Contextual Views

The 3D View has several «contextual view» modes that can be set for a particular 3D View. These views can change how the overall 3D View looks or how you interact with objects.

View Global/Local


Mode:All modes
Menu:View ‣ View Global/Local

Global view shows all of the 3D objects in the scene. Local view isolates the selected object or objects, so that they are the only ones visible in the viewport. This is useful for working on objects that are obscured by other ones, or to speed up viewport performance in heavy scenes.

You can toggle between Global and Local View by selecting the option from the View Menu or using the shortcut NumpadSlash.


Global View.


Local View.


These notes cover changes in local view which are not immediately obvious.

3D Cursor
In local view the 3D cursor is not locked to the scene. Instead, each view has an independent cursor location.

Local view bypasses layers, using only the selected objects when entering local view. Although new objects may be added while in local view.

It’s also possible to send objects out of local view, using Object ‣ Move Objects out of Local View, which can be useful to further isolate a selection.

Preview Renders
Preview renders will still use lamps outside the local view, this allows you to quickly render previews without having to remember to select all lamps when entering local view.


Accidentally pressing NumpadSlash can happen rather often if you are new to Blender, so if a bunch of the objects in your scene seem to have mysteriously vanished, try turning off local view.

Quad View


Mode:All modes
Menu:View ‣ Toggle Quad View
Panel:Properties region ‣ Display ‣ Toggle Quad View

Toggling Quad View will split the 3D View into four views: Three Orthographic «side views» and one Camera/User View. This view will allow you to instantly see your model from a number of view points. In this arrangement, you can zoom and pan each view independently but you cannot rotate the view.

Shortcuts for all views at once:

  • View All Ctrl-Home
  • View Selected Ctrl-NumpadPeriod


Quad View is different from splitting the area and aligning the view manually. In Quad View, the four views are still part of a single 3D View. So they share the same draw options and layers.


Quad View.


These options can be found in Properties region ‣ Display.

If you want to be able to rotate each view, you can uncheck the Locked option.
Syncs the view position between side views.
Clip objects based on what is visible in other side views.