How to select an entire "sub"-object in Edit mode when two meshes have been joined?

Sorry if this common sense or has been answered, I have also not been able to find a satisfactory answer to this question.

I got my start in 3DS Max before switching to Blender. In Max, when you join two meshes, you can enter Edit Mesh/Edit Poly mode, which is the equivalent of Blender’s Edit mode. However, in Max, in addition to Vertex-Edge-Polygon selection, you also can select Face (which I have found pretty useless, it’s like selecting one of the two triangles that make up a quad polygon), or MUCH more importantly, you can select by OBJECT. What this means, is that if you have joined two meshes together, in Edit Mesh/Sub-Object selection, you can select one of the ENTIRE joined objects with just one click!

In Blender, I have been having to use workarounds. Frequently, I can use Island Selection (Ctrl-I, or Ctrl-L, i forget which at the moment), and I imagine this will be people’s immediate response to this question. However, this is NOT sufficient. This only works when the two joined meshes DO NOT overlap. If they DO overlap, using Island Selection will in fact select BOTH joined objects. As a work around, I have to select a vertex specific to my desired sub-object and then grow the selection (Ctrl-+) until I have the entire thing selected. But this is incredibly tedious, ESPECIALLY if the joined object has many, many vertices. I can easily waste my time having to press Ctrl-+ 20 or 30 times.

Question: In Edit Mode, is there a way with one-click or one keyboard shortcut so select an entire sub-object, a complete mesh that has been joined to another mesh, in the same way that 3DS Max has sub-object > object selection? Specifically, Island Select does not work with overlapping meshes. Is there another keyboard short-cut to select an entire sub-object, or is there a way to make Island Select work for overlapping meshes?

Thank you!

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I’m not sure what you mean by overlapping meshes.
Ctrl+L just selects linked vertices. If you have meshes overlapping each other it doesn’t matter as long as they are not physically connected. The alternative is to press L with the cursor next to a vertex.

If this does not work for you show us something that clearly demonstrates what you want and what you don’t want - screenshots before/after and example blend files.

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I may have figured it out.

It was the difference between pressing “L” and “Ctrl-L”.

By pressing L, which the Spacebar Menu says is “Select Linked”, what actually gets selected is dependent on the location of your mouse cursor. So even if I select a vertex way off to the side where there is no overlap with another mesh, if my mouse cursor is over another part of the joined mesh when I press “L”, that whole other object gets selected.

But, pressing Ctrl-L is working just fine no matter where my mouse cursor is…I wonder why I was having so much trouble before? Hmmm…well, at least I figured something out. Thanks for your help, Richard.

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Please don’t uppercase normal words, it’s annoying. You’re already making your long post(s) easier to read with paragraphs, don’t ruin it with unnecessary uppercased words. It doesn’t help to read or understand it any better, on the contrary. If you want to emphasize something, use images - Those get the point across more effectively and you don’t have to write as much text.

tl;dr: i don’t think anyone should shorten their posts/questions, or stop using UPPERCASE (or italics, or bold) to emphasize words, if the post/question gets its length from thorough specificity and useful detail, and if the capitalized words mark important details or subtle frequently misinterpreted grammar or information.


not really any point in me replying after this many years, but somehow it popped up in my notifs.

In the first paragraph, one or two of the uppercase words may have been superfluous. But everywhere else in every other paragraph, it is emphasizing a specific, important technicality.

its 3 or 4 paragraphs long because it is important to describe specifically, accurately, and thoroughly the exact problem and exactly when it happens and what I have tried. people go back and look at these posts for years after… and so so frequently there is some detail missing, or some factor that is unclear, that prevents a post for directly addressing one’s own problem or fails to give insight on the specific difference between one problem and another.

And so, in the process of being specific and thorough, I find it extremely useful to emphasize words that are pointing out an easily overlooked detail, technicality, or phrase that might easily be misread (e.g. “did NOT” versus “didnt” or “did not” sometimes makes sense when part of a paragraph where one could easily misinterpret the direction of the did’s and didn’t’s.

Italics would probably look nicer… but… barring a keyboard button for italic, capitalizing for emphasis is easier.

i’m sorry it bothers you… but that really seems like it’s just an aesthetic issue that you are repackaging as a “readability” issue and describing your personal annoyance as something materially wrong about how I right.

Unless someone is repeating themselves, rambling, or including irrelevant details in places where it muddies relevant details, longer and more specific is almost always better for getting an accurate answer and leaving behind a thread that will help others. thus, the reason people on stackexchange insist on structuring questions in specific ways… and why searching for answers on stack exchange can be frustrating when people havent included enough detail to describe and individuate their question/issue and thus invite less useful, more confusing, more general answers. despite it being annoying, it is important.