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I have become used to the convenience of the following when searching for and opening a file in Windows (7)

  • Start typing the name of the file into an edit box and have files beginning with the same characters start showing up as a list underneath
  • Type part of the file name wrapped in asterisks (like *orange_tex*), press enter, and have the list of files filtered based on that wildcard.

But I find that Blender's file browsing page (the page you're on if your loading a texture into your scene, for example) is difficult to use if you're in a directory with a large number of files in it. You kind of have to know the full name of the file or sort by file name alphabetically and scan visually for it.

So I am wondering if there is actually something built into this file browser that I'm not aware of that will make it easier to find a particular file quickly within a large list. Does anyone know of such a thing?

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Blender's file selector doesn't support this kind of filtering, but since you ask this question, here is some related functionality.

  1. You can use Tab to auto-complete when typing a file name as you would in a shell..

  2. You can also filter files by typing wildcards into the filename field *. followed by an extension eg foo*.blend, project*.*. When you press Enter, this will highlight all files with the extension in the current directory. (you can use A to clear the highlighting).

  3. When opening files, you can use the filters available in the header to help narrow your search etc..

    enter image description here

Search (Addon)

There is an addon that can further help you when searching for files called File Browser Search. It presents you with a list of results that matched your query.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. That file browser plugin works well. I'll just have to remember to use it when I open files :) $\endgroup$
    – MrVimes
    Jun 18, 2013 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ I actually made a feature request for this very functionality (I did know about the add-on, but it would be nicer IMO to just start typing and have stuff highlighted.. I also found the tab completion rather limited.. only seems to work with more than two characters? And only completes if there are enough characters typed in to have only one possible match. (instead of display a list or cycling through matches.) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jun 21, 2013 at 1:40
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    $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 See developer.blender.org/… $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Nov 23, 2013 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ @iKlsR I know. I reported the bug report which resulted in that commit :) $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Nov 23, 2013 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ @WhovianBron3 the addon or the link? This answer is pretty dated and it looks like it was made for 2.74. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Nov 7, 2016 at 5:05

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