Left-click Select

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With Blender 2.8 the ability to use a more conventional left-click selection mechanic is possible. Although right-click might still be set as the default (see below), being able to swap mouse buttons brings Blender in-line with practices common, and more familiar, to other applications.

Design note: Blender may install with right-click as the default if a previous version of userpref.blend is found. See “Fresh Install” note below for remedy or follow the remaining instructions to switch selection.

Right-click is the default selection mechanic for Blender 2.8
Right-click may be set as the default selection operation for Blender 2.8 but this can be changed.

Fresh Install/First (re)Run

If Blender 2.8 is installed fresh, i.e. no prior versions of the applications are in use or available, Blender will present a Quick Setup splash screen [1] when starting. Here the Select With option can be set, either as Left or Right, by clicking the appropriate button depending on personal preference. This will then be saved to userpref.blend which loads each time Blender starts.

Design note: if other versions of Blender 2.8 have been installed the Quick Setup screen will not appear because selection preference is either using an old default (right-click) or it may have been previously set and saved to userpref.blend found in C:\Users\[user]\AppData\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.80\config\. If this is the case deleting or renaming the file will force Blender to regenerate the *.blend based on the Quick Setup options established during first (re)run.

The Quick Setup splash screen showing Left and Right selection options
When Blender 2.8 is (re)run for the first time a Quick Setup [1] version of the splash-screen appears providing the opportunity to set Left or Right click as the default selection action which is then saved and used each time the application is used/started.

Setting Left Click

If the selection preference has been previously set and/or a change is needed, to set left-click as the selection default, first access User Preferences from the main Edit menu in the Info Editor (Edit » User Preferences). This opens the preferences window.

Design note: User Preferences is where most, if not all, the settings and options that determine Blenders general behaviour, how it works, are changed or set, saved to userpref.blend.

Access User Preferences from the main Edit menu
To swap between left and right click selections first access User Preferences.

Next, in the Blender Preferences window [1] that appeared, click Keymap [2] to access associated options. Here, under Preferences, are the Select With options; the Left and Right [3] buttons. Click Left [4] to set left-click as the selection default. Close preferences to then be immediately able to select objects using the left-mouse button.

Design note: once Left-click is enabled, selecting multiple objects can be done as normal engaging the Shift key (Shift + left-click), right-click and all associated functions will be disabled or transferred to left-click. Note also Ctrl + left-click, previously Lasso Select, no longer works, not as a consequence of Left-click selection default but instead as a result of updates to Blenders selection system.

User Preferences provides two options to set which mouse-button to use for selection
To switch to the left mouse button click Left
In Blender Preferences [1] click the Keymap header [2] to access the Select With options [3], then Left [4] to set left-click as the selection option.

Left-click Default

To set left-click more permanently as Blender 2.8’s default selection mechanic, after clicking the Left button, click the Save Preferences button bottom-left to store the change in the (*.blend) start-up file thus ensuring left-click become the default action for new projects.

Design note: loading older projects may require left-click to be set per the above because settings may be brought in from the *.blend file originally used to create the project and not the updated start-up file. Setting left-click should then be stored as a preference along with others the project may contain/include.

Click Save Preferences to store left-click selection as the default
Once left-click is set, to make it the default behaviour click Save Preferences to store the setting in the *.blend start-up file that’s loaded each time Blender starts.


Setting left-click as the selection mechanic for Blender 2.8.

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