Blender 2.3 Guide

I just ordered the Blender 2.3 Guide. I figured it was worth my while to order it as I am new to Blender. The books is based on the 2.31 release. I have version 2.33a on my system. Is there a real big difference between 2.31 and 2.33a? I’ve noticed that some of the on-line tutorials that I have found are a little hard to follow because they are based on an earlier version of Blender, and some of the function keys are not the same.

there have been some changes since the manual was written, but not enough to make life difficult. all the new features have been well documented and can be found in the release notes at

The only major function key change I can think of off the top of my head from the older versions (like 2.2x) is that mirroring isn’t pressing X/Y/Z while scaling any more, it’s Ctrl+M. All the other keyboard shortcuts are pretty much the same (just a few added for new features).

As for the interface, yes, it looks quite different. But once you’ve started to use it a bit then you can easily read older tutorials.
For the most part, buttons have only moved around within one button section. ie with only a few exceptions (mostly in F7 buttons, since it’s changed name from animationbuttons to objectbuttons) if the button was in eg materialbuttons then, it’s still in materialbuttons now, and the shortcut for materialbuttons is still F5.

The spacebar menu looks different, but it’s easy enough to figure it out.

Incidentally, nearly all the major changes since 2.31, have been new features and bugfixes. The only change that might cause any kind of problems with old tutorials is that 2.33 uses Python2.3 instead of Python2.2 (and maybe if it says to do something that one of the new features gives an easier way ;))
Changes from 2.31 to 2.32
Changes from 2.32 to 2.33
Changes from 2.33 to 2.33a

Thanks for the info. I have started to play with Blender, and I’m stating to get the hang of it. This leads me into another question. I found a tutorial that interested me off of the site. The tutorial I am referring to is:
In the beginning of the tutorial it tells you to load a background image, and display it on the viewpoint. I can’t seem to get my background image to display on the viewpoint with the version of blender I’m using. When I follow the steps, and press the function keys mentioned in the tutorial nothing happens. Can someone please tell me how to display a background image on the viewpoint with instruction that are applicable to Blender 2.33a? Thanks.

3D View menu:

View -> Background Image