Linked items not obvious unless you know what to look for


Something here is linked, but what?


You can’t see it unless you know what to look for:


Also, I’m fairly sure I linked an entire object, and not mesh data, but that isn’t obvious at all.


Linked things should always appear at the top level:


Additionally, selecting the linked object should reveal a linked panel with easily accessible information and options for re-linking/unlinking/etc:

EDIT: So apparently, I did accidentally link a mesh instead of the entire object, because when you link an entire object you can’t bloody move it for some ungodly reason, so I still think the above suggestion is valid, except with the following critical addition to the panel…


EDIT 2: The above workaround seems to not work anymore? I guess that’s a whole different topic then, because dear lord… well, I just turned this into another topic nobody will care about, didn’t I?

EDIT 3: Wooooow… linked collections are linked by name, and not some internal ID?


The above link broke because I changed the name in the original file! (At least that has a clear icon…)


Ok, can a developer explain to me:

  • Why does a linked collection automatically get an empty to enable transforms, but not linked objects?
  • Why can I see the camera in a linked collection, but not toggle the camera view?
  • I see “Unlink” in the right-click context menu, but not “Make Local”, and even if I go to the Object menu (although I selected a Collection), and choose Relations - Make Local - All, nothing happens. I hope I’m missing something, but what?

All the rest of my above comments/suggestions also seem to apply to linked collections, it turns out.

I don’t get it… does USD support collections? FBX/OBJ sure doesn’t. Again, it seems like Blender just inherited one of the worst aspects of 3D Studio Max when it comes to moving files between different software packages…

EDIT: Oh. My. God. Ok, anyone, take a guess which collection below is linked, and which is appended…



Yeah, having linked objects made obvious in the outliner it’s a missing feature we really need

+1 the way to handle linked objects it’s still quite confusing as well as how to make things local.
Also, you can link a camera from the mesh categories but also from the Object category!?!

And to update linked content is not straightforward either. You can’t do it from View Layer, you need to switch to Blender File. Once in there, you have to scroll to the blend file (which it showed with the entire path, good luck with that), roll down the group, find among the items the one that interests you (I know you can press period on the numeric keyboard, but still what a journey!), and then reload o make local.

And right now that I’m doing a test as I write, I can’t even reload some of the objects I just linked, only categories but not single meshes.

1 Like

Big sigh:

Sorry for off-topic: Just a PSA - don’t blur or pixelate text to make it unreadable.
Always completely black out to remove info.
Even mosaic effects in that degree can be reverse-engineered if necessary.

Sorry for the interruption. Carry on. :smiley:

Just joining the discussion to agree that this is very valid and like already mentioned linked objects relocate/reload should be possible to do without switching to Blender File menu. Personally I use most of my assets in render scenes as linked objects (actually collections) and need to constantly switch back and forth from outliner to load updated linked assets.

Otherwise linking works very well.

Updated the OP with another really depressing discovery when it came to linking stuff… :frowning:

So I just discovered this:

  • If you link an object, you can never move it (at least I can’t figure out how).
  • However, if you link a collection, choose the weird command “make instances real” (that isn’t available in the right-click menu in the outliner, only at the very bottom of the Apply menu, for some reason)… then you can move the object, and it’s still linked!

No idea why you have to make this weird dance to get the expected behavior.

Anyway, developers don’t read threads like these it seems, so I don’t expect this to ever get fixed (and this site doesn’t welcome normal users anymore so I’m not sure I’ll even post any future feedback… this doesn’t belong on that RightClick site, nor would it be accepted as a bug, so I don’t know).

You had to make a proxy.

Now, you can add a Library Override.

If you do a minimum of efforts to collect information, it may worth it for developers to invest time in discussion. You could read manual or ask these kind of questions on support forums like Blenderartists before creating a thread, here.
This forum is about discussing current situation.
They are not supposed to waste their time delivering free learning curses, here, to educate everybody about what are basics of the software.

Library Overrides are a new way to manage linked data.
It makes sense to criticize lack of documentation or difficulties to understand the workflow.
But Library Overrides are constantly improved since 2.81 ; not being aware of their existence just implies that you had done no research before posting your feedback.
That means that your user feedback has no value to improve them.

I’d like it if the Blender developers would do a minimum of effort to understand a user’s situation.


Thanks for pointing out the library overrides, and yet another different way in which Blender displays and manages (and names) linked content. Great current situation. Just read the docs. Nothing that needs to be changed here. :roll_eyes:

Also, thanks for making it clear that all posts in this entire section of the forum was a waste of everyone’s time.

I wrote the absolute opposite : Read the docs. Then, criticize.

Congratulations ! You ended up with same conclusion made by many users, a year ago.
That are not developers that are refusing to give distinctive names.
Current situation is the result of how the complex dependency graph is treating linked data that is, from its point of view, a unique data. It has not been made to handle multiple aliases to qualify same data.
Developers did not elaborate a solution, yet. That does not mean they are not aware of problem.