Path select, suggestion for improved behavior

Is it possible to force a mesh to always have an active element as long as something is actually selected? Changing mesh selection modes currently does not create a new active selection in the current mode. This has the effect of causing path selection (Ctrl RClick) to fail, and often results in selecting other objects in the scene. It causes weirdness in rot/scale transforms if “Active Element” is used (defaulting to last active face, as far as I can tell). Also, snapping yields similar unexpected results if “Active” is set as snap to target.

It’s a bit of a pain to have to deselect > re-select every time I change selection modes, especially when I only have one item selected in the first place. I’d appreciate your thoughts if you have any.

Could you try with a recent build?
https://developer.blender.org/rBd3ed8233ffc9c654492fe3c077b5252f44aecbb7

This commit is only for faces, so if its not resolving the issue you have, would be interested to know the exact steps you do.

While it could always use the closest selected element… this seems a bit arbitrary.

My post was a bit unfocused, sorry for that. It’s a tricky issue, which is why I’ve hesitated for so long to mention it, and probably why it exists in its current state at all. I don’t know of a catch-all solution, so perhaps simply focusing on behavior when a single vert/edge/face is selected would make the most sense.

Ideally (from my perspective) anytime there is a single vert/edge/face selected, it should become active. This should be the result after operations or after changing selection modes. Examples:

  • If I’ve activated use_mesh_automerge and proceed to vert-slide a single vertex into another, the resulting (single) merged/selected vertex should be active.
  • If I select two connected vertices in vert select mode, then switch to edge mode, the resulting (single) selected edge should be active.
  • If I have multiple faces selected and deselect all but one of them, the resulting (single) selected face should be active.

As you said, attempting to decide which element should become active (while many are selected) may be an impossible task. I think it would be helpful, still, if single selections were to default to an active state. That way, we may retain access to our full feature set without having to make extraneous selection operations.