What is the External Editor?

When you click on a static mesh asset, there is a menu option: “Open in External Editor”. What is this? Is it possible to assign the program I use to build mesh to launch when I click this?? If not, what is this ‘External Editor’?

In addition to “default” application for opening file types in Windows you can also register an application as the editor for that file type. For example windows might have “Photos” app as the default app when you “open” an image and “Paint” for when you “Edit” an image. Notice in the screenshot below I have both context options for the PNG file, “Open” and “Edit”. Many times programs only setup the “Open” option and not the “Edit” option.

In my case if I imported a PNG into UE4 I can click on the texture and choose “Open in external editor” and it will open the source image in Paint. If I do the same for a mesh which came from an FBX file nothing happens because I currently don’t have an “Edit” option in my windows registry for FBX files.

You can manually create an Edit context menu for file types by modifying the Windows registry but make sure you know what you’re doing and backup your registry before diving into that.

To be honest I find this feature isn’t all that useful. Most of the time you edit in one file type .MAYA or .PSD and export to a temporary format like .FBX or .PNG before importing. What you really want to do is open the .PSD the texture originally came from. What I usually do is create the temp export files in the same folder as the source asset. This way I can use “Open Source Location” to open the source asset’s folder in Windows Explorer and from there I can open it in it’s editor.


Note - this doesn’t seem to work, at least with Wav when you set Audacity as default audio editor in Explorer, UE4 doesn’t open Audacity.