2.8 feedback : Multi select could use a mode that clears the selection and starts a new one (Heavily edited, used to be: All selection modes should have the same behaviors for consistency)

Edit : Clearly I didn’t know Blender as well as I thought I did, there’s a few features of the single select mode I was not aware of that break down the comparison between multi select modes and single select. However the potential improvement to multi select modes remains. I’ll just Edit out the fluff and keep the parts that work. Sorry for the confusion.

It would make sense if all the multi selection modes like Box, lasso and brush all used the same behaviors.

  • “drag select” : Clears the selection set and starts a new one (This behavior is missing in multi select modes)
  • “shift drag select” : Adds to the selection set or starts a new one if none exists
  • “ctrl drag select” : Removes from the selection set

By making “drag select” start a new selection like it does in single select, you remove the constant need to press “A” to unselect. No more forgetting to unselect your verts from your previous operation. If you’re used to unselecting with A, you can still do that. And if you accidentally clear your selection, undo retrieves it. We can eliminate one click in three on an operation we do thousands of times while modeling.

That way your workflow goes from :

  • select, manipulate, press A to unselect all, select, manipulate, press A to unselect all
  • select, manipulate, select, manipulate, select, manipulate.

I think it would be great if there were dedicated select and deselect keys, unfortunately CTRL+Click doesn’t remove from the selection. It selects everything between the first and second click - Pick Shortest Path. It seams like I remember one of Pablo’s posts he mentioned a dedicated deselect, though.

I also think that some work needs to be done on these active tool selection modes. In 2.79 circle select mode and in box select mode, MMB+drag deselects. In the 2.8 active tools, there doesn’t seem to be a deselect that I can find.

(edit) Ok, so CTRL works as deselect in box and circle mode. Derrrrr. I do agree that dragging without SHIFT held down should deselect everything first. Hold down SHIFT and you are adding to the selection. It only makes sense and would really speed up the workflow.

Oh, you’re right. I totally missed that. That kind of breaks down the comparison between the single and multi select comparison. However like the toggle, that feature wouldn’t translate well to multi. I should probably remove the comparison since it’s distracting from the point , which is that drag select would work better if it had a mode where it clears the selection without pressing A.

Thanks for pointing that out. I edited the original post to reflect this.

I agree this would be a workflow improvement. Are there any arguments against this? Needing a keypress to deselect is often a point of frustration and source of error for new users, although it does eventually work its way into muscle memory.

A is definitely a permanent part of my using software now. I’m constantly trying to deselect using A in windows and other 3d programs. This may be the biggest argument against using A for deselect. It interferes with using other software.

It has been the hardest part of adapting to blender for me. Getting that selection just right only to see previously selected verts moving when I press G, then having to deselect all and redo the whole selection from scratch makes the system feel akward and slows you down a lot.

That, and as changes go, this has to be pretty trivial to do. Right now, shift drag does nothing when in persistent box select mode. So we already have a place to link it even if we don’t want to change the other hotkeys.

Looks like there’s already plans for something like this in the industry standard keymap task.