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START Blender 1) - Customize UI and Make It Easy to Use

START Blender 1) - Customize UI and Make It Easy to Use

I have been a Maya user for more than 10 years, but I mainly use Blender for my personal productions.

When I start using new software, the first thing that Toha does is "customize the UI to your liking".


If you don't know how to read or operate the software screens, it can become frustrating.

If you can't operate the software the way you want to, you get stressed out and lose the desire to learn new software and learn how to use it...

So, the first step is to customize the UI to your liking and learn to operate it comfortably.


This article will show you how to customize the initial Blender UI to your liking.

What we are doing is "customizing the UI to the UI of your choice", but we will write the UI with explanations so that you can apply it to your "own taste".

UI means...
Abbreviation for user interface. In this article, we refer to UI primarily as the menu display, windows, and operating feel.


I'd rather know how to operate Blender than customize the UI! If you want to know how to operate Blender, jump to START Blender 4) - Basic Operations! Please jump to.


Download Blender


First, download Blender from the official website.

There are various versions of Blender, but 3.3 LTS is recommended for use now.

LTS stands for Long Term Support, a version that promises two years of long-term support.

3.3 was released in September 2022 and can continue to be used safely until September 2024.


You can download each version of Blender at the LTS download page.

Each version has a Linux version, a MacOS version, a Windows installer version, and a portable version, so click on the Blender file you want and download it.

Blender LTS Official Download Page


By the way, the latest version of Blender download page looks like this. You can download Blender in the format you want from each button.

Blender latest version download page


The portable version can be used without installing it on your computer; unzip the zip file and run "blender.exe" in the folder to start Blender.

Portable (zipped) Blender executable



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Change Blender menu to Japanese


When I start Blender after installation, the menu display is all in English.

After all, Japanese is easier to understand than English. Therefore, we will change the display to Japanese.

From Blender's top menu, select
Click on Edit→Preferences→Interface and go to Translation.

Blender Japanese language (1) Edit→Preferences→Interface→Translation→Language

Clicking on Language under Translation opens a window in which you can select a language.

Select "Japanese" from the list.

Blender Japanese (2) Select "Japanese" from "Language

If you select "Japanese", all items below will be automatically checked and the menu will be displayed in Japanese.

However, it is safer if additional objects are not created in Japanese, so uncheck [New Data] and leave only [Tooltip] and [Interface] checked.

Blender Japaneseization (3) Uncheck the "New data" checkbox, save the settings, and you're done!

If you press a button like in the lower left corner of the settings window and Auto Save Preferences is checked, your changed settings are automatically saved.

Now you've got Blender in Japanese!

At this rate, I will continue to customize the UI to my liking.


*The add-on "Maya Config Addon For Blender" will cause the menu display to revert to English during the installation process.

If you use the Maya Config Addon For Blender, it is recommended to insert the addon first~.


Make Blender feel like Maya


As I have been using Maya for a long time, I would like to use Blender in the same way as Maya if possible. Therefore, I will customize it to a Maya-like operation feel.

Here are two ways to make Blender feel like Maya.

  1. Use Industry Compatible Keymap
  2. Use the add-on Maya Config Addon For Blender

We will look at them in turn.


Use Industry Compatible Keymap

Blender has a keymap setting called "Industry Compatible".

Industry Compatible keymaps are keymaps that are tailored to the way other 3DCG software, such as Maya and 3dsMax, operate.


The keymap can be set from the top menu by selecting Edit→Preferences→Keymap→Industry Compatibility.

Blender Edit→Preferences→Keymap→Set in Industry Compatible


You can find more information about this key map here on the 3D person's website.


However, these shortcuts described below will not work while using the industry-compatible keymap.

  • T: Toggles between showing and hiding the toolbar
  • Shift + Space: pop up toolbar
  • N: Toggles the sidebar on and off

While using the industry compatible keymap, the toolbar and sidebar show/hide will change to the following shortcuts

  • Ctrl+[: Toggle toolbar display/hide
  • Ctrl+]: to show/hide the sidebar

You can easily get a Maya-like feel by using industry-compatible keymaps, but please note that some shortcut registrations may change.


Use the add-on Maya Config Addon For Blender

The "Maya Config Addon For Blender" can be installed to make Blender feel more Maya-like.


I have written an article introducing this add-on with a summary of its features, installation method, and notes. For more information, see Introduction Add-on - Maya Config Addon For Blender.


I love this add-on....

Easily switch between [ Maya-like operation / Blender 2.8 or later / industry compatible ] keymaps at the touch of a button.However, I especially like this one.

Unfortunately, MacOS is not supported at this time, but if you want to operate Blender with a Maya-like feel, give it a try!


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Customize the position and appearance of the toolbar (formerly tool shelf)

lend an eye

Next, we will customize the "toolbar" to a nice look.
* This is the part that was called the tool shelf in Blender 2.7.

Blender This is the toolbar (formerly the tool shelf)

I am somewhat of a proponent of placing the tool-based menu on the right-hand side. In the default configuration, the toolbar is on the left side, so we will move it to the right side.


You can swap Toolbar positions using Blender 2.7 keymap.

Boukyakuno's website also introduces How to swap positions in Blender 2.9 or later. However, it is a bit of a hassle for me, so I will do it the old-fashioned way. The method is as follows.

First, from Blender's top menu, select Edit→Preferences→Keymaps→Blender 2.7x

Move toolbar Edit→Preferences→Keymap→Select Blender 2.7x

With the keymap changed to the Blender 2.7 keymap, bring the mouse cursor over the toolbar and press F5 on the keyboard. The toolbar will then move to the right.

(*To return to the original location, place the mouse cursor over the toolbar again and press F5).

Press F5 on the toolbar in the Blender 2.7 keymap

Once the position has been changed, the keymap settings should be restored.


Finally, change the look of the toolbar to make it a little more obvious.

Click and drag around the side of the toolbar and pull it horizontally. The width of the toolbar will then change and the name of the tool will be displayed.

Pull the Blender toolbar sideways to show the name of the tool

It is hard to understand what kind of tool it is if it is just a mark, but this is a little easier to understand.

Toolbar customization is retained on a per-workspace basis. For more information, see Choosing a Workspace in the window placement article. Please see the following.


Incidentally, there are some useful shortcuts to remember regarding toolbars.

  • T: Toggles between showing and hiding the toolbar
  • Shift + Space: pop up toolbar

If you are looking at the Blender work screen and feel that the toolbar is in the way, you can comfortably hide it with the T key.


Show/Hide the sidebar (formerly the property shelf)

Sigma, ha!

There is a "sidebar" that is usually hidden but is quite important when working in Blender: try pressing the N key on your keyboard within Blender.


You will see something new on the right side of the Blender screen. This is the sidebar.

In Blender 2.7, this part was called the property shelf or property region.

Blender [N] key to show/hide the sidebar (formerly the properties shelf)

Normally, there is no problem if this is hidden, but in fact, when you are using Blender, the information you want to see is often in the sidebar.

I would like to remember the N key shortcut and be able to use the sidebar.

  • N: Toggles the sidebar on and off


Incidentally, the position of the sidebar, like the toolbar, can be swapped left and right.

Customize the position and appearance of the toolbar (formerly the tool shelf) in the same way that the sidebar, which is on the right side of the screen by default, can be moved to the left side of the screen.

This is what it looks like with the sidebar swapped to the left and the toolbar to the right.

Blender sidebar swapped to the left, toolbar swapped to the right

Sidebar customization is also retained on a workspace-by-workspace basis. For more information, see Choosing a Workspace in the window placement article. Please see the following.


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Important! Save the startup file


Now, for now, I want to save my customized UI settings so far.

If you exit Blender without saving your settings, all your customizations will be lost.

After changing the UI or initial settings in Blender, be sure to "Save Startup File".


To do this, from the top menu, click File→Default→Save Startup File→OK?

Blender File→Default→Save Startup File→OK?


In fact, Blender's UI settings are stored in each saved Blender scene data.

If you change the UI and save the scene, when you open the scene, the UI will be replaced with the settings stored in the scene. (* There is another way to open data without loading the scene's UI settings. )

So what this "Save Startup File" is doing is saving over the data of the first scene that is opened when Blender is launched.

When you start Blender, a scene opens with a square object in the middle, but that was a startup file that had been opened.


If you save your preferred initial settings in this startup file, it will be easier to work with Blender in various ways.

Once you have customized Blender to your liking, remember to "Save Startup File".

If the square object that always appears at startup is bothersome, delete the square object and "Save Startup File" and it will no longer appear the next time.


How to open Blender data without loading the UI

If you do not want the UI to be loaded when opening a Blender scene, press the gear setting symbol in the file open window and uncheck "Load UI" before opening the file.

How to open a file without loading the Blender UI


Summary: Customize Blender's UI to your liking!


In this article, in preparation for getting started with Blender, we first customized the UI like this.

  • The menu display changed from English to Japanese
  • Blender operation changed to a Maya-like feel.
  • Changed the position and appearance of the toolbar (formerly the tool shelf)
  • Check to toggle show/hide sidebar (formerly property shelf)
  • Save startup file

It looks a bit easier to use than when I first opened Blender.

But we want to make it easier to use, so the series on customizing Blender will continue for a while longer.


Please stay with us if you'd like.

Customize Blender window placement ↓

Recommended initial settings for Blender ↓

Basic operation of Blender ↓

List of comments

  1. メクラン says:

    I installed the Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8.
    I have a Maya side panel, but I have my own.
    Under the key map
    The button to switch between Maya and blender is not displayed.
    I really don't know...I don't know...
    Something...something, I'm sure, is going on.

    • Toha トハ says:

      Thank you very much for your comments and information, Mekran~!
      The Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8's Maya⇔blender switch button is no longer visible, and this happened to me once a few months ago!
      At the time of TOHA, this problem was solved by the Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8 being upgraded.

      Right now, Blender 2.8 is in the process of switching from the Release Candidate version to the official version, and updates on the Blender side are frequent.
      Blender updates include updates to internal information that is not visible to the eye, and it seems that sometimes the internal information that the add-on side is referencing becomes outdated and stops working.
      Perhaps, but I believe that after the official version of Blender 2.8 is released, the add-on relationship will be updated to support the official version.

      The official release of Blender 2.8 has been delayed from the original schedule, but is likely to be available in early August 2019.
      The timing is a bit difficult right now, so if you want to use all the features of Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8 properly, I think it would be better to wait a bit.
      We have added and revised this information to the article as well. Thank you for the information~.

      By the way, the Blender 2.8 that Toha is currently using is Release Candidate Version 1, but as of 7/27/2019, Release Candidate Version 3 is available for download.
      We think something has changed in the Release Candidate Version 1 -> 3.

      Sorry, please confirm the above.

      [Added 9/2/2019
      Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8 ver 3.3 is out!
      A button to switch to the Industry Compatible keymap has also been added to make it more convenient.
      I have written an article on how to install the system, so please take a look at it again if you like.

  2. ine says:

    The explanation of blender is very clear and easy to understand.
    I know this is a rather detailed question.
    Maya Config Addon For Blender2.8
    Is it possible to display the "Special Menu" during use?
    Maya operations are easier to work with, but the use of blende-specific shortcuts in conjunction with
    Is it impossible?

    • Toha トハ says:

      Thanks for the blog reference & comment, ine!
      Ine, do you mean the "special menu" that appears when you press the [W] key in the Blender keymap?
      The special menu that appears with [W] seems to have changed its name to "context menu" in Blender 2.8.

      I tried to find out how to bring up the context menu while using the Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8, but I'm sorry, I couldn't figure it out ><
      However, in Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8, [Shift] + [right mouse click] will bring up the "Special Tools Menu".
      The menu contents are quite similar to the contextual menu, so perhaps this could be substituted.

      For more information about the Special Tools menu of the Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8, seeIntroduction! ~ Add-on called Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8 ~.Please refer to the detailed description in the following section~.

      Another alternative is to use the Industry Compatible keymap.
      In the Industry Compatible keymap, the contextual menu is displayed by [right mouse click], so you can use both Maya-like operations and the contextual menu (formerly the special menu).

      When you use Industry Compatible keymaps and add-ons to change Blender operations to be more Maya-like, there are a few Blender-specific shortcuts that will be overridden.
      If you really want to use the previous shortcut, you can manually register a shortcut of your choice.

  3. ine says:

    Thank you for your kind reply.


    The special menu that appears with [W] seems to have changed its name to "context menu" in Blender 2.8.


    I did not know there was a name change.

    I apologize for the confusing text.
    Approximately, we have no problem with what you have indicated.

    But this time I wanted to solve the problem.
    Shortcuts (hotkeys?) to standard addons such as "LoopTools" that can be added with add-on functionality. In
    I wanted to display it.

    However, as far as I can tell from my light research, in the first place
    If you use "Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8" and "LoopTools" together, you should be able to see the
    The "LoopTools" menu does not seem to be displaying correctly.
    It was a problem before that.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Toha トハ says:

      Thanks for the reply, ine~!
      What you wanted to solve was whether it could be used in conjunction with a standard add-on such as LoopTool - I'm not sure.
      I have enabled the standard add-on LoopTool in Blender with the Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8, and it seems to work fine here~!
      If you open the "Edit" tab in the sidebar, do you see "LoopTool" inside?
      It is folded small and may be hard to find. Also, you have to be in edit mode to view it.


      In Blender 2.8, it seems that add-ons are generally added to the sidebar.
      (Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8 adds a menu under the toolbar~)

      Please try it once with ine's Blender.
      If you still can't use LoopTool, it's probably due to something other than the Maya Config Addon For Blender 2.8.

  4. ine says:

    Thanks for the reply.

    I did a lot of research after that.
    I can now display it in the sidebar.
    Now for the tutorial.
    When is the project you are using
    LoopTool" from the sidebar.
    The notation was missing.
    Even if you re-install the add-on.
    It is no longer displayed.
    This is not a problem with blender itself.
    It is a symptom of this project data only.
    Perhaps it has been hidden by some operation.

    Also, you have to be in edit mode to see it.
    *Not displayed even in edit mode.

    If you re-create a new project, the
    Normal display.

    The initial problem wasn't solved, though.
    You can access it from the sidebar.
    Now that we have confirmation.
    The tutorial now.
    I will be patient until it is over.
    Thank you for your time.

    Various, compare and contrast, "Scene Collection".
    The differences between the keymaps, such as whether or not the operation of the
    Depending on the tools used, such as UV expansion and animation functions
    The rules of operation are quite different.
    I will adjust the keymap as I see fit.

    • Toha トハ says:

      INE, I'm glad to know that LoopTools can be displayed in the sidebar for now~!
      It would be good to gradually adjust the keymap and shortcuts to your own liking.

    • ハル says:

      I appreciate your blender course, Toha, it is very clear and helpful. I have a question: I downloaded HDRIHAVEN images from the web, but I cannot find them anywhere in blender. Is there something wrong with my settings?


Please feel free to comment~!

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