Is there an easy way to find the type of an panel displayed in the UI?

Right click -> Edit Source does not work for panels in the tools/properties regions. It is definately possible to access some of them.

example panel

I tried to create a list and retrieve some info from bpy.types.* but it is still difficult sometimes to find the correct panel.


1 Answer 1


If Edit Source fails, then it's created by a script on-the-fly (through PyConsole or Text Editor), or it's hardcoded in C - which is more likely the case. You won't find the panel subclasses in bpy.types in the latter case, they aren't exposed to python.

I usually try to find similar panels or even other types via Auto-complete in the PyConsole, to figure out the naming scheme. Take the Grease Pencil panel for instance:

There is no bpy.types.GREASE*, so no header, menu, panel or operator. A different name is used apparantly. We can also check for any type that contains "grease":

>>> [d for d in dir(bpy.types) if "grease" in d.lower()]
['BlendDataGreasePencils', 'CLIP_PT_tools_grease_pencil', 'GreasePencil', 'GreasePencilLayers']

Nothing useful in there, I would now try another part of the name or an abbreviation:

>>> [d for d in dir(bpy.types) if "pencil" in d.lower()]
['BlendDataGreasePencils', 'CLIP_PT_tools_grease_pencil', 'DOPESHEET_MT_gpencil_channel', 'DOPESHEET_MT_gpencil_frame', 'GPENCIL_OT_active_frame_delete', 'GPENCIL_OT_convert', 'GPENCIL_OT_data_add', 'GPENCIL_OT_data_unlink', 'GPENCIL_OT_draw', 'GPENCIL_OT_layer_add', 'GPencilFrame', 'GPencilFrames', 'GPencilLayer', 'GPencilStroke', 'GPencilStrokePoint', 'GPencilStrokePoints', 'GPencilStrokes', 'GreasePencil', 'GreasePencilLayers']

This revealed something useful: The naming scheme. Grease Pencil operators start with GPENCIL.

Time to grep the Blender sources! GPENCIL_PT_ won't match anything, this kind of abstraction isn't really used in the C code. But we know there are buttons (=operators) drawn in the panel, so we can search for them and try to locate what adds them to the layout - GPENCIL_OT_ finds blender\source\blender\editors\gpencil\gpencil_buttons.c among other files.

GPENCIL_OT_data_add is the first match, on line 306 it reads:

    uiTemplateID(col, C, ctx_ptr, "grease_pencil", "GPENCIL_OT_data_add", NULL, "GPENCIL_OT_data_unlink");

This is part of the function draw_gpencil_panel(), this is defintely the right place.

UI widgets are directly added to the layout:

uiItemO(col, IFACE_("New Layer"), ICON_NONE, "GPENCIL_OT_layer_add");

This is obviously the C-equivalent of

col.operator("gpencil.layer_add", text="New Layer")

Some of the functions could probably be ported to python, but others can't. Take the 3D View layers widget for example: it draws nice little orange dots on the layers, which have at least one object on them. We couldn't do this nicely in python.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .