The Outliner editor.

The Outliner is a list that organizes data in the blend-file. i.e. the scene data and also the Preferences.


  • View the data in the scene.
  • Select and deselect objects in the scene.
  • Hide or show an object in the scene.
  • Enable or disable selection (to make an object ”unselectable” in the 3D View).
  • Enable or disable the rendering of an object.
  • Delete objects from the scene.
  • Unlink data (equivalent to pressing the X button next to the name of a data-block).
  • Easily select which render layer to render.
  • Easily select which render pass to render (for example, you can choose to render just the Specular pass).

Tree View

Each row in the Outliner shows a data-block. You can click the plus sign to the left of a name to expand the current data-block and see what other data-blocks it contains.

You can select data-blocks in the Outliner, but this will not necessarily select the data-block in the scene. To select the data-block in the scene, you have to activate it.

Selecting and Activating

Single selection does not require any pre-selection: just work directly with LMB (and/or RMB – contextual menu, see below) inside the name/icon area.

When you select an object in the list this way, it is selected and becomes the active object in all other 3D Views.

Activating a Data-block

To ”activate” the data-block with LMB on the icon of the data-block. Activating the data-block will automatically switch to the relevant mode. For example, activating the mesh data of the cube will select the cube and enter Edit Mode while activating the object data of the cube will select the cube and enter Object Mode (see right).

If the data-block type supports multi-editing, you can use shift to add/remove objects from the edit mode.

Selecting a Group of Data-blocks

Useful when you want to select/deselect a whole bunch of data-blocks. For this you must prepare the selection using, to your liking:

  • RMB or LMB,
  • Shift-RMB or Shift-LMB,
  • RMB and drag or LMB and drag,

all outside the name/icon area. Those pre-selected have their line in a lighter color. You then can (de)select them with an RMB-click on the name/icon area, which brings on a context menu (see below). A to select/deselect all open items.


Selection of a data-block.

Context Menu

Show the context menu for a data-block with RMB on the icon or name. Depending on the type of the pre-selected data-block(s), you will have all or part of the following options:

Select, Select Hierarchy, Deselect
Add object to current selection without making it the active one.
To unlink a data-block from its ”owner” (e.g. a material from its mesh).
Make Local
To create a ”local” duplicate of this data-block.
Make Single User
This feature is not yet implemented.
Deletes the selected data-block.
Delete Hierarchy
Deletes the object and all of its child objects.
Remap Users
Remap Users of a data-block to another one (of same type of course) – means you can e.g. replace all usages of a material or texture by another one.
Add Fake User, Clear Fake User
Adds a ”dummy” (fake) user so that the selected data-block always gets saved even if it has no users. The fake user can be removed with Clear Fake User.
Rename Ctrl-LMB
Renames the selected data-block.
Select Linked
Selects the linked data, see Select Linked for more information.
View Menu

The view menu is part of the context menu and supported in all the outliner elements.

Show Active
Centers the Tree View to selected object Period.
Show/Hide One Level
Expand one level down in the tree NumpadPlus and NumpadMinus to collapse.
Show Hierarchy
To collapse all levels of the tree Home.


Some data-block types will not have a context menu at all!

Restriction Columns

The following toggles, in the right side of the Outliner editor, are available for collections, objects, bones, modifiers and constraints.

By default only the temporary viewport visibility is enabled. The other options can be enabled in the Restriction Toggles option in the outliner filter.

  • Holding Shift sets or unsets the value to all its child collections or objects.
  • Holding Ctrl isolates the object or collection, so they are the only ones with its value set.
Visibility (eye icon)
Toggles the visibility of the object in the 3D View.
Enable collection (checkbox)
Exclude the collection from the view layer. This is not really a restriction column. It is drawn besides the collection icon.


The following options need to first be enabled in the outliner filter.

Selectability (mouse cursor icon)
This is useful for if you have placed something in the scene and do not want to accidentally select it when working on something else.
Rendering (camera icon)
This will still keep the object visible in the scene, but it will be ignored by the renderer. Usually used by support objects that help modelling and animation yet do not belong in the final images.
Global Viewport Visibility (screen icon)
This will still render the object/collection, but it will be ignored by all the viewports. Often used for collections with high-poly objects that need to be instanced in other files.
Holdout (collection only)
Mask out objects in collection from view layer - Cycles only.
Indirect Only (collection only)
Objects in these collections only contribute to indirect light - Cycles only.



The Outliner with different kinds of data.