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One of my friends uses 3DS Max a lot, and he showed me when he was working that there are "angles" on his 3D manipulator that allow him to move (translate) objects in two axes at the same time. Looks something like this:
manipulator in 3DS Max

By clicking the square between X and Y for example, you can move the object around on X and Y and not on Z.

My 3D manipulator in Blender doesn't have that:
manipulator in blender

Therefore, moving an object along 2 axes requires 2 steps, which is more tedious than being able to do it in 1.

Is there a way to enable bi-directional transformation on the manipulator?

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If you press G > Shift+Z you can move bi-directional in x-y direction.

You can do that also using manipulator - click on the white circle around manipulator's origin and press Shift+Z as in the first case.

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  • $\begingroup$ Here's what it does when I do that, not the expected behavior: youtube.com/watch?v=z50W__G5FSI&feature=youtu.be $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Nov 29 '15 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ @fabriced you most likely have some snapping mechanism enabled. You can toggle that with Shift-Tab. $\endgroup$ – Samoth Mar 21 '16 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ I think I was just pressing SHIFT + Z too long, one press is ok :) $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Mar 22 '16 at 6:21
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You can shift-click on the axis that should not move.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, that works. A bit complex, I'll see if someone adds another answer, maybe an addon exists... we'll see $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Nov 20 '15 at 9:09
  • $\begingroup$ @fabriced you should consider marking your question as answered anyways if it helped you out. Other people with different solutions can still answer and you can later "unmark" that "as answered" and mark a different answer. $\endgroup$ – Samoth Mar 21 '16 at 21:14
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Grab the object with press <axis to exclude> IE exclude Z: use the mouse to float to or the arrow keys to move it to the desired location and click to secure.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, thanks, I understand. But imagine I have a view that is almost a top view, and want to move along Y and X only, that means I have to click the Z arrow, which will be hard to do since I'm viewing from above... Know what I mean? I mean maybe there's another way... Maybe not... Thanks a lot anyways $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Nov 22 '15 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ When you just press G the movement automatically occurs in the plane that is perpendicular to the view. This is also true for rotation but not for scale! $\endgroup$ – Alphisto Sep 12 '16 at 10:24

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