EditorSelection in Godot – Complete Guide

Have you ever found yourself meticulously arranging a scene in Godot, only to need a tool that simplifies the selection and manipulation of nodes? Whether you’re a budding game developer or an experienced coder looking to streamline your workflow, understanding the EditorSelection class in Godot 4 is a key step towards efficient game design. In this comprehensive tutorial, we will explore the ins and outs of EditorSelection, showcasing its capabilities through practical examples. Prepare to unlock the potential of your game development process by learning how to expertly manage the SceneTree selection within Godot’s robust editor.

What is EditorSelection?

EditorSelection is a core part of Godot 4’s editor, responsible for managing the nodes you select within the SceneTree. It’s a behind-the-scenes power tool that enhances your control and efficiency as you construct and refine your game’s scenes.

What is it for?

This class serves as your virtual assistant when dealing with multiple nodes, aiding you in seamlessly adding, removing, and transforming selections within your scene. It ensures a smooth workflow, especially when dealing with complex hierarchies and operations that can become tedious without it.

Why Should I Learn It?

Mastering EditorSelection will elevate your Godot skills, enabling you to manipulate scenes with precision and finesse. Intuitive scene management is crucial for game development, and learning to leverage EditorSelection can significantly speed up your creative process. It’s not just about selecting nodes—it’s about streamlining your approach to game development in Godot 4.

CTA Small Image

Getting Started with EditorSelection

To begin exploring the capabilities of the EditorSelection class, you first need to understand how to access it in Godot. The example below demonstrates how to get the current EditorSelection instance within an editor plugin.

var editor_selection = get_editor_interface().get_selection()

With this instance in hand, you can now start manipulating the nodes in your scene. Let’s take a look at how you can add and remove nodes from the selection.

# To add a node to the current selection
var node_to_select = get_node("SomeNodePath")

# To remove a node from the current selection
var node_to_deselect = get_node("SomeNodePath")

These actions are fundamental and are often used when creating tools to enhance your scene management capabilities.

Working with Multi-Node Selections

One of the more powerful features of EditorSelection is its ability to manage multiple nodes at once. The following code snippets illustrate how to clear the existing selection and add an array of nodes to it.

# Clear the current selection

# Add an array of nodes to the selection
var nodes_to_select = [get_node("Node1"), get_node("Node2"), get_node("Node3")]
for node in nodes_to_select:

This ability to handle multiple nodes at once is key to optimizing your workflow, especially when dealing with large and complex scenes.

Selection Information and Observation

Understanding the makeup of your current selection can be just as important as modifying it. With EditorSelection, you can get an array of the currently selected nodes. Additionally, it’s possible to connect signals to monitor changes in selection:

# Get an array of currently selected nodes
var selected_nodes = editor_selection.get_selected_nodes()

# Connect a signal to handle whenever the selection changes
editor_selection.connect("selection_changed", self, "_on_selection_changed")

func _on_selection_changed():
    print("The selection has changed!")

By observing the selection, you can create reactive tools that update dynamically to the editor’s state, enhancing your productivity when building your game’s scenes.

Enhancing Node Manipulation

Not only can you select nodes, but you can also utilize the EditorSelection to manipulate their properties in bulk. This is a significant time-saver for common tasks like toggling visibility or locking nodes. Let’s see how you can accomplish these tasks with EditorSelection.

# Toggle visibility for all selected nodes
for node in editor_selection.get_selected_nodes():
    if node.has_method("set_visible"):
        node.set_visible(not node.is_visible())

# Lock all selected nodes to prevent them from being moved in the editor
for node in editor_selection.get_selected_nodes():
    node.set_meta("_edit_lock_", true)

With these examples, you’re now equipped to begin taking full advantage of the EditorSelection class in your Godot 4 projects. Learning to efficiently manage node selections will not only improve your workflow but also add a professional touch to your game development process.

Delving deeper into the capabilities of EditorSelection, we’ll discover more nuanced functionalities that can truly empower your game development in Godot. Our exploration will include examples of how to make selections context-specific, how to leverage the undo/redo system, and more advanced manipulations propelling our usage of Godot to a whole new level.

Firstly, we can adapt our selections based on certain node conditions. Here’s an example:

# Select all nodes of a specific type
for node in get_tree().get_nodes_in_group("interactable"):
    if node is KinematicBody2D:

This feature allows us to target specific node types or groups within our scene, making the selection process more contextual and efficient.

Next, integrating with Godot’s robust undo/redo system can enhance the flexibility of our tools. Here’s how you could use this feature:

# Add undo/redo action for a selection change
var undo_redo = get_editor_interface().get_undo_redo()
undo_redo.create_action("Select Node")
undo_redo.add_do_method(editor_selection, "add_node", node_to_select)
undo_redo.add_undo_method(editor_selection, "remove_node", node_to_select)

This integration ensures that any changes made through your tools can be easily reverted or reapplied, allowing for a safer and more dynamic editing environment.

Here’s an example of how to refine our selections by excluding certain nodes:

# Deselect all nodes that are hidden
for node in editor_selection.get_selected_nodes():
    if node.is_hidden():

Such selective exclusion can be vital when you want to perform bulk operations on only the active elements within your scene.

Moving on, we can also use EditorSelection to find common ancestors of selected nodes, which is useful in organizing hierarchies or creating parent-child structures:

# Find the common ancestor of selected nodes
var common_ancestor = editor_selection.get_common_ancestor()
if common_ancestor:
    print("Common ancestor is: ", common_ancestor.name)

Discovering the common ancestor can lead to more intuitive scene management and can assist in establishing a clear structure for complex node systems.

Another advanced usage of EditorSelection is in creating custom selection sets, which can be toggled or cycled through. Below is a simple cycle selection mechanism:

# Cycle through custom selection sets
var selection_sets = [[node1, node3], [node2, node4]]
var current_set_idx = 0

func _cycle_selection():
    for node in selection_sets[current_set_idx]:
    current_set_idx = (current_set_idx + 1) % selection_sets.size()

This script cycles the EditorSelection through predefined node arrays, enabling you to quickly switch context and focus within your game scene.

Lastly, let’s not forget the power of listening to the ‘selection_changed’ signal to trigger custom logic or refresh UI elements:

# Logic to execute when the selection changes
func _on_selection_changed():

editor_selection.connect("selection_changed", self, "_on_selection_changed")

By harnessing such events, you can create a reactive and personalized editor that responds instantly to your actions – keeping you in the flow of game design.

As demonstrated, the EditorSelection class is a versatile component of Godot’s editor, and with these detailed examples, our fellow developers can enhance their workflow significantly. We’re exploring just the surface of its potential, but with continued practice and exploration, we can harness the full prowess of Godot EditorSelection to create immersive and intricate game worlds with ease and efficiency.

In the spirit of fostering a comprehensive understanding of EditorSelection, we delve further with additional examples, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved. These snippets illustrate deeper functionalities, broadening the horizons of game developers seeking to harness every aspect of Godot’s power.

Consider an example where you want to rename all the selected nodes according to their types. This not only keeps your SceneTree organized but can streamline later processes:

for node in editor_selection.get_selected_nodes():

This simple loop iterates through the selected nodes and renames each one to match its class type, enhancing clarity within the SceneTree.

Now, imagine you wish to adjust properties across multiple nodes. With EditorSelection, you can modify various node properties en masse:

# Mass update position for 2D nodes
for node in editor_selection.get_selected_nodes():
    if node is Node2D:
        node.position += Vector2(10, 0)

This example demonstrates how to uniformly move all Node2D objects in the current selection to the right, which is particularly useful for layout adjustments.

Let’s also look into how EditorSelection can affect visibility toggling with a single line:

# Toggle node visibility with one-liners
    if "visible" in node:
        node.visible = !node.visible

This elegant example leverages the ‘for_each’ method to toggle each node’s visibility, promoting cleaner and more efficient code.

In complex scenes, it might be necessary to select nodes based on their custom scripts or extended properties. This approach can target specific functionalities within your game:

# Select nodes with a specific script attached
for node in get_tree().get_nodes_in_group("interactive"):
    if node.script and node.script.extends("res://path_to_my_custom_script.gd"):

This snippet will sweep through all the nodes in a particular group and add those with a specified custom script to your selection, underscoring the versatility of EditorSelection.

EditorSelection can also be leveraged to enforce certain constraints on your nodes, such as making sure that selected nodes are within a certain part of the scene:

# Ensure selected nodes are within a designated area
var designated_area_rect = Rect2(Vector2(100, 100), Vector2(300, 300))
    if "rect" in node and not designated_area_rect.encloses(node.rect):

Here, you’re ensuring that all nodes in the selection fall within a pre-defined Rect2 area, otherwise they’re deselected—great for managing zones in a level editor.

Lastly, for a more interactive tool experience, EditorSelection can be used in conjunction with input events. The following example shows how you might implement a shift-click mechanism to toggle node selection:

func _input_event(viewport, event, shape_idx):
    if event is InputEventMouseButton and event.button_index == BUTTON_LEFT and event.shift:
        var selected_node = get_node_at_point(event.position)
        if editor_selection.is_selected(selected_node):

In this snippet, when the developer shift-clicks on a node in the editor, it either selects or deselects it depending on the current selection state. This behavior mirrors the familiar user experience found in many other software applications.

The code examples shown here exhibit only a fraction of EditorSelection’s breadth and adaptability. By integrating such snippets into your work, you can construct tools that not only expedite scene building in Godot but also customize the editor to fit your unique game development needs. EditorSelection can become an extension of your creativity, with the practical know-how transforming the way you interact with Godots editor, thus freeing you to realize your imagination’s full potential within your games.

Where to Go Next with Your Godot Learning Journey

As you continue refining your Godot skills and exploring new capabilities like the EditorSelection class, remember that the world of game development is vast and there’s always something new to learn. To support your ongoing journey, we at Zenva offer the Godot Game Development Mini-Degree, a comprehensive series of courses designed to transform you into a confident cross-platform game developer using the next-gen Godot 4 engine.

Our mini-degree covers a spectrum of essential topics from mastering 2D and 3D assets to coding intricate gameplay mechanics. Delve into creating various types of games, like engaging platformers, immersive RPGs, strategic RTS games, and survival challenges. Designed for both beginners and those with existing knowledge, our project-based courses offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace and come with certificates of completion.

For those eager to discover more about what we offer, browse our broader collection of Godot courses. These carefully curated tutorials will help you increment your skills, whether you’re starting your game development path or looking to enhance your existing expertise. Dive in and let your creativity flourish with Zenva – where your learning adventure meets the frontiers of game technology.


The path to mastering game development is an adventure filled with endless possibilities, and mastering Godot’s EditorSelection class is a vital step on that journey. With the power to streamline your scene management and unlock advanced editor functionalities, you’re well on your way to creating games with polish and professionalism. Remember, this is only the start. There’s a whole universe to explore within Godot, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Dive into Zenva’s Godot Game Development Mini-Degree and grab the tools you need to transform your vision into reality. Continue learning, continue creating, and keep pushing the boundaries of your game development prowess. With Zenva, your potential is limitless, and we can’t wait to see the incredible games you’ll bring to life!

Python Blog Image

FINAL DAYS: Unlock coding courses in Unity, Godot, Unreal, Python and more.