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In Blender, there are two ways of duplicating things:

  • The Duplicate Objects (Shift + D) command, and
  • The Copy and Paste function that we're all familiar with (Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V).

Both of these create new instances of objects... That can be manipulated without affecting the other...


As many of us know, we can disable data duplication for the first method by simply going to:
File > User Preferences > Editing > Duplicate Data, and unchecking the things they want to be linked to the original instance, rather than copied.

How to stop duplication from making copies of each thing you copy.

As a result, it does not create new instances of the texture file (in the image viewer) or material data, etc.

Question:

How do you do that with copy-paste?
Of course, things that do not exist that are copied in should have an instance created.

tl;dr Is it possible to merge Duplicate Objects with Copy and Paste?

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    $\begingroup$ Use Alt+D, copy paste should only be used to transfer data inbetween files $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Feb 17 '17 at 5:00
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    $\begingroup$ Note you can also create linked duplicates with Alt+D. Perhaps it would help if we knew why you are trying to accomplish this? For instance, you can link and append objects across files without copy/paste $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 17 '17 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 Stubbornness and laziness mostly. $\endgroup$ – aytimothy Feb 17 '17 at 5:03
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The "object" doesn't store the actual data, like the mesh. That's stored in a datablock.

Each object normally has its own datablock, but you can assign any datablock to any object (of the same type), effectively creating linked clones. When you edit one object, you're actually editing the datablock, so any other objects with the same datablock will change in tandem.

Anything on the Object tab (the orange cube in the screenshot below) is part of the object, not the datablock. These settings will not be shared between objects.


Datablock selector
The datablock selector

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