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Last update: January 27, 2023

How to change editor in Blender?

Learning how the interface works in Blender primarily comes down to learning the terminology of each part. When we have a project open, we have the application window. Within the application window we have workspaces that we can manage using the tabs at the top of the application window.

Within a workspace we have multiple editors each specialized to view and manipulate the various data contained in our scene.

To change one editor into another in Blender, go to the editor menu located in the top left corner of any already open editor in Blender and choose any other available editor from the menu.

We can also use shortcuts or simply switch between workspaces to access different editors. Let's cover this fully so that we can understand these fundamentals once and for all.

How to change one editor into another in Blender?

It used to be that everything in Blender's interface was an editor. These days however, we have a header at the top that is not an editor, but appart from that, every part of Blender's interface is an editor. From the 3D viewport to the properties panel or the file browser.

With that out of the way, in the top left corner of any open editor, you will find the editor menu. The menu icon is different for every editor, indicating what editor is open at the moment.

There is one exception to this though. The header for any editor can be flipped to be at the bottom of the editor. In that case you will find the editor menu button in the lower left corner instead of the top.

You can switch an editor's header between the top and bottom by right clicking on empty space on the header and press "Flip to bottom" or "Flip to top".

Not all, but alot of the editors also have a shortcut. If you hover your mouse cursor over an editor and hold Shift and press any of the F1 through F12 keys, you will switch that editor to the editor with the corresponding shortcut key.

Here is a list of the available shortcuts.

  • Shift + F1 - File browser, Asset browser
  • Shift + F2 - Movie clip editor
  • Shift + F3 - Compositor, Texture node editor, Geometry nodes editor, Shader editor
  • Shift + F4 - Python console
  • Shift + F5 - 3D viewport
  • Shift + F6 - Graph editor, Drivers
  • Shift + F7 - Properties
  • Shift + F8 - Video sequencer
  • Shift + F9 - Outliner
  • Shift + F10 - Image editor, UV editor
  • Shift + F11 - Text editor
  • Shift + F12 - Dope sheet, Timeline

Shortcuts with multiple editors will toggle between the editors in the list when you click the F# key multiple times.

And these editors don't have a shortcut and bust instead be accessed through the menu.

  • Nonlinear animation editor
  • Info editor
  • Spreadsheet editor
  • Preferences

How to add another editor in Blender?

We can also add a new editor into our workspace. In order to do so, we need to split an existing editor into two and then changing one of the editors to the editor type we want. Follow these steps:

  • Move your mouse cursor to the corner of any editor until the cursor looks like a crosshair.
  • Click and drag the mouse along one of the edges belonging to that editor.
  • A copy of the editor will be created in the area.
  • Release the mouse when you are happy with the editors' sizes.
  • Change the editor type in the top left corner of one of the now two editors.

If you instead want to remove an editor, we can do so by collapsing an editor into an editor that the editor we want to remove share a border with.

Note that the shared border can't be overlapping multiple editors. There needs to be two editors that share a full border with each other.

  • Move your mouse cursor to the corner of an editor until the cursor looks like a cross on the editor you want to take up the space the that is currently being occupied by an editor you want to remove.
  • Click and drag your mouse cursor across the border into the editor you want to remove.
  • The mouse cursor will point to the editor that will be removed and a white outline will indicate the full area the editor that is left will occupy.
  • Release the mouse.

If you mistakenly clicked the wrong editor, you could pull the mouse cursor back over the border to reverse the function so that the first editor will be removed instead.

You can also pull the mouse cursor out from both editors before you release the mouse the cancel the operation.

How to change editor modes?

Some editors have multiple modes designed for different tasks. For example, the 3D viewport has an array of modes ranging from object mode, to edit mode, sculpt mode, various paint modes and sculpt mode.

The modes available also depends on what kind of object you currently have selected. To switch modes in an editor you will find a drop-down menu, most often close to the top left in the editor's header where you can switch modes for that particular editor.

For example, we might have a shader editor up. In the shader editor we can switch between object, world and line style modes. If you want to edit the nodes for a material, you need to be in object mode.

Another example is in the 3D viewport where we may be in object mode while we have a mesh object selected, that is, for example a cube. If we switch to edit mode, we can manipulate the individual pieces such as vertices, edges and faces for that object.

What is the difference between an editor and a workspace in Blender?

In the beginning of the article, we mentioned that in the application window we have workspaces that are made up of editors.

A workspace is a collection of editors already setup for us. We can use existing workspaces, or we can create our custom workspace by pressing the plus sign to the right of the right most workspace in the application window header.

By using the existing workspaces or setting up our own, we can quickly change our whole work area with a single click.

Final thoughts

This has been a quick introduction to Blender's interface and how the editors make up pretty much all of it. The interface is very customizable, and you can have as many editors as you want or change any editor into any other.

We can find the editor menu in the top left corner of any editor.

We also learned that editors live inside workspaces.

Written by: Erik Selin

Editor & Publisher

Erik Selin
3D artist, writer, and owner of artisticrender.com

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