Space Coordinate Systems

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He beginner.png

This is an easy-level tutorial that goes over the differences between Local Space and World Space coordinate systems.
Menu to toggle back and forth, from the Transform Toolbar

Space coordinate system are one of the following:


Sometimes it is helpful to move or rotate an object in relation to its own "local" space, rather than world space. For example, if a fence object is placed and then duplicated, it may be helpful to move the next object along the axis of the first fence, to allow them to line up properly.

Rotation can also be important as to whether it's occurring on a world space or local level.

To toggle back and forth from World Space to Local Space, use the "World and Local Space tool" Coordinate.png on the Transform Toolbar, either by selecting the appropriate option in the dropdown menu, or just clicking on the button to toggle back and forth.

Tip: With the Select & Translate tool, TranslateTool.png holding down the Ctrl key and then hovering the mouse over the gizmo, will show the current axes of movement. See the Tutorial section below for more information on how this works.

Multiple objects

Special cases exist for when multiple objects are selected.

Select & Translate: TranslateTool.png

Rotate: RotateTool.png


If a gizmo (set of axes) is visible, it will often change orientation depending on which mode (local or world) is active.

The image on the left, shows the gizmo of the object oriented in world space (straight up and down). The image on the right, shows the gizmo when local space is activated (the gizmo aligns with the object).

Space2.png Space3.png

Note: Some tools from the Transform Toolbar, such as Scale, Scale.png and Bounds, Bounds.png will always work in Local Space, regardless of whether World or Local space is selected.


Object oriented in World Space (note the snap grid lines aligned with the world, not the object)
Object oriented in Local Space (note the snap grid lines aligned with the object, not the world)

See also

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