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Editor overview

The editor allows you to browse and manipulate all files in your game project in an efficient manner. Editing files brings up a suitable editor and shows all relevant information about the file in separate views.

The editor views

The Defold editor is separated into a set of panes, or views, that display specific information.

Editor 2

The old editor looks different but works very much the same, only with less functionality.

Editor 1

The Assets view / Project Explorer (editor 1)

Lists all the files that are part of your project. You click and scroll to navigate the list. All file oriented operations can be made in this view:

  • Double click a file to open it in an editor for that file type.
  • Drag and drop to add files from elsewhere on your disk to the project or move files and folders to new locations in the project.
  • Right click to open a pop up menu from where you can create new files or folders, rename, delete, track file dependencies and more.
The Editor view

The center view shows the currently open file in an editor for that file type. In all visual editors you can navigate the camera:

  • Pan: Alt + left mouse button.
  • Pan (editor 1): Alt + Middle button (three button mouse) or Option + Ctrl + Mouse button (one button mouse)
  • Zoom: Alt + Right button (three button mouse) or Ctrl + Mouse button (one button). If your mouse has a scroll wheel, it can be used to zoom.
  • Rotate in 3D (editor 2): Ctrl + left mouse button.

The menu Scene contains tools to move, rotate and scale the currently selected object, options to frame the view to the current selection and to realign the camera. Editor 2 contains a toolbar in the top right where you find the move, rotate and scale tools.

The Outline

This view shows the content of the file currently being edited, but in a hierarchial tree structure. The outline reflects the editor view and allows you to perform operations on your items:

  • Click to select an item. Hold Shift or Option to expand the selection.
  • Drag and drop to move items. Drop a game object on another game object in a collection to child it.
  • Right click to open a pop up menu from where you can add items, delete selected items etc.
The Properties view

This view shows properties associated with the currently selected item, like Position, Rotation, Animation etc, etc.

The Console

This view shows any error output or purposeful printing that you do while your game is running. Alongside the console are tabs containing the Curve Editor which is used when editing curves in the particle editor, the Build Errors view that shows build errors, and the Search Results view that displays search results.

The Changed Files view:

This view lists any files that has been changed, added or deleted in your project. By synchronizing the project regularly you can bring your local copy in sync with what is stored in the project Git repository, that way you can collaborate within a team, and you won’t lose your work if unfortune strikes. Some file oriented operations can be performed in this view:

  • Double click a file to open a diff view of the file. Editor 2 opens the file in a suitable editor, just like in the assets view.
  • Right click a file to open a pop up menu from where you can open a diff view, revert all changes done to the file, find the file on the filesystem and more (editor 2).

The scene editor

Defold contains a number of editors, but the Scene Editor is the one used the most. All Game Objects and Collections, as well as some component types, are created and edited in this editor.

Select object

Selecting objects

Click on objects in the main window to select them. The rectangle surrounding the object in the editor view will highlight green to indicate what item is selected.

You can also select objects by:

  • Click and drag to select all objects inside the selection region.
  • Click objects in the Outline view.

Hold Shift or (Mac) or Ctrl while clicking to expand the selection.

The Move tool

To move objects, use the Move Tool. It is accessible through the menu Scene ▸ Move Tool or by pressing the W key.

Scene menu

The selected object now shows three manipulation points that are used to move the object. Click and drag in the green square to move the object freely:

Move object

You can also move the object along just one selected axis by clicking and dragging along the corresponding arrow. Clicking and dragging on the red arrow allows movement on the X axis only whereas clicking and dragging on the green arrow allows movement on the Y axis only.

Move against the grid

Hold Shift when using the move tool to snap the center of the game object to the grid. The default grid size is set to 100. If you wish to alter the size of the grid, you can specify a custom grid size in the preferences. Select Defold Editor ▸ Preferences…

Grid size

Rotate Tool

The Rotate Tool is accessible through the menu Scene ▸ Rotate Tool or by pressing the E key.

Rotate object

This tool consists of three handles that you can manipulate. If you are working on 2D objects, you would probably only want to use the handle that rotates around the Z axis, which is the blue circle around the object. Click and drag on the circle to rotate the object.

If you want to rotate around the X or Y axis, click and drag on the green and red circles. Since the view is peripendicular to those axis, the circles only appear as two lines crossing the object: a green horizontal one and a red vertical.

Scale Tool

The Scale Tool is accessed through the menu Scene ▸ Scale Tool or by pressing the R key.

Scale object

Click the red or green handle and drag to scale the object. Game objects can be scaled freely along the X and Y axis, causing the object to stretch or compress visually.

Currently, sprites can not be scaled in the editor. They do, however, support runtime free-form scaling. See the 2D Graphics documentation for details.

Selecting what is showing in the Scene Editor

It is often convenient to be able to disable the visual rendering of certain types of information in the Scene Editor, especially when you are working on a complicated collection with lots of objects containing physics, triggers and layers upon layers of graphical assets. The Scene Editor allows you to enable and disable the rendering of different types of information in the editor. Select the Scene ▸ Show submenu and then chose what you want to see in the editor.

Showing information

The choices you make are stored in the editor and apply to all Scene Editor instances. Your choices are rememberered between sessions too so if you close the Defold editor down and start it up the next day, your Show settings will be intact.

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