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Properties Search
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Description

With Blender's ever expanding feature set, it's useful to be able to search for properties, just like users can currently search for data inside the Outliner. Here's how we think it should work:

  • We replace the Properties header content with a search box, just like the Outliner and move the context breadcrumbs back inside the tabs at the top
  • When the user types in a search string, we show a list of matching properties. It searches the RNA names, but can also search for UI overriden names.
  • These properties have no UI layout - we just display them in a list, which fits nicely with the concept of the single column UI.
  • These properties use the title from RNA and not the overridden name from the UI layout script. Otherwise the name could end up being a confusing abbreviation like 'Y' instead of 'Aspect Y'
  • It will search across all properties tabs, but only show results for one tab at a time
  • We can use greying out for the properties tabs to show which other tabs may include results for the search string:

  • We can still display the container panel for each result, so users know where to find that property in the future:

We can also support searching more dynamic content, such as modifiers:

Related Objects

Event Timeline

This will be a very welcome addition. Will these results be limited to properties that we can find in the properties window, or will they show results from other editors?

I'd vote for the former, however one common problem of "search result" UIs is knowing where the original location for each entry is.
Some times it might be useful to know where in the properties window that property came from, so you could find them later without searching, or see related settings close by.

Not sure if it is possible to make the property name clickable when displayed in the search results so clicking it takes you to the appropriate tab and panel, or perhaps show a breadcrumb for each; though I can see how it will easily make the UI crowded.

Great idea. I still think it would be useful even with changing to nodal modifiers, there will always be panels with things to find in them

Will this work if a different Language is being displayed?

Interesting to think about reset behaviour. If we are in the state illustrated above, searching for “aspect”, which elements are active?

It could be that all tabs are inactive in that state and you are required to clear the search, by clicking the “x”, to proceed as normal.

However it might be nicer if clicking any of the tabs would immediately clear the search and open the panel. Clicking on a greyed-out tab would display as normal. But clicking on a highlighted tab would not only clear search but would open such that all sections are collapsed except for the ones containing matched items. That way you don’t need to add anything new for “go to original location” as mentioned earlier.

It could be that all tabs are inactive in that state and you are required to clear the search, by clicking the “x”, to proceed as normal.

Maybe search results could be an entirely new tab that only pops up whenever there is entered text in the box.
Clearing the box "hides" the tab and entering new text switches to it again

Not related to this task, but having search on the Preferences would be great too

@Harley Acheson (harley) apparently it’s not explained clearly enough in description, but the idea is that searching will always search across all properties tabs. You’ll only see the results from one tab at a time, and the highlighting tabs will communicate to users which other tabs also contain results.

@Wo!262 (wo262) Yes, thet's the idea too. Once we have it working for Properties, it should be easy to do the same for Preferences.