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Blender contains different node-based editors with different purposes, so this section only explains how to work with nodes in general. The list below shows the different types of nodes and where theyre documented.

Example of a node editor.




Shader Nodes

Documentation is in the Render section.

Composite Nodes

Documentation can be found in the Compositing section.

Texture Nodes

Texture Nodes are covered in the UV editor docs.

Editor Interface


The Header contains various menus, buttons and options, partially based on the current node tree type.

Common node editor header options.


This menu changes your view of the editor.


This menu allows you to select a node or groups of nodes.


This menu allows you to add nodes.


This menu allows you to do things with selected nodes.

Use Nodes

Tells the render engine to use the node tree when computing the material color or rendering the final image, or not. If not, the tree is ignored. For materials, this is mostly a legacy option, because in the past materials could not be created with node trees.

Use Pinned

When enabled, the editor will retain the material or texture, even when the user selects a different object. A node tree can then be edited independent of the object selection in the 3D Viewport.

Parent Node Tree

Leaves the current node group and returns to the parent node group/tree.


Change options for snapping node positions to achieve a cleaner node tree layout.


Overlays are information that is displayed on top of the nodes and node trees. There is a toggle to show or hide all overlays for the node editor next to the overlay popover.

Wire Colors

Color node links based on their connected sockets.

Context Path

Display breadcrumbs in the upper left corner indicating the hierarchy location of the node tree/group thats currently being displayed.


Displays Annotations in the preview region.


Display each nodes Interface nodes parts preview if the nodes preview is also toggled.


The Toolbar contains a set of tools that can be used in the node editor.


The Sidebar region contains properties for the currently selected node as well as node editor-specific settings.


Navigating the node editors is done with the use of both mouse movement and keyboard shortcuts.


Move the view up, down, left and right.

Zoom Ctrl-MMB, Wheel

Move the camera forwards and backwards.

Frame Selected NumpadPeriod

Adjusts the zooms to fit only the selected nodes in the view.

Frame All Home

Adjusts the zoom to fit all nodes in the view.

Adding Nodes






Nodes are added via the Add menu in the editors header or using a keyboard shortcut.

Nodes can also be added by dragging a connection from an existing nodes input or output socket and dropping the connection above an empty space instead of connecting to another socket. This action will open a search menu with a list of compatible nodes and their sockets that can be added and connected to the existing node. Confirming the menu selection will add the node which can then be moved and placed.