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I apologize in advance for asking such a beginners question, and I assume this will come down to my view/window being wrong.

I used Blender a few years back, and I am familiar with how shapes work and the interface it had years ago. Now back then, if I wanted to select vertices/edges/faces, I would click the appropriate icon next to the Object/Edit dropdown box, but as you can see, it is no longer there.

enter image description here

According to the official documentation, pressing Ctrl+Tab should produce the same effect, but it as well does not seem to change anything. I am able to select and move vertices, as this is the default behaviour but I cannot seem to be able to change to edge or face select.

I am using Blender v2.78c, and it looks quite different from when I downloaded it a few months ago, when those buttons were still where I was used to seeing them.

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    $\begingroup$ No-repro. Try looking a bit more to the right, just off the crop. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Aug 14 '17 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure what you mean. Here is my entire bottom toolbar. EDIT: I appear to have been wrong. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Smith Aug 14 '17 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure you're editing a mesh? $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Aug 14 '17 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ I just opened one of my old projects and the icons are there, but when I reopen my new project, the icons are no longer there. How can I tell if what I am editing is a mesh or not, and how can I change it if it is not? I started with the circle and have been expanding it out. Current project, with no icons in toolbar. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Smith Aug 14 '17 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ Yep, that's not a mesh but a NURBS surface. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Aug 14 '17 at 23:50
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To edit Edges and Faces you need to be editing a mesh, and you will get the buttons as shown below:

enter image description here

Please note that these buttons will not be available for Curves, Nurbs, Text, Lamps, camera, Metaballs, Armatures, Lattices, Empties or any kind of object not consisiting of vertices, edges or faces.

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