Proposal: Make Box select act differently depending on drag direction

I made a working prototype where the box select tool acts different depending on if you drag to the left (select all objects inside or touching the border) or the right (select only objects fully inside). Is anyone interested in this feature?
It’s quite useful to select objects behind other objects for example, or when they are overlapping.

Right now it checks if the object is fully inside by creating 4 more selection boxes just outside the border of the original one and removing the selection tag if the object is not inside them too.


I would love this. It would be helpful to have a visual indication. Some programs use a different color for example.

Yes If you look closely the borders were different colors but I changed now so that it is more visible with different filling.


It also works in the node editor.

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Yes!! +1 for this

but on your description, you may want to remove the name of the other software because of copyright issues i think, and the color is nice but may be change the colors …? or instead use Solid line and Dashed line (Marching Ants) Thing…?

But saying that really great work, knowing most blender users don’t come from CAD software this new behavior may be an issue for some if it was the default but it will be great if it was added as another selection option “Directional Selection” and through time i hope it becomes the default.

I used to work with a software where this selection mode was not default, and i was hesitant to turn it on but once i did there was no turning back, this makes selection very much a conscious decision on what specific thing you want selected.

Plus this could solve another nuisance in blender (NEEDING to turn on wireframe in Edit mode to select back facing Vertex and such) with this selection Voila :blush:

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True, I removed the software name. Yes there could be a learning curve but when users get used to it there’s no going back for them I think. Adding it as an option in the beginning is a good idea.

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You might be interested in trying the Box Select X-Ray add-on:

I’m not sure that this should depend on the direction. (As an option, of course, I do not mind.) There could be a modal shortcut, you start making a selection (in any direction as you feel comfortable or used to) and in the progress you can switch modes. As well as the operator option, which will allow you to assign different hotkeys, if someone wants.


This is a idea that interests me a lot because, in Edit Edge mode, there is something that has been annoying me a bit for a long time: by default, Blender only selects edges that are strictly inside the rectangle selection:

What I would like is an option to select all edges inside the selection (even those that touch or cross the dashed rectangle-selection):


May these different selections modes happen:

  • thanks to the direction of the selection
  • or thanks to a new button in the header bar (and hotkey)

… I’d be fine with both suggestions, even if I prefer the simplicity of enabling this option thanks to a button in the header, next to the other Selection modes:

I added this now too.


wow, it didn’t take you long to code it !
Thank you.

Make sure this behavior is the same in face mode too. :slight_smile:

Yap, This implementation is much more useful than my idea, but it would be nice to have a check box option to select back facing lines and faces at the marked spot

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Unfortunately it’s a bit more advanced to implement in Face mode… I don’t think I can do it myself. In Edge mode it’s the same code for x-ray mode and regular mode.

I am with you on this one. this is how it should be done so it’s consistent with other Blender tools that have modal shortcuts mid operation(Alt or something), because i do hate the idea of having to think on which direction i should draw my selection first.

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I think that’s something that has to be used in practical application a few days before deciding what works better. Immediately it would probably also feel weird to me but I can imagine that as soon as it’s in the muscle memory it’s easy to remember. The only thing I’d propose for the drag direction would be to have space as a modal to move the select rectangle/lasso selection/etc. like Photoshop and ZBrush do, for example. Otherwise it can sometimes be dificult to guage where to start a selection just so that it fits the rectangle from a different side.

For those who don’t know what I mean … in PS and ZBRush (and many other apps by now) you can start creating your selection rectangle but before you drop it, while still holding the mouse button, you can also presse space as a modal. While space is pressed you can slide your current selection around. When you release space you can continue to adjust the size of your selection again until letting go of MouseButton1. Extremely helpful.

The case agains another keyboard modal is that it would be yet another extra thing to remember, configure and maybe have duplicate key problems. Whereas the drag direction is no new buttons on the keyboard to memorize. But as I said: This probably needs to be tested for real rather than discussing it theoretical.

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I played with the patch for couple days & didn’t like it also didn’t like the color coding( Green & Blue) i prefer transparent or semi-transparent instead of adding more distracting colors to selection tools that being used 90% of the time. Other tools like extrude, bevel,inset…etc all have extra modal operations in modeling & those what makes modeling in Blender faster so it’s not an issue of adding a single shortcut or even multiple to the selection tools like you suggested for dragging the box
We’ll have to wait and see where the Devs design leads to but it’s clear that it should match with Blender current tools & workflow instead of just direct copy from the other Softwares without thoroughly thinking about it.

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Okay. In that case - fair enough. :smiley:

As I said previously this is work in progress, and the coloring of the selection box can ofcourse be optional or fully customizable in a final patch. Having to press a key mid selection to me feels like it would be slower and more thinking than to just start the selection in the right spot in the beginning. I’ve been working with similar selection tools for years and I don’t think at all about where to start selecting but I did maybe the first weeks or so. But as you said we will see where it ends up.


to just start the selection in the right spot in the beginning

The problem is that it’s not always obvious where to start.

Probably not the best example, but should show the problem.
I need to select one half. I start from the outside and then I can clearly see where I need to stop.

But in the following case it’s easy to miss.