the transformation tool (move scale rotate) is active.

I am not sure how I feel about it.
Whats you guys take?


This is pretty much standard. When you select any mesh component the default transform gizmo should appear. And more, they should be there even when using mesh tools like inset/bevel etc…
I hope that’s a temporary issue…


It is the logic of active tool concept. The Active Tool is the one done by a left click, using a manipulator.

If active tool is another (Scale Cage, Add Cube, Extrude Region, Bisect, Spin), you see its manipulator. It would be stupid to have two manipulators overlapping.

Each tool that is not active, can still be called by its shortcut.
And at this opposite, you can still do a right click and drag to move rapidly one element.

So, basically, if you choose transform tool as active tool and never change it, you have same behaviour than in 2.79.
If you change the active tool, you have to use spacebar to recall transform tool as active tool.
Maybe user should have ability to use a direct shortcut to an active tool.
It would be more efficient than to force them to use spacebar and re-use shortcut of non-active version of tool or favorites menu.
If a user prefer shortcut of active tool without modifier because he use it more than non-active version of tool, he should have the choice.

My take is that it was a really stupid decision. The individual tools (grab, rotate, scale) should go away, the transform tool should be always active, in addition to whatever other tool is on at the time, unless that tool has its own manipulator. There is no advantage whatsoever to not being able to use box select and transform at the same time. I wrote about this a while ago.


But you are able to do that. You just gave to use B key to call Border select, or C to call Circle Select, or Ctle left click to call lasso.
That is just a problem for newbie that don’t know shortcuts.
But you are also free to change these shortcuts and remap them to left click.

Since transform tool have options, grab, rotate an scale may be considered as obsolete.
But that behaviour may seem stupid, too. If topbar only shows options of the other active tool, where are going options of Transform tool ?
You need a topbar able to show both tools options.

So, Transform Tool is no more an active tool but a super permanent tool.
What about people who don’t care about transform tool and don’t want its options permanently in middle of topbar ?

The transform tool already has its most important options in the upper right corner of the 3d view instead of in the topbar. All it needs is three checkboxes from a dropdown.

I submit that there are no such people if they’re going to do anything useful in blender.

That activates a modal operator, so you can’t use it at the same time as anything else.You should be able to just click and drag (with either the lmb or rmb, depending on your preference) anywhere to box select, circle select or lasso, depending on whichever is active at the time.

Selection tools should also decouple visibility from the ability to select through the model. I can’t begin to count the times when I box selected something and pressed delete only to discover I had only deleted the front faces.

Furthermore, snapping options should be separately settable for translation, rotation and scale.

These are the sort of improvements I was expecting from the 2.8 project, not endless deliberations on how best to spite experienced users by changing the keymaps and button locations.


You are talking to one of them. I don’t find manipulators useful at all when I am modelling.
I am used since 2.32 to work without. I consider them as an annoyance in mesh edit mode because they are masking geometry I am working on.
For me, they are only useful for bones animation.

That is a misconception of what is in header of 3DView.
Transform orientation, snapping options, pivot point and proportional editing are not options of transform tool.
They are common to any tool used in 3D View.
You can orient a scale cage to View. It is not the same thing to use Shear tool with median point or active element as pivot point. And you can snap an extrusion to a vertex or a surface.

It completely ruins the idea of using left click for active tool that don’t have manipulator as a default.
You are free to remap border select to tweak lmb but it does not work if active tool is not a transform tool.

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You are talking about manipulator visibility, not transform tools here. You are still using the translation, rotation and scale transforms. Of course you should be able to hide the manipulator. Nobody is questioning that. But making the transform manipulator just one of the other tools and hiding it that way is throwing the baby out with the bathwater and slowing down work. At least for those of us who like to use the manipulator. I mostly use keys too, but sometimes it’s just faster to use the manipulator than to press a key to activate the transform and then another to constrain to the right axis or plane.

Absolutely. And the manipulator should be another common thing visible when using most tools, if not all of them. When turned on, naturally.

I’m assuming that when someone changes their select button preference the other mouse button will take up the slack.

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That is a question of coherence. If I don’t need and see manipulator, why its options should encumber my sight ? My supposition was that they would stay in topbar.

So, you want to create an active manipulator popover in 3DView header. As a popover, options of hidden active manipulator, will not annoy me.
But it means a dynamic popover and a work to verify everything is readable in it for all tools.
And options hidden to newbies in a popover.

That means a modal option for each select tool versus current solution of pressing Z whatever select tool is used.

So that just means that Border Select becomes default select tool. And selection of one active element goes to another keymap.
I am not sure if it was not what was planned.
Probably, select tools will be changed in final standard keymap. But they probably don’t want to disturb spring artists too much with such change.

Yup, that’s about the gist of it :smiley:

Unless there are plans to give customs widgets to those tools, the gizmo will need to back for some tools.

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The permanent visibility of the transform widget was very helpful when not using the toolbar or shortcuts.

It makes sense hiding the widget when no transformation toolbar is active but when you press g r or s we see the old aha joe of blender which can use x y and a as an axis constraint.

Seems like we have two competing concepts which I can see being confusion to users

That’s why I rather like to see the 3D widget no matter what tool is active


In c4d for example the transform widget is always visible when selecting and using mesh tools, except on those tools where the widget doesn’t make much sense like slide tool and maybe bevel. So yeah, it needs to come back somehow.

@cekuhnen, I use blender for over 15 years and I don’t like 2.8 solution; This is very bad idea. There should be option in overlays to turn on/off 3D manipulator widget like in 2.7. If manipulator is hidden it’s not clear which orientantion is active and which direction will vertex/Edge/face extrude/move (i use normal transform orientation often). In 2.7 and before I always use 3d manipulator widget for/while modeling, not only for transform in 2.8 meaning.


Yeah I see your point and agree

To see the 3d widget you have to use the transform tool now.

The advantage is here that the widgets does not block mesh selection like in 2.7.

@cekuhnen; @Piotr_Adamowicz; solution for now is:

  1. start blender
  2. select transform tool in object and edit mode
  3. save startup file
  4. fortunately using shortcuts B; C; CTRL + LBM (right click select); G; R; S doesn’t change transform tool to another so it’s similar to 2.7 behavior.
  5. press CTRL + Accent Grave ("`") to hide/show gizmo (same as active tools in Overlays)
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You can also see the widget with the “move tool” in "edit mode’’ when you select a vertex. If you do not see it, click on the 3d gizmo in the uper right corner of the window. Sometimes it works.

Not showing 3-axis widget all the time is definitly anti-humen. No matter how the reply posts explained, I just want one functionality: when I press g/r/s, show me the 3-axis widget, in according to current coordinate. How hard can it be?

update: for now the only way I can get around it is: stick to the ridiculous ‘move’ tool, never switch away, and use short cut to do any other operation, like press’B’ to quad select. 90% of time it works.

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Anti-human, you don’t beat around the bush do you ? You can change the tool shortcuts from the preferences window to anything you might like better, such as g, r and s.

That wouldn’t be an issue if it can be fixed by changing shortcuts. You have to activate move tool, or no shortcut get you the widget display