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I'm working on a large scene, I organized the objects in collections and I need to duplicate some of these collections and transform them, the process so far is:
1- Select object in viewport that is included in the collection I need to duplicate.
2- Go to outliner, press . in Numpad to focus the object.
3- Scroll up or Page Up until I find the parent collection (some of these collections have a ton of objects).
4- Select the collection, right click, duplicate.
5- Select the duplicate collection, alt+RMB to select all objects ("I assigned that shortcut to do this functionality").
6- Transform the objects in the new collection.

That's a lot of moves just to get a collection duplicated and transformed. to make this easier, I'm trying to find a shortcut to select the collection by one of it's memebers (so remove steps 2 and 3).
What I know is that I can select all collection members using one selected member directly from viewport by Shift+G and choosing collection, but that wont select the collection itself, only the members, and if I duplicate these, the duplicates will be inside the same collection. In the Outliner itself, there seems to be no menu or shortcuts, aside from right click
My question is: Is there an operation or shortcut to save at least steps (3 and 4) above? Which is to select the collection in the outliner when I have one of its members selected?

To Elaborate More: In 3DS max, when you put all objects in a group, the group itself has priority, so in the viewport, when you click an object, you select the group that contains that object, when you duplicate, you duplicate the group, you can still amend that group, by opening the group or exploding it, the concept with collection is the same, but ergonomically in Blender, it is flipped, the collection system is tucked in the background with too many required steps to reach and tweak, so am I doing something wrong? Is there something that I'm overlooking or I don't know about that will make this process intuitive?

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  • $\begingroup$ if you select all your objects in your 3D view with shift G, duplicate, keep the duplications selected and press M to create a new collection, you have all the duplications in a new collection and you didn't need to do it through the Outliner, is it not what you want? Also, maybe it would be good to be able to select all the objects of a collection by just clicking on the collection in the Outliner, but there might be some drawbacks, I don't know... $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Nov 25 '20 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ This method might save some time if I didn't care about proper naming the collections, but unfortunately, I need them to be properly named, so in this case, I will have to re-type the name of every collection I duplicate, it won't matter if we're talking about few collections, but I'm talking about tens of collections $\endgroup$
    – Georges D
    Nov 25 '20 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ Don't know if there is a way to do what you want. Only thing I sometimes use is the fact that the collection which holds the selected object has got a highlighted object symbol. If there's too many levels of hierarchy visible in the Outliner I press 'A' to select all, 'Home' and Numpad 'Minus' so everything is collapsed. Then it's easier to find the collection with the highlighted symbol. If you want to transform all objects in a collection at once without using Shift + G in the viewport or RMB click in the Outliner it would be best to parent all objects to an empty per collection. $\endgroup$ Nov 25 '20 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ Actually Home with Numpad minus is a good shortcut, I didn't know about it, it'll solve step 3 I believe $\endgroup$
    – Georges D
    Nov 25 '20 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonBrinkmann I believe what you're suggesting is the closest to what could be an answer to my question, please put it as an answer so I can accept it. On the other hand, I believe I've been approaching this the wrong way, I should have used Collection Instances instead of duplicating collections. $\endgroup$
    – Georges D
    Nov 26 '20 at 9:48
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No solution, just a workaround: I sometimes use the fact that the collection which holds the selected object has got a highlighted object symbol. If there's too many levels of hierarchy visible in the Outliner I press A to select all, Home and Numpad - so everything is collapsed. Then it's easier to find the collection with the highlighted symbol.

If you want to transform all objects in a collection at once without using Shift+G in the viewport or RMB+Click in the Outliner it would be best to parent all objects to an empty per collection.

You can also instance a collection or create a linked duplicate. In the Outliner, RMB+Click on the collection you want to duplicate, then choose either Duplicate Linked or Instance to Scene from the context menu. Test both to decide what works best for your needs.

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This is not a direct answer to my primary question, but a suggestion on another work pipeline, I believe I've been approaching this task the wrong way, the Blender way I believe would be to use Collection Instances instead of duplicating collections.
Let's say you have a collection that you need to duplicate lots of times, all you need to do is to add a collection instance, Shift+A in the viewport, then choose "Collection Instance", usually it's at the bottom of the list, you'll be prompted to choose a collection, which is practically an empty that's using the collection for instancing.


Important: Two things to consider here:
1- You need to set the "origin" of the collection:

  • Set the 3D Cursor where you want the origin of the collection to be.
  • Select an object in that collection, go to the Object Properties panel, under Collections, you'll find the name of the collection, to the right an arrow pointing down, click it and choose "Set Offset from Cursor".

2- If you need to link the collection instance to a new variation of the collection, you can duplicate the original collection as a copy in the Outliner, then make the amendments to the new collection, then select the collection instance, and change the instancing to the new collection in the Object Properties panel, under Instancing.


An image showing the Object Properties panel, Collections, and Instancing Menus


In case you can't see the Object Properties panel, while your mouse is over the viewport, click N
Click here for Blender documentation on Collection Instance

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