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This is a recurrent issue for me and it's been bothering me for quite some time.

I can't seem to add vertices with Ctrl+R on some faces on my meshes, and it's always the faces which I have filled in with F.

Here's an example, in which I have extruded my mesh into four directions and then filled in the corners, making an octagon, but I cannot add vertices to the corners, or the faces that are "open":

As you probably can tell, there are no vertices on the corners, and I cannot add vertices to them either for some reason.

I am using version 2.72b, on a Mac.

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You can only loop cut through quadrilateral faces in a line, like a row of rectangles. A loop cut through a triangle would divide one of the vertices, but that can't happen. N-gons also don't work well with it. See Anthony Forwood's comment:

Quads are ideal, tris when necessary, and ngons only when absolutely necessary.

It has nothing to do with the F function.

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    $\begingroup$ They don't have a triangle, they have an n-gon. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Jun 19 '16 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ @RayMairlot I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean. Can you clarify? $\endgroup$ – Shady Puck Jun 19 '16 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ An ngon has more than four sides, and Blender doesn't like them much. $\endgroup$ – Anthony Forwood Jun 19 '16 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @AnthonyForwood Ah, that makes sense. Thank you very much for clarifying. I agree. $\endgroup$ – Shady Puck Jun 19 '16 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ It's not that blender "doesn't like" non-quads. It is just that a lot of cliches only work for quads and when you try to apply them to triangles and ngons, the rules do not apply. Edge Loop is one of those. $\endgroup$ – Mutant Bob Jun 20 '16 at 14:17
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if you fill faces with not exactly 4 vertices, blender does not know where to place the loop cut (ctrl + r). you need to convert your ngons to normal quad faces if you want to use loop cuts.

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One workflow that might work for you is to select all the edges that you want to cut and use the "subdivide" operator ( w ).

subdivide edges

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You can try editing the vertices, by creating Quads, select the vertices you need to join and select the vertice menu, then select connect vertice pairs, this should solve the problem

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