The FileWindow



As with every window header, the first button left enables you to set the window type.

Full Window

The second button expands the window to full screen or returns to the previous window display size; returns to the original screen setting (CTRL-UPARROW).

Sort Alpha

Files are sorted alphabetically. Directories are always sorted first.

Sort Time

Files are sorted by creation date.

Sort Size

Files are sorted by size.

Action type

Indicates what type of FileWindow this is. It is extremely important to continually verify that the correct LOAD or SAVE option is selected.

File list format

Indicates whether the file names are displayed in long or short format.

Hide dot-files

The ghost button hides dot-files (filenames with a leading dot).


The header provides extra information about the status of the selected directory.

  • Free: 81.106 Mb: the free disk space available

  • Files: (0) 72: the number of selected files between parentheses, followed by the total number of files.

  • (0.000) 8.600 Mb: the total number of bytes in the selected files between parentheses, followed by the total for the entire directory.


The FileWindow is generally called up to read and write files. However, you can also use it to manage the entire file system. It also provides a handy overview of the internal structure of a Blender file, since it is the window used to browse a .blend file content when an append action SHIFT-F1 is called for.

There are 4 'modes' for the FileWindow

The FileWindow is optimised for reuse. The second and subsequent times the same directory is called up, the file system is not re-read. This saves considerable time, but can sometimes cause confusion if other processes have written files to the directory (the directory is always read again after Blender writes to it). If you have any doubts about the validity of the current display, press DOTKEY.


Displays the parent directory. You can also use: PKEY.

Directory Name

The text right to the shows the current directory. You can also create a new directory. When you leave the text line (with LeftMouse or ENTER), you will be asked: "OK? Make dir".

Preset Directories

The file $HOME/.Bfs contains a number of presets that are displayed in this menu. If a file is read or written, the directory involved is temporarily added to the menu.

File Name

The file name can be entered here. This text line can also be used to select files using wildcards. Example: enter '*.tga', then press ENTER. All files with the extension '.tga' are selected.


Blender commands such as F1 (read file) and F2 (write file) invoke a FileWindow in FileSelect mode. This mode is used to indicate a single file, i.e. the file in the FileName button. Press ENTER to initiate the action, e.g. read a Blender file. Use ESC to cancel the action. The FileManager functions also work in FileSelect mode. These only work on selected files. Standard functions in this window:


Indicates the active file. Its name is placed in the FileName button.


Indicates the active file and closes the FileWindow with the message OK.


Select files. For functional reasons, a RMB Select here does not indicate the active file!


Closes the FileWindowperforming the desired action, returns with an OK message.


Closes the FileWindow with no further action.


Scrolls down one page.


Scrolls up one page.


Scrolls to the first file.


Scrolls to the last file.


Automatic file-number increase. If there is a number in the active file name (such as rt01.tga), this number is incremented by one. This is quite handy when reading or writing sequential files.


Automatic file number decrease (see previous description).


Make the current directory the root directory: "/"


Re-read the current directory.


For the active file: start the Unix editor defined in environment variable $WINEDITOR. For viewing text files.


For the active file: start the Unix image viewer definde in environment variable $IMAGEEDITOR . For viewing or Editing images.

Read Libraries

Blender allows you to read in, append, or link (parts of) other files. If 'Load Library' is selected by invoking the File Whindow with SHIFT-F1 the FileSelect appears in a special mode. Blender files are now highlighted as directories. They are accessible as a directory as well; they then display a situation in much the same way as DataView displays the internal Blender structure. Now you can select any number of blocks you wish using RightMouse and append them to the current structure with a simple ENTER. The complete 'underlying' structure is included: thus, if an Object is selected, the associated Ipo, ObData, Materials and Textures are included as well. If a Scene is selected, the entire Scene is appended to the current structure, Objects and all.

You can specify how you want this to be appended in the FileSelect Header:


External blocks become a normal part of the current structure, and thus of the file as well, if the file is saved. Appending a second time causes the entire selection to be added again in its entirety. Since block names must be unique, the name of the appended blocks will differ slightly from the existing name (only the number in the name).


This is the 'normal' use of Libraries. The specified blocks are added to the current structure here as well, but Blender remembers the fact that they are Library blocks. When the file is saved, only the name of the Library block and the name of the file from which the blocks were copied are saved, thus keeping the original file compact. When you read the file again, Blender reads the original file and then reads all the Library blocks from the other file(s). The names of the files and the blocks must not be changed, however. Blender keeps track of what Library blocks have already been read. Appending the same blocks twice has no consequences.

This enables more animators working on a project. Therefore a linked Object cannot be changed from the scene it is imported in.


The FileManager function only works with selected files. The active file does not play a role here. Most of these commands do expect two FileWindows to be open. Commands such as RKEY (remove) and TKEY (touch) also work with a single Window. Note: when we say files here, we also mean directories.


Select/deselect all files.


Backup files to the other FileWindow. This allows files to be copied without changing the file date.


Copy files to the other FileWindow. (Unix: cp -r) read.


Link files to the other FileWindow. (Unix: ln)


Move files to the other FileWindow. (Unix: mv)


Remove files. For safety's sake: only empty directories. (Unix rm -f)


Remove files recursively. This deletes the entire contents of directories. (Unix: rm -rf)


Update modification times of files. (Unix: touch)

DataView and DataBrowse

The DataView window can be invoked with SHIFT-F4. It allows you to view the entire internal Blender structure as a file system. Each DataBlock is listed as a file name. They are sorted by type in directories.

Currently, the functions are limited to:

PopupMenus that contain more than 24 items and are thus unmanageably large, are replaced by the DataBrowse windows. Standard functions in this window:


Display the active DataBlock. This is placed in the FileName button.


Display the active DataBlock and close the DataBrowse with an OK message.


Close the DataBrowse, return with an OK message.


Close the DataBrowse with no further action.


Scroll down one page.


Scroll up one page.