Global topbar conflicts with multiple editors layout

I am creating this thread because many users requested but are not getting a answer.

So, on devtalk, we are requesting a little change to the interface but no answers so far.
I dont know why someone would make the topbar locked in place and global since it display local tool settings, but I hope you are already aware of the problems it brings up.

Top bar is global and unmovable, it picks the settings if the last activated tool, which brings inconsistency and requires extra clicks and unnecessary movements to reach the topbar specially when there are multiple regions of different types sharing the same topbar

We see it being reported in the devtalk multiple times.

And I didn’t mention proposals that doesn’t relate to topbar but provide better solutions than those.

Intriguing enough, I don’t find any answer from devs to why this is a bad idea or if its going to happen or not.


OK Guys! What I feel in this thread is that no one here actually likes the topbar, but we all disagree on whats the proper solution to the problem.

SO lets recapitulate.

The Current State.

  • Multiple Editors and only one topbar to display settings causes conflicts in the settings

  • Multiple Editors and a single topbar (at the top) leave the tool settings too far away from lower editors

  • Topbars are supposed to display tools settings rather than settings.

  • Topbar isn’t an editor and stays glued in place, which limits the possible layouts.

The Fixes

Here we get mad because basically everyone has a different concept of interface and wants a different kind of fix so I will list the fixes in the order from the most easy to implement to the harder.

Fix A:
Tool Settings in properties (N) panel:

This is the easiest fix just because requires the devs to put the draw functions from properties editor in a panel with a single long if-elif-else statement and bam! everything is on the viewport.
now you can just press N to hide and unhide the settings like you want, no extra effort needed.
It also doesnt requires the topbar removal/refactor neither tool settings panel removal.

Fix B
Tool Settings in a popup:

This also require devs to create a popover that can be caled by a shortcut and may be as hard as the N panel thing but will require some changes to make popups support collapsable panels, maybe a fake popover?

But anyway, this puts the settings right under a shortcut which means you can work with maximized viewport for most tasks without need to worry about the topbar or the tool settings. This also doesn’t require any drastic change to the interface.

Fix C
Return of the T-shelf

This proposal from @alberto? looks similar to fix A but adds tools to the shelf also and offers a mix of the tool system and the old operator buttons along with its settings, all in a single tab, which sounds good for learning and can be quite organized since the tools and the settings are in the same place.

Looks also quite easy to implement, just lots of UI code that even a kid can write.

Fix D:
Toolbar relocation:

The idea sounds simple, take the tools put on the bottom and take the settings and put on the left.
Looks quite visually appealing as well. This will move the tools and the settings near to each other and makes tools easy to reach from any side of the screen, which is the opposite of what happens with the tool settings in the properties panel which have settings on the far left and tools on the far right.

about the status bar, I guess it doesn’t really matter if its on top or bottom, its so thin that basically fits in any place.

This solution would require some changes to the source code since it needs editors with two headers but I guess is very possible.

Thats all?
No! there are a lot of other good suggestions but I dont have time to list them all, so scroll around this thread and you’ll find images and links to many other suggestions.
And If you have a suggestion, POST IT!


Thank you for creating this thread!
This is a huge problem but I have never seen any dev talking about this.

I like to split my editor into 4 smaller editors so the topbar tools are never near the editor I’m using.
I know about properties tools but it’s more like a workaround than a solution.
The way the tool system is implemented in 2.80 doesn’t make any sense to me.
2.79 did this a lot better.
Something needs to be done to fix this.

This may not be a big problem for those who are using a small monitor and only one editor.
But monitors and resolutions are getting bigger and bigger all the time.


Weird, I dont know why developers aren’t answering this when we ask, they could just give a small “OK we are looking in to it” so we at least know they care.

There is no proper solution, the top bar doesn’t work, they cannot make it work as they wanted.

1 Like

WHy making the settings in a header wouldn’t work?

1 Like

@billrey gave an answer about the topbar on a ticket I sent:

It seems like technical issues are preventing from a workable topbar to arrize, as he said, I will look into a proposal but I will focus in the least implementation intensive way of solving the topbar problem.

I don’t see the point of cluttering the viewport with topbars and settings.


maybe, but one topbar doesnt work, we all know that. with multiple editors, it fails terribly.
multiple “Tool Settings Bars” could allow you to only have the settings you want and hide it on viewports you dont need it.

But I have another Idea, I will take a while to research and implement a prototype then I hope, people like it.

1 Like

If your idea includes some sort of settings in topbars then it’s not good. Topbars are not a place for settings, doesn’t matter if it’s global or not.

1 Like

I think, it is not matter even though this option work for every view window.(gloval)
the problem is, when uesr set active tool, it should be one of editor user hope to use the tool.
and each editor window can be located in all places of UI.

The important thing is, which is better, the option of tool will be located near the tool icon which user select.
and it shown up in same window , or it locate only top left side of UI, as fix postion.

I think it is not difficult things if blender can ask students, and ask them, which is more easy to find,
and more convinient, I think most of user may reply, they hope to see tool options near the tool icon.

as already mentioned, this is reason, why many apricaiton offer float layer window. as ideally we hope to
locate option window as we like, but at least, current postion is not good without they need to locate it
with techinical problem.

it won’t iclude topbars at all.

1 Like

like i said many times before and some of you accused me of trying to stop you or whatever…this requires a huge change in the design and not just a UI thing…etc and blender with double header in multii viewports is a wrong direction, a better solution should be provided that’s why devs won’t answer your and you won’t see changes any time soon…

I have an idea,
look at this picture and tell me if makes sense:

About the discoverability, we could leave the N tab open by default.




I was super confused the first time I switched to the animation workspace and wanted to weight paint.

“Where did the brush tool settings go??? They’re not in my view!”

Turns out, they were up in some sort of global bar at the top. :disappointed:

These were proposed a lot of times in the design threads and papercuts.

1 Like

I guess that’s because it makes a lot of sense.

guess they have a loooOOot of hard and deep work . . . patience > mother of science :wink:

this link will piss off someone and entertain someone else, but by now blender 2.80 has reached a good level of work that will be a party the same for everyone.
Yes … this thread gives a definitive checkmate to the idea of the topbar and probably the best solution is to add a “top bar” for each window, or they should make the topbar samething like a “mouse sensitive changing tools” … but I think it would create the same confusion in terms of visual feedback

then it’s best to go to the old tools panel but with Active tools in it, something like this, i know they removed it because they wanted to gain more space but we don’t need single column or even icons with text because once you memorize them u’re set to go, at least this way when you split 4 windows you won’t get confused with multiple headers.

1 Like

Damn! there are so many solutions that are better than the topbar LOL.

1 Like