The File Browser is used in all the file-related operations. These include:
Opening and saving blend-files.
Browsing inside other blend-files, when appending or linking data-blocks, see Linked Libraries.
Importing from/exporting to other file formats.
Picking new locations for existing file paths (images, videos, fonts…).
The most common way to use this editor is through modal operators (like opening or saving a blend-file). It will appear maximized, waiting for the operation to complete, and then close and return to the former screen layout.
You can always select several entries in the File Browser, the last selected one is considered as the active one. If the calling operation expects a single path (like e.g. the main blend-file Open one), it will get that active item’s path, other selected ones will just be ignored.
You can also keep the File Browser open, as any other editor type, to browse through the file system. The main purpose of this is to be able to drag-and-drop media files:
Images into the 3D Viewport (to set as background or apply as material texture).
Media files into the Video Editing.
- Navigation icon buttons
Tools for navigation of files.
- Left Arrow Backspace, Alt-Left
Move to previous folder (in navigation history).
- Right Arrow Shift-Backspace, Alt-Right
Move to next folder (in navigation history).
- Up Arrow P, Alt-Up
Move up to parent directory.
- Cycle Arrows R, NumpadPeriod
Refresh current folder.
- Create Directory I
Will ask you to confirm and create a new directory inside current one, scroll to it in the main view, and let you enter its name.
- Display Mode
Controls how files are displayed.
Vertical List displays files and folders in a vertical list.
Horizontal List displays files and folders in a horizontal list.
Thumbnails shows previews.
Sorts items by one of the four proposed methods (alphabetically, by types, by dates, or by size):
- Show hidden H
Shows hidden files (starting with a
To the right of the header are the filtering options.
The first “funnel” button controls whether filtering is enabled or not.
- File Types
Filters files by categories, like folders, blend-files, images, etc.
- Data-Block Types
When appending or linking, you can also filter by data-block categories, like scenes, animations, materials, etc.
- Search field Ctrl-F
Filter items by name. The wildcard
*will match anything, e.g.
bl*erwill match both
blogger. There is always an implicit wildcard at start and end of the search string, so
blenderwill also match
test_blender_file.blend. This field can also be used to filter some specific file extension (e.g.
.pngwill list all PNG files).
- File Path
Text field for the current folder path. Tab will auto-complete an existing path. If you type a non-existing directory path, you will be prompted to create that new directory.
- File Name
Text field to edit the file name and extension. When saving, if the background is red, a file with same name already exists in the folder. Tab will auto-complete to existing names in the current directory.
- Increment Filename
Adds/increases or removes/decreases a trailing number to your file name (used e.g. to store different versions of a file).
- Confirm Return
The main button to validate the operation, which defines its name. Double-clicking on a non-directory item will have the same effect.
- Cancel Esc
Cancels the file selection (and the underlying operation), and closes the File Browser. Using the Back to Previous button in the Topbar will have the same effect.
The left region is divided in two areas, Bookmarks on top, and the Operator panel at the bottom.
The top one displays different ways to quickly access some directories, in four lists. Clicking on one of the shortcut entries will immediately navigate to that folder.
Contains all OS-defined available volumes, e.g. drives or network mounts.
Contains OS-defined common directories, like the main user folder…
Contains folders that you want to be able to access often without having to navigate to them in the File Browser. To the right of that list are buttons to perform basic management actions on your favorites, e.g. add/remove an entry, move it up or down in the list, etc.
Contains recently accessed folders. The
Xbutton to the right allows you to fully erase this list.
You can control how many folders appear in this list with the Recent Files number field of the Save & Load tab in the Preferences.
Shows the options of the calling operator. Besides common actions listed below, many import/export add-ons will also expose their options there.
- Open, Save, Save As Blender File
See Opening & Saving.
- Open, Replace, Save As Image
- Link/Append from Library
See Linked libraries.
For the common option:
- Relative Path
See Relative Paths.
Both LMB and RMB clicks work. Holding Shift will extend the items selection.
- (De)select All A
Toggles selecting all files.
Dragging with LMB starts a box selection.
It is also possible to select/deselect files by “walking” through them using the arrow keys:
Just using an arrow key, the next file in the chosen direction will be selected and all others deselected.
Holding down Shift while doing this does not deselect anything so it extends to the selection, plus it allows to deselect files by navigating into a block of already selected ones (minimum two files in sequence).
Holding down Shift-Ctrl further selects/deselects all files in between.
If no file is selected, the arrow key navigation selects the first or last file in the directory, depending on the arrow direction.
If you select a directory and hit Return, you will go into that directory
(and highlighting ‘parent’
.. entry will bring you up one level).
- Delete Files Delete, X
Delete the currently selected files.
- Rename F2
Change the name for the currently selected file or directory.
Be careful, there is no way to undo those actions!
In its Thumbnail display mode, the File Browser supports many types of previews. These include:
Image and video formats
See Blend-files Previews for how to manage Blender data previews.