1.4. Areas

The application window is always a rectangle on your desktop. It is divided up into a number of re-sizable areas. An area contains the workspace for a particular type of editor, like a 3D View Editor, or an Outliner.

1.4.1. Arranging

Blender uses a novel screen-splitting approach to arrange areas. The idea is that you split up that big application window into any number of smaller (but still rectangular) non-overlapping areas. That way, each area is always fully visible, and it is very easy to work in one area and hop over to work in another.

1.4.1.1. Changing the Size

You can resize areas by dragging their borders with LMB. Simply move your mouse cursor over the border between two areas, until it changes to a double-headed arrow, and then click and drag.

1.4.1.2. Splitting and Joining

1.4.1.2.1. Area Split Widget

_images/interface-window_system-arranging_areas-split_widget.png

In the upper right and lower left corners of an area are the area split widgets, and they look like a little ridged thumb grip. It both splits and combines areas. When you hover over it, your cursor will change to a cross (✛).

LMB and drag it inward split the area. You define the direction of that border by either dragging horizontally or vertically.

In order to join two areas LMB click and drag the area splitter outward. They must be the same dimension (width or height) in the direction you wish to join. This is so that the combined area space results in a rectangle.

_images/interface-window_system-arranging_areas-join_areas.png

Figure 2: The Properties Editor is being merged "over" the Outliner.

The area that will closed gets a dark overlaid with an arrow. Now you can select the area to be closed by moving the mouse over it.

Release the LMB to complete the join. If you press Esc or RMB before releasing the mouse, the operation will be aborted.

1.4.1.2.2. Area Options

RMB on the border opens the Area Options.

Split Area
Shows a indicator line that lets you select the area and position where to split. Tab switches between vertical/horizontal.
Join Areas
Shows the join direction overlay.

Confirm or cancel works as described above.

1.4.1.3. Swapping Contents

You can swap the contents between two areas with Ctrl-LMB on one of the splitters of the initial area, dragging towards the target area, and releasing the mouse there. The two areas do not need to be side by side, though they must be inside the same window.

1.4.2. Duplicate Area into new Window

Reference

Menu: View ‣ Duplicate Area into new Window

The new window is a fully functional window, which is part of the same instance of Blender. This can be useful, e.g. if you have multiple monitors.

A new window can be created from View ‣ Duplicate Area into new Window.

You can also create a new window from an existing area by Shift-LMB on the area splitter widget, then drag slightly.

The window can be closed with the OS Close Window button.

1.4.3. Toggle Maximize Area

Reference

Menu: View ‣ Toggle Maximize Area
Hotkey: Ctrl-Up, Shift-Spacebar

The maximized area fill the whole application window. It contains the Info Editor and the select area.

You can maximize an area with the View ‣ Toggle Maximize Area menu entry. To return to normal size use again menu entry, or RMB on the editors header and select Maximize Area and Tiled Area to return. In the Info Editor header the Back to Previous button on the right of the menus also returns to tiled areas.

A quicker way to achieve this is to use the shortcuts: Shift-Spacebar, Ctrl-Down or Ctrl-Up to toggle between maximized and normal areas.

Note

The area your mouse is currently hovering over is the one that will be maximized using the keyboard shortcuts.

1.4.4. Toggle Fullscreen Area

Reference

Menu: View ‣ Toggle Full Screen
Hotkey: Alt-F10

The fullscreen area contains only the main region. The headers visibility can still be toggled with the shortcut. To exit the fullscreen move the mouse to the top right corner of the area to reveal the return icon or use the shortcut Alt-F10.