Keyboard-only Blueprint Editing

I've written a lot of Blueprint logic in the past, to the point of getting RSI from using a mouse too much. But I much prefer the speed and keyboard-friendliness of writing my logic in C++.

However there are some plugins that make editing Blueprints a lot faster.

Blueprint Assist

If you have to spend more than 5 minutes a day using Blueprints, you have to get Blueprint Assist.

Some of the features include:

  • Automatically formatting node arrangement.
  • Speed up navigation, no more search in blueprints, just Go to the node with Ctrl+G.
  • Reorder node execution with Shift+Arrow.
  • Navigate nodes and pins with the keyboard.
  • Automatically adds calls to parent nodes when adding events. I can't count how many times I've been bitten by forgetting to call to parent.

Blueprint Assist's auto-format function.

It has a huge number of shortcuts but here are some of my favourites.

Shortcut Effect
Ctrl+G Go to the symbol in the graph
Tab Open "add node" window. If node selected, append to exec
Shift+F Formats everything downstream of the selected node
Ctrl+Shift+A Quick-add (variable, function)
Arrow keys Change selected pin
Ctrl+Arrow keys Change selected node
Shift+Arrow keys Pan view
Ctrl+Shift+Arrow Swap order of selected node
Ctrl+E Edit value of selected pin, cycle to next editable value
D Delete wire for hovered pin/wire
Alt+O Swap between Designer/Graph view when editing User Widget Blueprints

For the full list of shortcuts and how to customize them, search "Assist" in Editor Preferences > General > Keyboard Shortcuts

Make sure that you share your settings with the team so everyone has the same formatting.

Node Graph Assistant

Node Graph Assistant is another must-have plugin. It fixes a bunch of UX nightmares with Blueprints, and works well with Blueprint Assist.

Node Graph Assistant can auto-connect when nodes are close

Some of the things it fixes:

  • No longer need to drag a wire to an exact tiny pin, you can just drag to the node (the box itself) and Node Graph Assist will choose the most appropriate pin within the node.
  • Drag a node near another and it will automatically connect appropriate pins from nearby nodes (see animation above).

My favourite shortcuts:

Shortcut Effect
Alt+C Connect pins on selected nodes
Alt+X Remove node and re-route pins ahead

More

If you have any other suggestions for built-in keyboard shortcuts or other plugins that help, send me a message on Twitter.

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