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Outliner Active Elem Navigation Using Arrow Keys (Up, Down)
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Authored by Aqib Maqbool (aqib) on May 7 2019, 8:43 AM.
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Selects prev/next item in Outliner using arrow keys (up, down)


Working in Outliner

Up ArrowActive Elem ExistsMoves Active Elem to Up Elem
//Active Elem is First ElemMoves Active Elem to Last Elem
//No Active ElemActivate First Elem
Down ArrowActive Elem ExistsMoves Active Elem to Down Elem
//Active Elem is Last ElemMoves Active Elem to First Elem
//No Active ElemActivate Last Elem


It's also selects item in Outliner & 3d Viewport also selected item becomes active object


Activate First / Last Element (no Active Elem exists)

Navigation Up, Down, First && Last

Working in ALL Display Modes

Relation with 3d Viewport

How it works

  • Now it's also effects Outliner & 3d Viewport Selections
  • New active elem becomes selected in Outliner & active in 3d Viewport

To check this patch, you should first apply dependency patch, otherwise it generates errors.

The Idea

Navigating and Selecting items in Outliner with Arrow Keys

It's only idea I will update all the features in diff related posts.

Any confusion or suggestions comments me...

Diff Detail

Event Timeline

William Reynish (billreynish) requested changes to this revision.EditedMay 7 2019, 10:41 AM

This is a really nice feature to support. It's already listed here: T63992

However, I noticed some issues:

  • If I I navigate to the bottom item and press down, I get a crash
  • Holding Shift doesn't work to expand the selection while using the keyboard. Although that could be considered a separate feature.
  • I am not able to use left or right or open or close disclosure triangles.

The last two issues are in your proposal, so I'm guessing you just haven't added them yet in this patch?

It would probably be good if you could explain the intended scope of this - it's a bit unclear if it's a WIP, or if you want to make several patches to accomplish your proposal.

This revision now requires changes to proceed.May 7 2019, 10:41 AM
Aqib Maqbool (aqib) retitled this revision from Navigating Selection with Arrow Keys Blender Outliner to Outliner Active Elem Navigation Using Arrow Keys (Up, Down).May 9 2019, 3:25 PM
Aqib Maqbool (aqib) edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)
Aqib Maqbool (aqib) edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)

It seems like you have changed it now so the arrows don't actually change the selection? If that is the case, I don't think that's the correct approach. Keyboard navigation *should* affect the selection I think - that's the main point of it. We have too many selection states already, so adding yet another one I think just adds more confusion, and it doesn't help make regular selections that much easier.

Updates the patch...

William Reynish (billreynish) requested changes to this revision.May 9 2019, 3:39 PM

This could be discussed in the UI group, but I don't think it's the right approach to add a separate navigation selection state, so that navigating using the keyboard doesn't affect the selection but only a separate kind of navigation selection. The idea was to merge selection states in the Outliner, so that instead of having two states, we would have one. But this is the reverse - it adds a third state on top of the two we already have. I would prefer to keep it simple, working more like most file browsers and apps like Unity, where navigating with the keyboard simply moves the normal selection up or down, with the ability to hold Shift to extend it.

This revision now requires changes to proceed.May 9 2019, 3:39 PM

I haven't tried it myself, but from the demo images it does seem to make a lot of sense from a user point of view.

I totally understand the concerns of adding yet another "state" to the outliner, which already is quite burdened and complex, but it actually seems to makes navigating the outliner with keyboard actually usable and above all predictable.

Since navigating now uses arrows and range selection uses Shift+Arrows I'd say the only thing missing is the ability to select single items without rage. I'd vote for something like Space Bar, or Enter key, if available.

Just be clear, adding an 'active' state is ok - it's most likely needed to support keyboard navigation well. But, the active item should always be a selected item, and not something that is independent from the selection. Moving the active element with the keyboard should also move the selection. To end-users, they then won't have to worry about yet another selection state.

@William Reynish (billreynish) Ok! I will try for that's.

I now think active element defaults also selects the elem and also in 3d Viewport (syns) But again may be cases when it's another state. So for example I used Shift + Click ( currently implementation in blender) to select Three item. Now e.g. Active elem is third item. Again i deselects the third item item in this case the active should be thired by not selected because i want to remove that's form selection. how about that's???

Updates the patch to Selects the item in Outliner & also in 3d Viewport.
The Selected item becomes also active in 3d Viewport and Outliner

Abid Maqbool (cto.abid) edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)May 11 2019, 7:27 AM
Abid Maqbool (cto.abid) edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)May 11 2019, 7:39 AM

I think now it's better. Sync Selection when navigation with arrows. In this way the confusion also eliminated (new selection implementation).

I 'am now working on Ctrl + Click


Shift + arrow key form append selection


Left / Right arrow to Expend/Collapse children.

Left me know if it's a better so that i can continue...

A lot of changes in this patch

Changes in Outliner default key-maps:

Moves Outliner's key-map Shift + Click to Ctrl + Click (Extend Selection)
Moves Outliner's Key-map Ctrl + Click to Alt + Click (Recursive Selection)
Moves Outliner's Key-map Shift + Ctrl + Click to Ctrl + Alt + Click (Extended Recursive Selection)

Re-implementation of some actions

Reassign Close/Expend elements action to Shift + Click (on close/expend arrow)
Reassign Extended Close/Expend elements action to Ctrl + Click (on close/expend arrow)

Important Note: Dependency patch is also updated, you must apply updated patch to check this patch

Abid Maqbool (cto.abid) edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)May 12 2019, 7:22 AM

I'm a bit confused here. This patch does not seem to add support for keyboard navigation at all. It appears that this patch enables Shift-clicking to extend selections.

That part seems to work well, but I think you have mixed this patch up with D4810.

@William Reynish (billreynish) Oh! Sorry I think, i messed up. I will correct now. thanks to mention this

Abid Maqbool (cto.abid) edited the summary of this revision. (Show Details)May 13 2019, 3:47 AM

Revert the patch that's was unfortunately mixed with other patch `Sequence Selection Implementation in Blender's 2.8 Outliner
`. Now it's works.