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I know that when I add an empty object to a scene, the empty defaults to a "plain axes" view type, but that I can change the view type to one of several options: Arrows, SingleArrow, Circle, Cube, Sphere, Cone, and Image. But if I want change "plain axes" to "Arrows" almost all the time, it would be more efficient to change the display default to "Arrows". How can I achieve this?

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  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like you are using an old version, since 2.64 you choose the style of empty in the add menu, so there is no 'default' style. Are you maybe using a button that places a plain axis empty? $\endgroup$ – sambler Jul 21 '15 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ Nope, using 2.75a. Yes, I know one can change the style of empty in a submenu, but if one is always changing the style of an empty to something else, efficiency would be served if one could reorder the menu so that the "something else" is the first choice in the menu. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Jul 21 '15 at 18:01
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There's no mechanism to change the default, or setting in preferences. It could be added but frankly it's not likely to be considered worth the effort.

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When creating the Empty it is picked from a dropdown menu, the next menu item down is Arrows. Moving a few pixels down with the mouse is probably the most non-invasive solution.

Existing key-combos

But by far the easiest is the shortcut sequence Shift + A > E > A

Making an add-on

But you could write an add-on / operator and bind it to a shortcut to make Arrows the default display type for Empties generated by the operator. See this post for most of the code you'd need.

Add Shortcut

You can also make a shortcut, by right-clicking on the Arrows menu item and choosing Add Shortcut, and it will ask you to press a key or combo.

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