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Selecting active panel

Message 1 of 15
2733 Views, 14 Replies

Selecting active panel



I'm working with Maya 2017- 


-In older versions- if I had 2 panels up at the same time- (eg:Perspective and Camera)- I could switch between the active windows by clicking just above the window - not in it- and a thin highlight would show a box around the active panel. I'm finding that I have to click WITHIN the panel to make it active for updating as I scrub on the timeline. But when I click within the panel- I deselect the attributes that I'm working with - so I have to select them again- 

Is there any way I can change the panels that are active without clicking within the panel? -keeping both panels on the screen at the same time.



Message 2 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg

Hi @shmorgyg and welcome to the community!


I just tried this in Maya 2017 Update 4 and wasn't able to reproduce your issue. Is your Maya on the latest update for 2017?


If not please update to it and let me know if that works!


If that doesn't work, when you get a chance can you please post a video of your issue so I can get a better idea of how to help you further!

If you need a video capturing program, Screencast is a great option that we use here at Autodesk



Let me know if anything changes!

Message 3 of 15
in reply to: sean.heasley

Hi Sean,

Thank you for replying-


I have the latest update for 2017 -Update 5.


I'll put together a video for you to see.


Thank you.

Message 4 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg

Also I can't seem to move the width and length of the panels around by the channel box...?

I'll show in the video

Message 5 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg

Here is the video

Message 6 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg

Hi @shmorgyg


Right Update 5 not 4 Smiley Tongue


I was able to reproduce your issue but I don't believe its a bug. I think this set up is by design but I went ahead and made a quick video showing it in my scene and a somewhat workaround that may work for you!






Please let me know if this helps or if you need any more assistance!



If one or more of these posts helped answer your question, please click Accept as Solution on the posts that helped you so others in the community can find them easily.




Kudos are greatly appreciated. Everyone likes a thumbs up!

Message 7 of 15
in reply to: sean.heasley


Thank you for taking the time to explain all of that!

I appreciate it!

Unfortunately- I guess I didn't explain myself well enough!


I don't need for the 2 panels to be active at the same time... What I was looking for was to just change the selection between (for example- Perspective to Camera- and back again ) without having to spacebar the panel- or click inside it. I've been using Maya for 14 years and I've never run into this yet... I've always been able to  change panels without clicking inside of them. I just need to be able to activate multiple panels - but not all at the same time! One at a time- in the layout that you demonstrated in.


Hopefully you can understand what I'm looking for- 


thanks again!

Message 8 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg

This is what I mentioned before:


a thin highlight would show a box around the active panel. (that's good- cause it tells me that it's active-  But the box around the "active" panel is actually-NOT active!)  I'm finding that I have to click WITHIN the panel to make it active for updating as I scrub on the timeline.

Message 9 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg



1. The problem with the active panel / outline is fixed in Maya 2018.

Why not simply set Update View to "All" in Preferences? No hassle with selecting the right view.


2. There is a minimum size for Channel Box, you may disable the display to get more space.

Message 10 of 15
in reply to: mspeer

Hi mspeer,

Thanks for looking into this-


1. -I suppose I'll give it a try-   might be a little distracting seeing 2 panels move at the same time - decent suggestion though. What happens when you want to playblast if the Update view is "All"?


2- Yes, I'm aware the channel box has a minimum size. I just find it hard to move the size of the panels around- In my video I'm actually trying to move the panel back and forth and can't move it at all.  (I've been working with Maya for 14 years- It seems harder to select the panel's side to move it around.. )


Good to know the panel selection is fixed in 2018


Thank you.

Message 11 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg



1. What happens when you want to playblast if the Update view is "All"?

Should only take some seconds for you to test this.


2. Several issues with new Workspaces (since Maya 2017) have been fixed in Maya 2018. Re-sizing is not a problem here, also not with Maya 2017.

Message 12 of 15
in reply to: shmorgyg

hi shmorgyg,

i have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM and have been googling high and low for a solution until a coworker found a workaround - and i'm pretty sure it's a bug in maya 2017. i just had to move to 2017 update 5 from 2016 for a project and encountered this issue.


PREFACE - you don't necessarily want to turn on UPDATE ALL VIEWPORTS because if you have a complicated scene, that can impose a pretty hefty performance hit. ideally, you just want the viewport that you're interested in to update.



- create a new maya scene

- do NOT set all viewports to update - just active one

- create a cube and just animate it moving up and down

- switch viewport layout to TWO VIEWPORTS STACKED

- hit "play" button to have the animation begin playing

- try switching the active viewport by clicking ON THE FRAME of the viewport - not IN the viewport but on the frame only. try switching like this multiple times.


if you're like shmorgyg and me, you'll find that while the active viewport switches insofar as the ACTIVE VIEWPORT HIGHLIGHT changes according to your clicking on the frame, it actually has NOT become the active viewport. you can't get animation to switch to different viewports like this!


for me, clicking only in the frame to switch viewports is an act of HYGIENE... it allows me to switch viewports without inadvertently selecting something i don't want or de-selecting something i DO want. but now, it doesn't work.



- hovering your cursor over the viewport and hitting space two times fast. this will switch you to that viewport fullscreen and then back to your previous layout and this makes the viewport active for playback, scrubbing and playblast.

- clicking IN the viewport - thereby selecting something you don't want and/or deselecting something you did want.

- BEST WORKAROUND - clicking IN the viewport with MMB. this was discovered by my coworker ryan chan. you can switch viewports without screwing up your selections.



CONCLUSION - this IS a bug. at the very least, it's a disconnect between the apparent active viewport selection highlight and the actual active viewport. but in truth, this is just broken and it does not behave this way in the previous version of maya. if possible, and inasmuch as there are still some production pipe-lines reliant on 2017, this should be fixed.


thanks and good luck.

Message 13 of 15
in reply to: jinchoung

Thank you for this!  This has been driving me crazy in Maya 2018 and 2019.  I used to right click in the viewport to make it active for the player, but that stopped working.  I can't believe I didn't try MMB.  Works great!

Message 14 of 15
in reply to: longjohnsally

In case this helps.


I definitely miss how up until the the 2011 update, you could hover your mouse over the window you want active and click the ctrl key.


What you can do if it helps, is the middle mouse click inside the window to make it active.

Holding control keys down will navigate, and sliding left or right will adjust attributes or tools accordingly.

Left clicking inside of a model panel changes selection, middle mouse clicking seems to take the same context as a left click, but not effect any sort of selection.


Message 15 of 15
in reply to: B4adle7

Lifesaver with clicking mmb in the panel !   This has bugged me for ages. Seems to be once I've done a fresh install on a new pc I lose the old functionality.  I've been setting all to be active as a dirty fix but as others have said, this is really distracting & not ideal.

Not sure why the r/click functionality was taken away/changed or what causes it to revert like this.

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