How to select multiple objects using the outliner

Sveiciens! you’re darn right. Even if i had not mentioned here for a reasons any of my commercial activity involving blender or 3d or cg in general - to be frank - i really don’t have any! I’m hit…
lol, do you, as my fellow countryman, at least agree on that mouse and dinner thing i mentioned AFTER the martians :)? I’m just pointing out that there are ways which could be yet easier than scrolling thousand lines down to shift-click something. You have shown that!
But that’s not the way we are used to do it. So, allow devs to teach us, in a way, how things could be done…
As to the tight deadlines, hmm, lemme think, no, not with blender and not Arts. True. However lot’s of other soft and different profile deadlines. Been there, seen that. Believe me.

Yes, nice to meet you too! And i really mean that :). On blender user’s map, we are some 4 here…

Sure thing, you nailed this. I cannot afford to spend thousands on my hobby. And truly so, blender starts to gather user basis recently. Remember, that wasn’t the case while it was in 2.x stage? Then again, those who managed to get along with blenders oddities at that time are, mildly put, saying bad things about it’s current usability. So, as i see, it depends.
I’m none of enthusiastic, not in any state or form of love with blender, but i don’t like equations like X equals 0 because Y has one; blender is crap because Y does this that way, honestly.
I can speak only for myself, i look here to learn blender better and be of help to others if i think i might know some how-to. I gave you what i could - you asked.
Btw, blender somehow managed to get to 2.63, so imo it’s not gonna disappear just because of lack of one way of selecting things.
It might be even introduced later on, if grown user basis will heavily stress out the need of it, idk, depends on devs decision, i guess.

@eppo Yes, I liked that thought about eating with 2 sticks…
Devs are people too and most of the time they are not actual users themselves, so it’s hard to imagine what would be the best approach. That is why we have to involve in this and say our thoughts.

In case any developers read this thread and decide to implement these user-friendly consensus interactions, another one is CTRL+A selects all, which is not the case in Blender.

I am also with GT-Force on this. If the Outliner simply functioned like a windows explorer in respect to selecting objects (like files) within it would be far less frustrating to use. Also, the fact that the Outliner does not display ALL the selected objects in some fashion is the worse part of this, IMO.

Awesome!! You just helped me bunches!!!

Oh my gosh. Thank you SO much for this description. I have been messing with Blender 2.66 for the past week or so to see whether I can use it for a larger, multi-artist personal project. At my day job my 3D package is Maya + Renderman and I was having difficulty figuring out how the Blender outliner works. This description just changed my interaction from: “Hrrumph!” to “Awesome!”

There are a number of things in Blender that make me go “Why would they do this?” but I am such a new user (though an experienced 3D professional) that I don’t feel qualified to judge it. My hope is to learn it as it stands (warts and gems both) with as little judgement as possible before complaining about the interface or features. Only when I am fairly fluent in the app will I feel qualified to comment its merits and shortcomings. And only when I am fairly fluent in it will I start customizing the interface.

I remember HATING Maya when I first used it. I hesitate to think what would have happened had I given up early on (or changed its behavior to more closely match some other app I was comparing it to before I really knew how to use it properly).

Thanks again. Looking forward to delving deeper into this awesome app.

I have to agree with GT-Force & karlis.stigis. I’ve used Cinema4D and Rhino and found their UIs intuitive. Even though I like Blender a lot (especially considering what I pay for it, lol) its interface is certainly not intuitive. As a former software developer it’s glaringly obvious to me that Blender’s UI is not designed – like Topsy, it “just grow’d.”*

Probably the most annoying thing is that UI behavior changes from version to version with no good reason. For example, previously if I used a context-sensitive menu like W or Ctrl-E and selected an item from it, the next time I pulled that menu up, the same item would be the active one. But now, in 2.66a the active item changes for no apparent reason and it now takes more time for me to check and make sure I’m gonna select the correct item.



there is an add-on for this, that makes almost the things you want:

you select the first object and doublecklick on the last object selects all objects in-between…
another option is to select it progressive with the mouse wheel, while you press alt+shift + mousewheel it selects the next items…very useful add-on…

have a nice day, gabriel h

I have to admit… two years later, this is still a poor way to multi-select in outliner. The OP is correct. This should simple be a shift select process. I notice that he only has 14 posts total so I’m guessing he is long gone.

Also, what is with the filter? You can filter things in Outliner… but you can’t select from that filter? :frowning:

So this means there are 3 different hightlights in Outliner. Filter (green), quasi-select with the box tool (gray) and actual select that only highlights the little icon. I have to re-learn how to select stuff in Outliner every so often because it’s so unintuitive.

I feel you man. This outliner thing is really uncomfortable comparing to other outliners. Why cant’t I just select, drag and drop multiple objects to create Parent/Child relations??? It is so painful to keep things ordered in outliner.

Good to know that! I’ve been using blender for 2 years, but I’ve never understood that or had it explained to me till now…

As you said, it’s not very intuitive at all.

I have to agree that outliner would be better if it followed the conventions of nearly every file browser out there.

At work we work with thousands of assets in one layout, we rarely use Maya’s layers, because we manage to organize everything in outliner. I can’t imagine doing the same thing in Blender. I think this unconventional usage keeps a lot of studios away from Blender. And working in a middle/big scale studio is all about convention rules.

Edit: ahhh! Saw the word “unintuitive” again and didn’t notice I was replying to a old thread. Deleted.

So it’s now 4.5 years later, Blender 2.8 is in Beta, and although left click to select is now the default (which is a huge step in the right direction), the Outliner is still a disaster.

Selecting a range of files via a Shift+Click is how every major OS file explorer works, and how every major 3D application works. Long before someone learns how to use a 3D program, they’re learning how to navigate the OS’s files. Blender’s outliner needs some serious love in the 2.8 era to go along with the other workflow and standardization enhancements seen in the rest of the program.


I see that 2.8 still does not allow selecting a range.

My issue was that I had hundreds of materials and textures to delete (many redundant copies). So it was easier for me to press “a” to select everything, then use shift + LMB to de-select the few items I wanted to keep,
kind of an inverse approach but saved me some time.

I hope 2.8 gets outliner range selection features added! That would be very nice!


There is an addon for 2.7x that allows you to select a range in the Outliner by clicking the first object, then shift+double-clicking the last object. It will then select everything in between. It’s not as elegant as simply shift-clicking, but it works well. Alas, it hasn’t been updated for 2.8.

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2019/07/30…Blender 2.8
please fire ur UX/UI designer. ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO WORK! click => shist+click is selection range evrywhere. F2 renaming evrywhere. CTRL + click + click + …click add to selections evrywhere…so dumb.

if you are asking how to select meshes from outtliner but you don’t want to select the empties from the list…the process is easy just go to filters located on the top corner and deselect empties it will hide the visibility of the selected category which will make selection easy