Selecting elements of an armature
Mode: Edit mode
You can select (and edit) bones of armatures in Edit mode and in Pose mode.
In this page, we will see how to select bones in Edit mode, but selecting in Pose mode is very similar (the few specificities will be detailed in the posing part).
In Edit mode, as edges in meshes, you have two ways to select whole bones:
- directly selecting the bone, or
- selecting both of its ends
exactly like vertices/edges selection in meshes.
This is an important point to understand, because selecting bones' ends only might lead to non-obvious behavior, in respect to which bone you actually select, see the .
Also note that unlike the mesh draw type, the armature draw type has no effect on the selection behavior: that is, you select a bone's tip always the same way, whichever bone visualization you choose.
Selecting bones ends
To select bones ends you have the standard selection methods.
Gotcha: inverse selection
As said above, you have to remember that these selection tools are for bones ends only: if not, you might be confused from the results.
For example, the Inverse selection option (CtrlI) invert the selection of bones’ ends, not of bones (see Inverse selection).
Gotcha: selecting connected bones ends
Another example is: when you select the root of a bone connected to its parent, you also implicitly select the tip of this parent (and vice-versa).
Remember: when selecting bones ends, the tip of the parent bone is the “same thing” as the root of its children bones.
To each selected bone corresponds a sub-panel in the Armature Bones panel (Editing context, F9). These sub-panels contain settings for some of the bones’ properties (regarding e.g. relationships between bones, bones’ influence on deformed geometry, etc.), as we will see later.
You also have some advanced selection options, based on their relations.
You can select at once all the bones in the chain which the active (lastly selected) bone belongs to by using the linked selection tool, L.
You can deselect the active bone and select its immediate parent or one of its children using respectively Select » Select Parent ([) or Select » Select Child (]). If you prefer to keep the active bone in the selection, use Select » Extend Select Parent (Ctrl[) or Select » Extend Select Child (Ctrl]).
Gotcha: deselecting connected bones
There is a subtlety regarding connected bones.
When you have several connected bones selected, if you deselect one bone, you will in fact deselect its tip, but not its root if it is also the tip of another selected bone
Look at Bone deselection in a selected chain.
Bone.003's tips has been deselected and hence also
Bone.004's root has been
Bone.003's root has not been deselected because
Bone.003's parent and is still selected