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In most programs, any characters you type will filter the list of files, and pressing Enter will open the selected file/directory. For example, if I wanted to navigate to assets/models/terrain, I could type as<enter>mod<enter>ter<enter>.

In more recent versions of Blender, the file dialog does not seem to work like this. Letter keys seem to map to shortcuts, for example, b will start a rectangular selection inside the file dialog rather than filtering to files starting with letter "b".

I've tried pressing Ctrl+F to start a search, but if I press, for example <ctrl+f>as<enter>, instead of opening the assets folder, it just leaves me in a state where assets is visible but not selected, and I can't type further.

I've tried Tab in the file path as well to complete path segments, but the first completion removes focus from the file path bar. For example, as<tab>mod<tab> will not autocomplete to assets/models, because the first tab removes focus from the file dialog, and the following keys are ignored.

Is there any way to make the file dialog work like other programs (and, if memory serves, how Blender's file dialog used to?)

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  • $\begingroup$ Apparently I was wrong about older versions of blender behaving like this. I checked 2.79, 2.8, and 2.9, and all have similar behavior. $\endgroup$
    – rcorre
    Aug 5, 2022 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ If there is a folder like "assets" and I type as*+*TAB in the file name input box at the bottom of the open file dialog then it automatically jumps into that folder. The focus is still in the input box and I can type the next folder's name. But the name is case-sensitive ("Asset" <-> "asset") and it must be unique. $\endgroup$
    – Blunder
    Aug 5, 2022 at 12:18

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There used to be an add-on that did what you described according to this post: https://blender.stackexchange.com/a/1169/133552

They discuss and link to an add-on called "File Browser Search" that 404's and doesn't exist anymore. There are however many file sorting features included in the current version of blender that you may find useful:

enter image description here enter image description here

Other than that there doesn't seem to be a tab search feature like you describe in the newer versions of Blender.

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