When modeling, I sometimes run into the problem of trying to subdivide a face but can not do so because one or more of its edges are already subdivided. For example, in this image, I can't subdivide the selected face because the other faces by it are already subdivided. When I try to subdivide the selected face, it just subdivides the edges instead.
The process is much faster than it sounds. I'm hoping that someone will answer with a quick two step solution though.
As a general rule you should avoid ngons and triangles.
To deal with the big and ugly ngon in the center of the screen, select opposing vertices and Join them with using vertex connect: Press the J key.
Then do that on the cross section.
Then get rid of all of the triangles and ngons and make every possible effort to use quads.
For some ideas on how to deal with changing topology see Johnson Martin's page on:
An example from that page:
You can fix this by dissolving the vertices
To fix the problem in your example it may take a few extra steps. It really isn't as hard as the eight steps may tell you
Select the face you wish to subdivide
Press Shift+D, then right click to cancel.
- Next move the face, it is important you move the face precisely. For example I did Y then pressed 2
- With that new duplicated face, dissolve all vertices except for the corner four.
- Now, you can subdivide the face. In your example, it looks like you only want to do it once.
- Now it is time to put the face back. Start by deleting the original one. Now move the plane back the exact opposite number you moved it forward. So, for me, that would be Y then -2
- You need to now connect all vertices. There are a couple methods but here is my preferred method:
- Go into wireframe mode by pressing Z. Since the vertices are in the same spot it will be difficult to select both, so press C to bring up the circular selection tool. Select two vertices right next to each other and press ALT+M, then A. Do this on the corners and edges. There you go! All subdivide.
I would, however, takes cegaton's advice in removing N-gons and triangles