Trying to join different meshes together.

In object mode, if I select a couple of objects and try to join them I get the error active object is not a selected mesh.

If I select the meshes, it puts me into Edit Mode and the join command is not visible.

If I select meshes in edit mode then change to object mode I get the error no data to join.

It's super confusing. What am I doing wrong?

What I am actually trying to do is to simplify a model, by joining parts with similar shaders together, for import into three.js . I want less data in the json file and want to make it simpler to animate in three.js, with less objects. Is there a better way to go about this?

  • $\begingroup$ How are you selecting the multiple objects? Are you using [C] (circle select), [B] (box select), [A] (toggle select/deselect all), or [Shift]+clicking? $\endgroup$ – PGmath Aug 8 '15 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ [Shift]+clicking in the outliner - crazy enough I found selecting multiple objects really complicated, it took me a while to even figure out how to do it. I'm used to the maya interface o.O $\endgroup$ – Agent Zebra Aug 8 '15 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ You use right click to select in Blender. It seems strange at first but after a while you realize it's quite handy, you can change it in the user preferences if you want though. Try right clicking one object, then shift-clicking the rest. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Aug 8 '15 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ This happens when you accidentally selected something like the camera or a lamp $\endgroup$ – stacker Aug 8 '15 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I'm just clicking on meshes. or objects. What's the difference between selecting something in the outliner where the text turns white, and Shift +RMB clicking where the layer background in the outliner turns gray, but the text does not turn white? When making multiple selections, should each layer have white text? and should each mesh layer look orange in the main window on the model itself? That's what I would think would be logical, but that's not happening in my case. $\endgroup$ – Agent Zebra Aug 8 '15 at 21:03

In order for selected mesh to combine make sure one of these objects is text highlighted in the outliner, it's a means for Blender to decide which part inherits the other parts. If none of the parts are text highlighted you will get that error message and they won't combine.


So I got around it by right click selecting two objects in objects mode. One yellow outlined and one orange. The With them highlighted press CtrlJ now that the two objects are one, select them (it) in object mode and select the remaining objects by pressing C and selecting them with a left click again. Your original objects should be highlighted in yellow and the ones you wish to join will be in orange. Just hit CtrlJ again and you are done. There might be an easier way but this worked for me.


Click on first object. then hold Shift and select the other object you want to join., then right click and hit Join.


You can only do two objects at a time.(select the two objects you want to combine then hit Ctrl j)

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    $\begingroup$ Not true, you can select multiple objects and join them with Ctrl J $\endgroup$ – user1853 Mar 24 '16 at 1:29

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