Selecting parent in outliner should automatically select children

This problem has been brought up several times through the years, still I want to try to knock on the doors myself, as no apparent progress has been made, and the more we are the better after all these years.

One would expect that selecting a parent with multiple child objects would automatically select also the child objects, but this isn’t the case, and this is extremely problematic when working with large scale projects with lots of parents and child objects (which have also other child attached to them). This because, when for example we want to move a large number of parents from one collection to the other, the child objects don’t move along with the parents.

And using the select hierarchy operator in the right-click menu doesn’t solve this, as it doesn’t work with multiple hierarchies.

1-Selecting parents should automatically select its children.
2-The select hierarchy operator in the right-click menu should work with multiple hierarchies.

Please, with projects that have more than 10-20 objects it’s very difficult and frustrating to work and organize stuff without these behaviors.


Auto select childs is not OK (maybe only if it will be some checkbox in Preferences). When working with complex houses I use parenting for a lot to organize/systematize/manage diferent types of instances, diffenrent house parts models, etc. Sometimes I just need to select parents to manage them, I don’t want childs been auto selected in such cases. It will be wrong behavior but from opposite direction - I’d have to deselect those childs to manage just parent…

About multi parents childs selection - yeah, really annoying not being able to do this.

I think if multi parent children’s selections will work correct - to press some hotkey to expand selection through all childs wouldn’t be an issue.

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IDN if you saw my old propose in “Outliner” thread, I made a small addon to illustrate missing features, but it seems it will be as addon for a long time until some one made a patch.

Added: checked, I’m pretty sure you saw it.
If you need just some of that menu entries, I can change it for you.

About Outliner features, as I know, it only possible through new GSoC projects.

About automatically select children, it’s a bad idea.
For me best solution is select parents in outliner by holding shift or ctrl and with dbl-click on last selected object you select all children objects.
Like a Collection behavior with shift hold and dbl-click (but it also works only for one collection…).

Outliner so inconsistent…I hope it will have some love next summer with GSoC.

Maybe I’m used also to other software where this behavior is expected and I’m biased, so I can agree that there are also situations where you may not want to have children selected with parent, but even if they don’t get selected, can’t you agree that moving one or more parents to a collection should move also the children in that collection, without digging into multiple hierarchies nested one inside the other?
As you can see in the first video, we are talking about hundreds of objects nested sometimes in 4 layers of hierarchies, it’s very frustrating to me to have to open every single hierarchy just to be able to select objects and move them together with their parents into a collection. It’s called “parent”, as you move the parent in the 3D view and the objects follow it, I’d expect that also moving the parent in the Outliner moves the children with it.

@APEC Yes I remember your add-on, and don’t get me wrong it’s a wonderful solution (and the only one) for the time being, but on the other hand I think that lots of those operators should be “contextual” rather than done via a menu or assigned to multiple different shortcuts: currently, I have an operator in the outliner that duplicates objects with shift+D, but because of this, I can’t assign the same shortcut to duplicating collections (with objects) or parents with children, because it won’t work for any of them, so I have to assign a different shortcut to every single operation, or rely on the right-click menu. Instead, it would be way better to have shift+D to work depending on what I have selected: If I’ve selected one or more objects, it duplicates objects, if I’ve selected parents, it duplicates parents with children, if collection etc…

And this should be the same for selecting, which is probably the most common and used operation in any software, and shouldn’t rely on a right-click menu entry, for the sake of speed and productivity.

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Not as a single click, but there definitely should be a shortcut to select hierarchy with a double click, for example