GSoC 2019: Outliner Branch Testing

Edit: Everything is merged into master now, so builds for 2.81 and later have everything in my branch, and more. Use those builds for testing.

File bug reports for errors in syncing, selection, other operators. Bug reports will not get forgotten as easily as a topic post, and they allow other developers the opportunity to test, debug, and fix the issues if needed.

Testing information for the Summer of Code branch

Old testing information:

Hello everyone! My outliner project is running smoothly right now. Please test and let me know what you think here!


I might set up a linux build, but for those who already have the sources downloaded git checkout soc-2019-outliner will get you my current branch.

I would appreciate some feedback on the state of the current changes here. If you have ideas or feedback regarding features that I have not added to the branch, please add them
to the Outliner Improvements Ideas topic.

Changes (see 2.81 release notes for further changes):

  • Selection is now synced between the 3D viewport and outliner by default, in both directions.
  • Walk navigation with up and down keys.
  • Expand and collapse with left and right keys, hold shift to apply recursively.
  • Box select with click and drag.
  • Range selection with shift click, extend selection with ctrl click.
  • Expand arrow click and drag to expand or collapse multiple.
  • Sub elements shown as icon row can now be selected.
  • Object selection with eyedropper now works in the outliner.
  • Filter option to show hidden objects.
  • F2 to rename active outliner element.
  • Parent drag and drop for multiple objects.
  • Icons for constraints, vertex groups and sequencer.

Thanks everyone!


:heart_eyes: shift + click = select list …it’s very comfortable

I have a problem, using the graphics tablet, I enable the emulate 3 mouse buttons mode …
in this mode alt is used to drag the window, so the features with alt do not work …
is there a solution to overcome this problem ??

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Hmm, at least for me on Linux I have an option to disable the alt click for window grabbing. Its in my Window settings

Maybe whatever OS you are using has similar settings.


sorry I explained myself wrong,
is a blender feature that is enabled by preferences and is necessary to obviate the middle button mouse to drag and slide the “space window” in the outliner

so if this function is enabled, alt + click mouse takes on the functionality of drag-slide …

Got it. I can’t think of any obvious solution to this right now. Maybe the shortcut key for recursive select will change (an idea was given to double-click on an item to recursive select). Thank you for bringing this up.


no, thanks to you for taking this problem into consideration

I was curious so I just compiled your branch. The selection changes are awesome! Here’s a couple odd things I noticed:

  1. I’m not seeing the lighter shade of blue for the viewport’s active object, I’m seeing the text colored the lighter shade of orange the viewport uses.
  2. The ctrl click to expand the selection conflicts somewhat with the edit object name when I click on the text of the object’s name.
  3. There’s a very dark background to the last object I selected in the outliner that becomes darker when I move my mouse off of it. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to be?

Overall great progress so far!

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Nice work.
As said above, diselect conflict with rename option (ctrl + LMB).
Ok, disable rename option by ctrl+LMB and stay raname option by dbl LMB and go on.
So now, when try to diselect more than one item from range by ctrl + LMB, it shows like still diselect only one item from range in outliner, but in viewport it really diselect objects.


Double click to rename is standard on outliners, ctrl+LMB is not.


@HooglyBoogly @EL_BIBIKA @Regnas Thank you for the feedback, I think I know what is causing some confusion:

  • I did not add versioning code to automatically update the themes, that is why you are seeing the black background rather than light blue. I’m going to fix this on my end, but you can reload factory settings or reload the theme (light or dark).
  • I handn’t even realized that double click and ctrl+click were both mapped to rename. I’ll fix this.
  • Finally, I’m only concerning myself with outliner selection modes for the time being. Once I finish (just walk selection left) I will work on syncing with the 3D view. As part of this I will merge the orange active/selected text coloring and the blue highlighting.

Is box selection planned to be implemented?

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@TheRedWaxPolice Download the lastest build, its in there :slight_smile: Click and drag from the left gutter to box select.


Ah thanks, it’s a little hidden and restrict but it’s an improvement for sure.

So I suppose it’s not possible to make it work like in most outliners? (drag anywhere to box select), like:



I agree. It would be nice if dragging could happen anywhere except the object icon or name. I’d still want to be able to adjust layer ordering and hierarchy by clicking in those spots.


@DanPool @TheRedWaxPolice Yeah, I’m noticing its a bit restricted too. I’m working on it, thanks for the feedback!


Sure. Not to side track you, though. I think selection syncing is the most important step. For right now shift select and box select are working. But if you have time to refine it later, it would be nice to add the drag anywhere box select.

Thanks for your work. It’s really coming along quickly.

@DanPool In the build that will be created in the next hour or so the box selection is much less restrictive. You should be able to start from anywhere besides element icons and names.


I would love to test the “drag anywhere to box select” but the latest build is not working.

@Regnas Not sure is it implemented yet or not. If implemented then it will works by dragging anywhere but not on the elements name, icon or arrows, I think.

Yeah, of course. By “drag anywhere” I mean on empty space, not in the items. Just like in every other outliner. :slight_smile:

By the way, there’s only one thing I don’t like in blender’s outliner, ctrl+drag should be to duplicate, instead of anything else. That’s more standard…

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