[FEATURE REQUEST] World Outliner improvements

You don’t mention which versions of UE you’ve used or how many posts you’ve read. But…

Devs have actually been screaming about the World-Outliner for years dude. Read more posts / follow more threads / spend some more time searching and you’ll see this is true. It hasn’t come up all that much recently. I guess people have gotten used to it or used to breaking-up maps into smaller levels or separate BP’s or leveraging actor merging to help. :wink:

Epic have the most famous game in the world. The most famous game engine? That’s something different. Epic are expanding exponentially and morphing into the kind of corporate animal that has no time to listen to user feedback. They don’t read it. They don’t comment on it. They’re riding the wave and are indifferent. So unless plans for UE5 include re-working the World-Outliner, we can probably forget about Epic fixing this anytime soon. :wink:

What I saw in devs’ communities is that few people actually care about World Outliner (or hierarchy, or whatever you may call it) because most devs just don’t realize how useful an organized level structure is. So, it may be true that in this forum people don’t care anymore, still I really couldn’t find anything searching for it here.

This is actually something even I did, back when I developed things with UE3, they’re common practices that unfortunately can’t really solve any of the world outliner issues.

Can’t say that I agree. Fortnite is far from the “most famous game”, though is among the top tier, while the engine itself is probably something every dev would work on. Before they actually can try it.

Probably the only thing I agree with. I really didn’t hope for any feedback from Epic here, just trying to make people a little bit more aware of something they probably get used to, as you said, forgetting that better tools means completing tasks faster too.

Where is the World Outliner in ue500?

Window - Outliner.

By the way I strongly agree with the original post here. The Outliner is borderline useless. The funniest is copying a folder - it does exactly that. Copies the FOLDER, but NOT ITS CONTENT. It makes an empty folder with the same name. That’s what copying a folder means in Unreal. Ridiculous. Nesting is useless in much the same way. The fixed (alphabetical) order is just the cherry on top.

Please, do something about this. (Please… Is anyone there?..)


Only 4 years ago. :wink:

Epic doesn’t really care, though (as evidenced that nobody from Epic will ever read this or merge these two threads).

Epic care. They care that we think they care. So they’re like the Gods. When we send feedback about the Launcher for example (here and here)… They sit around laughing and IGNORE it all…:stuck_out_tongue: Seriously, they care users keep sending formal bug reports! And they care we keep bumping Feedback For Epic threads, so they don’t have too! That way it also seems like the Community isn’t as dead as it is. That helps hide the fact that Epic contribute absolutely nothing on here!

Epic hired new staff for the forums… So where are they? Hiding in the work in progress section! Writing highly complimentary posts to inspire devs. Their comments are so polite / pollyannic you might even mistake them for bots. :stuck_out_tongue: Great, but what about TECHNICAL replies / followup?

After all, that’s what the Community really wants as evidenced in all of Hourences’ surveys / threads. Its also what happens with other engines, right?! Well good luck with that. Build a time machine and go back to 2016 maybe as we’re just talking to ourselves here. Same as 2017-2021. But keep filing bug reports plebs people. :grinning: Its the only reason the forums haven’t shutdown yet. :wink:

Back to thread…

Two suggestions for getting around World Outliner limitations for now. 1. Break things up into sub-maps and load in actor-subsets using Load-Level-Instance. 2. Leverage Blueprints more although that has some gotchas. Both options take work, but they do offer some advantages. For example, if you ever need to restart / reset a level in-game (go back to a checkpoint), you can do that without having to reset / restart the entire level / game, so its often faster / simpler. :+1:

@Amanda.Schade @Hourences @Hourences2 @VictorLerp @SkyeEden @Tina_Wisdom @Stephen_Ellis @Get_DOVAH_it @PresumptivePanda @Zezkaii


Did Epic just remove “Select All Children” in Unreal Engine 5???

They only a year or so added it to Unreal Engine 4!


@eobet Ctrl-Shift-D still works (and you can change the shortcut). But the button is gone. Interestingly, it’s still there with folders (right click - select - all descendants).

I think they have just erased my comment with the excuse of “”“adult”"" language. So, I will repeat the whole thing, but with the word “duck”.
I still feel AntiGravity is right because they don’t give two flying ducks about us.

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Epic used to work with users to help solve show stopping bugs on here (think D3D Device Lost crashes atm). But now??? Epic only have contempt for the forums. How can you tell… 1. Zero comments from Epic devs whenever crucial bugs are reported. 2. Zero responses to technical queries like this. 3. Zero feedback on any Feedback-for-Epic threads. Overall Epic are happy to use devs to help out around here, so long as they don’t have to. So what’s the difference between Epic and say Facebook-Google-Amazon-Microsoft? There is no :duck:'en difference. :stuck_out_tongue:

Epic care more about PR stats and metrics now. How can you tell… @Hourences focusing on fixing forum stats to make it appear like the forums are more active. Otherwise users might see the forums for what they really are - a deserted wasteland… Epic even count bumped threads with replies like ‘did anyone ever solve this / ever find a solution’ and deleted posts! But what use is any of that, its just quantity drowning out quality. :grin: But hey keep sending in bug reports people as Epic need those, even if users get absolutely nothing back in return. :wink:

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Dude it’s open source. modify it however you want

Dude, oh, yeah, you are absolutely a genius, dude! Best idea ever. How come I didn’t think of that, dude. Why don’t we just rewrite Unreal? Dude, being so smart, why don’t we fuse Unreal and Unity into UnUnity. We will be rich, dude. Dude, you have just solved all our problems. Thank you, dude.

Well if you want to tailor Unreal to your needs then you have to do it yourself or hire someone to do that

I was about to be very rude, but instead I will kindly ask you to help us on this, then.
That way, we can see if you are here just to add noise, to advertise or to help.

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World Outliner is utter crap. I cannot believe it’s that bad. It takes so much time doing repetitive basic things, instead of doing valuable work. jesus fcking christ, EPIC do something about it, please!


It’s out of this world how bad this is, even small level is really irritating to work with because of this piece of s#%t. I love UE 5, but this is just outrageous. If you EPIC guys need some examples on how to do it just look anywhere it’s there. Anything would be better than this 90’s c#&p.

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Hey folks,

Wanted to chime in with some updates from the team. Buckle up! :fire:

To address the topics from the @TheAlfier :

  1. Folders have been updated to support One File Per Actor (OFPA), but that hasn’t brought additional features yet. That said, now that they’re actual objects the team suggested we’ll be able to add new properties and features to the folders.

    Actor Folders are default for World Partition levels, but experimental on non-World Partition levels, but working:

To enable it, update the flag in EditorExperimentalSettings called “Enable Actor Folder Object Support”

  1. Nesting is still purely meant as a means of attachment to move items together and there aren’t plans to change that at this time.

  2. I asked the team about dragging content from the Content Browser to the Outliner, and the short answer is “it’s complicated”. The Outliner only supports actors, but drag/drop operations can result in more than a new actor, so there’d be a lot of undefined UX.

    Ex: What happens if you drop a material on top of an actor in the outliner? Does it apply the material to the actor? How does the user know? Do we force it into focus?—the list goes on.

    That said, they’d be happy to dig in. If you’d like to share what types of editing you’re trying to do or more about your workflows, we can pass that along!

  3. Sorting should be improved with a filter bar, similar to the Content Browser’s, that’s coming as part of the 5.1 release. They’re also adding Search History and Saved Searches.

  4. This was a bug that should be fixed in 5.1.

Additionally in 5.1, we’re introducing a few more quality of life changes:

  • Toggle visibility of individual columns
  • Stackable hierarchy headers
  • Up to four Outliners present in the Level Editor, with independent settings
  • Always follow selected Actor in viewport
  • Press ‘F’ to focus the current Actor

Short answer is: check how Unity’s Hierarchy works and copy it.
Regarding world building and high level scene management, Unity’s Hierarchy, the equivalent of Unreal’s World Outliner, is light years ahead.

The following are what I’m missing the most in Unreal, switching from Unity:

  • Hierarchy’s empty helpers: empty objects that helps to precisely transform actors just by nesting them. The children actors can be reset to neutral loc/rot/scale that become the same of the parent empty object. Also, script components placed in the empty parent can work on children too. All of this directly in the hierarchy, without making a new prefab first each time. At the very least, if folders must act as as an empty helper, duplicating a folder must duplicate everything it contains too
  • Hierarchy’s custom reordering: not by a filter, but actually by dragging and dropping objects to a new spot in the list
  • dropping objects directly from content browser to the world outliner: not only good from an housekeeping point of view, but also to directly place in a specific, preset spot an actor (i.e.: I have a “room” empty object in the scene and the pivots of the room’s walls I’m going to drop from the content browser snap with the one of the empty parent I will place them into)
  • dropping materials and meshes on an actor in the hierarchy directly from the content browser is a nice feature, surely not vital but, again, that Unity has. They solved the problem, I’m sure you can do it too, though this is really not a so important matter compared to the others
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They said we do have empty actors, so that might be a start for now. But I’ve captured your feedback and sent it over—they’re plotting out future changes and this is helpful!

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It would be nice if parented actors could also remember if the outliner view was expanded or not when reopening the level. Currently folders stay closed if they were closed when the level was last saved, but the parented actors do not, even though the hierarchy is visually indicated very similarly.

Editing multiple objects is a pain, you cannot select a component to change its properties from the component list when multiple actors are selected, even if all the actors are the same when it comes to their components. It can be tricky to determine I guess though since you can add and remove components from instances. One can always make instance editable parameters in the actor class to control component properties.

Grouping is just… meh. The group actor clutters the outliner. It’s moved out of the way by default (but this also moves it away from the grouped actors). Grouping feels like a way to manage some visual-only small clutter, for that the selection box can be nice, otherwise, I’d use the other means.

Personally I just try to pack bigger level elements that logically go together into big dumb prefab-esque blueprints, also resorted to using scripts to spawning actors where patterns are found (EditorPostEditChangeProperty is nice with that) which also neatly allows me to parent the generated actors to whatever created them. Which is where it would be nice if all child object hierarchies wouldn’t be exploded when opening a level.