Selecting multiple hierarchies at once in the Outliner not possible

Currently in version 2.81 I can use right click context menue on one selected parent object and chose “select hierarchy” to select the hierarchy. If I have multiple parent objects selected and I try to use “select hierarchy” only the last selected hierarchy gets selected. All the other hierarchies stay unselected!
To my understanding “select hierarchy” should work for all selected parent objects. Having a huge scene let´s say from CAD data, it´s a usual workflow to select multiple hierarchies at once just for deleting them for example.
And it also does not work for collections. Meaning, if you have a ton of collections and need to select, delete them AND their contents, you will have to select each one and delete it.


Despite the advances of the Outliner in 2.81, it still lacks some basic functionality compared to other software applications.
Being able to select multiple hierarchies at once is one of these basics.
Hopefully the devs can keep the advances for the Outliner going for 2.82 and higher, so we can get function parity asap.
For now I see people going back to their software due to these omissions.

It’s often the small things people miss, not the extended functionality between apps. :wink:


Yes the outliner still has some quirks for example.

  1. Deleting parent should at least ask if you want to delate the children and not throwing them in the main collection making a mess.
  2. Dragging parented objects between collections makes a mess in the outline(2.82A). One would think that by default dragging parent to a new collection would also move the children…

the outliner is still the biggest reason why I can’t imagine going to Blender to make large environment scenes. Scene organization is so important! I think a lot of hobbyists and non-industry people (who seem to make a large chunk of the community) don’t really put enough emphasis on how important this is.
I really like Blender for modeling single items, props, etc, but handling a large scene is a real pain (inconsistent hotkeys between outliner and viewport, unintuitive drag and drop functions, weird hierarchy selections, non unique batch naming, etc, etc)
Collections are nice IN THEORY, but honestly just make your outliners be a weird mess of duplicate and missing objects. Why not just make them work like Layers in maya? pretty straightforward imo.


Yes, anyone who has worked on larger scenes and projects becomes quickly frustrated with the quirks of the Outliner.

My biggest issue is that Collections try to do scene organisation -and- render setup in the same set.
Coming from Maya and Softimage you quickly see the problems that arise on more complex scenes and render setup. It becomes a jumbled set Collections and objects living everywhere, making mistakes an almost given.

But being able to select, move or delete whole sets of hierarchies at once is a must for the Outliner, and will make a better workflow in Blender. Hopefully the latest workflow updates will not stall at 2.81, as it seems 2.82 will still inherit some of the quirks that are still there.

Sadly 2.82 doesn’t improve the situation much.

  • you still can’t select multiple hierarchies
  • you still can’t select a hierarchy of hidden parent objects (IMHO visibility should not effect selection behaviour in the Outliner)
  • you still can’t move a selected hierarchy from one collection to another without creating duplicate references.

Generally speaking, as soon as you try to restructure a scene graph with empty-hierarchy into a collection structure, you are screwed. I really hope that the team keeps up the great work and will give the Outline the love it requires.


Collections should never be part of the outliner imo, that’s why there’s too much struggle, conflicts and complexity in the outliner…
Collections should be a separate manager, similar to how it’s done on other packages… Hassle-free…


+1. It’s a huge mess to have it in the outliner.
C4D nailed it perfectly with their Layers and Takes systems.

Also many concepts of XSIs explorer could be an inspiration. The collection concept though is currently a huge problem. As there are no “rules” for what can be in a certain collection or not, this is a bad concept for binding stuff together for rendering or overrides later on…
Also the many different types of hiding and showing stuff is pretty confusing. Actually you can switch three types of visibility in the outliner wich causes trouble a lot of times. Hitting “H” for hide should hide the object in all aspects. Switching specificly for rendering or viewport is at least to me more of an exception. HIDE should mean HIDE, right? :wink:


@natecraddock, I’m really excited to see you working an the outline again for this years GSOC. Im sorry to direct these requests for vitally functionality needed in the outliner, but @pixtur covered 3 very important ones here, I hope they can be included in your proposal for enhancements if they are not already. Thx for your efforts!


Any luck with selection multiple parents and selecting their children? Maybe there’s an addon? Outliner needs a lot of love.

Look at option
Select Hierarchy Multi for multiple selected objects