Blender with Tabs, a mockup.

If we had horizontal tabs in Blender, it would make a world in difference IMO.
This two mockup uses just a print screen of chromes tabs.

Personally I would love to have the screen data-block represented as tabs instead of the drop down menu we have now.

I recently had to explain the node compositing to a colleague, and you quickly realise how ad-hoc the current implementation is with just icons representing different node scopes.

and it gets even worse when you select one and it has a sub-set of node scopes.

It’s not really explanatory at all, and I think new comers have a hard time differentiate the “Final Render Compositing” or it’s just called “Compositing”.

From the nodes that are related to data-blocks such as Shaders and Brushes and Textures.

I think it could be better organized, or rather it have to get better when the nodification of everything comes along in future versions.


Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not seeing the advantage of what tabs would offer here?

I use to be a UI designer. Good UI is mostly for new users and people who juggles multiple application in a pipeline. Power users know the program well enough to not need it. However, if you are juggling 5+ programs daily, you will want the UI/keyboard/workflow to be as similar as possible. For example, Blender, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Houdini, Nuke, etc, all have vastly different UI and workflow. Which make keyboard shortcut memorization confusing and difficult (this is why I avoid keyboard shortcut and rely on visual memory now, just easier), unless you only use 1 app. Ctrl - C, Ctrl - P, Ctrl - Z are generally universal and I don’t need to look it up in the manual. Tabs are common in a lot of apps, so it might be less work retraining your brain to work fast and efficient. When you mix multiple apps with vastly differently workflow, you start to stop thinking 5-10 steps ahead to finish a task, because you start mixing up keyboard shortcuts or the location of menus.

I think it would be nice (and relatively easy) to show the desktop configs as tabs instead of the pulldown menu. I don’t think it breaks any of blender’s design principles (too much). It would just be some changes to the info space rendering and interaction.

However, directly controlling node-editor scope as tabs is something else entirely. This sort-of breaks blender UI conventions. If you had info space tabs, you could create different spaces with differently configured node editors, but that’s about as close as it would get.

I am not seeing the benefit either… Right now, if i am wanting to focus on modelling, i remove off the timeline and work like that… when i need to work on materials, split it down and work in the interactive preview… I adapt my workspace to what i am currently working on… rarely a hour goes by without me switching my configuration around. with tabs, how does interactive preview work with cycles / node editor? how does the compositor work with the render result? how does the timeline hook into the 3d viewport? how does the outliner work?.. unless you keep the spaces in which case makes the tabs redundant?

Are you by any chance one of those… supporters of vertical videos?
Is your screen vertically higher than horizontally?

On the majority of used screens where Blender is operated on,
the vertical screen space is severely limited so any idea to further minimise the 3D viewport is going to give backslash.

The cool thing about Blender is that you don´t have to be locked in rooms “tabs”.
Blender allows you to do simultaneously what would have with this bad idea been split in different “tabs”.
The current way of modularity makes the creation process fast, tabs will slow it down.

The UI is taking up way too much screen space as it is. There’s three horizontal bars already, at a bare usable minimum. (Yes, you can hide the info bar and the header, but it’s not practical to do so. You can’t get rid of the title bar which is a bummer since it serves no practical purpose.) Adding yet another horizontal bar is a truly horrible idea.

I think this has been proposed already

I see zero advantage for tabs as described: Force focus on one thing and one thing only. For animation, VFX, node work and texture painting, is a plain PITA to work in one space only.

Yeah, this is my concern as well. I’m (somewhat) blessed at work with monitors that run at 1920x1200. That extra 120 pixels of height makes a huge difference, but even there most applications (including Blender) could use more vertical real-estate. Tabs just take up more room, without (IMO) offering much in the way of benefits.

I use modo a lot and they have a tab system. I have to say that is a pain in the butt to switch tab back and forth to make sure you get a tool. I like the idea of tabs, but not for the main window. For small sub-windows, that might be better. Similar to the tabs on the right properties panel.

There’s really no point in having tabs in blender, blender has a great “windowing”(?) system it’s not perfect but you can manipulate your workspace to match your needs at this specific moment which is wonderful and it’s actually the only program I’ve seen doing it so well to be honest…

Anyway screen-estate is a very expensive resource don’t waste it on stuff you don’t need(and no beginners are not an excuse for getting un necessary features)

I see the interest, but in the 3dview, not on the header.

Example :

What also has to be remembered is that Price actually came out and said his proposal (that second image you linked) was actually bad after getting advice from UI / UX experts. It was actually a talk at a blender conference a few years back.

Yes, it have been proposed before - also by Brecht.

And who knows - maybe it will be implemented in 2.8. It is one of the things being looked into.