The Blender Sidebar Menu will come up often when learning to use Blender 3D. Here’s an overview of where the sidebar is and how to use the sidebar menu in Blender.
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Where is the Sidebar in Blender?
The Blender sidebar is a menu which appears on the right side of the 3D Viewport. The “Sidebar” is often referred to as “The N Menu” because it’s viewed by pressing “N” on the keyboard.
If you can’t see the sidebar menu in Blender, press “N” on the keyboard to toggle it open or to close it.
The sidebar menu is a dynamic menu, meaning its options change depending on which mode we are in (Object Mode, Edit Mode, etc) and what we have selected. Many functions and operations in Blender are controlled in the sidebar menu.
It’s also where controls for many Blender add-ons can be found.
On the right edge of the sidebar menu are tabs which each display different sets of controls. These tabs include a few basic ones (Item, Tool and View) but more tabs will appear if third party plugins have been installed with Blender.
As you see above, each tab of the Blender sidebar menu shows different options, settings and controls. These may change slightly if we are in Object Mode or Edit Mode and whether or not we have something selected.
Sidebar Menu: Item Tab
The “Item” tab of the Blender sidebar menu displays controls for whichever item is selected in Object Mode or the selected mesh in Edit Mode.
In Object Mode, we can manually adjust characteristics of selected objects such as the location, rotation, scale and absolute dimensions.
Sidebar Menu: Tool Tab
The “Tool” tab in the sidebar displays controls depending on which tool we have selected (from the toolbar on the left of the viewport).
Above are some examples of tool settings displayed in the sidebar.
Sidebar Menu: View Tab
The View Tab of the Sidebar shows settings related to how we view our scene. We can control clipping distance and focal length as well as settings for the 3D cursor. We are able to lock the camera to the current view which is helpful.
Sidebar Menu: Create Tab
If you don’t see “Create” in the sidebar, you don’t have any add-ons with applicable controls.
Sidebar Menu: Other Settings
Some addons (like Human Generator) create their own tabs in the Blender Sidebar. If you add a lot of plugins to Blender, you can quickly fill up the sidebar menu.
There’s a free add-on called Simple Tabs which gives you control over the names and order of the sidebar tabs for better organization of the sidebar.
I hope this helped explain how to use the sidebar in Blender. Have a look around the site for more information about learning Blender, including the Blender user interface.
Take a look at my YouTube channel for straight-to-the-point Blender tutorials. Stay creative!
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