N Panel Manager

by New Media Supply in Scripts and Addons


N Panel Manager addon


TLDR:  We all know the N Panel Tab clutter in Blender. The N Panel Manager solves this problem by providing tools to manage add-ons in Workspace filtering. So instead of long days fine tuning Blender, you can do it now in 2 or 3 hours. (151 add-ons). Although we tested this add-on is still in Beta. Therefore, we ask you to report any issue so we can make the add-on stable for a wide range of scenarios. We tested with Blender 3.1, 3,3, Windows, Linux, and 151 add-ons (build-in included). 





Why the N Panel Manager

How long does it take you to set up Blender when there is a new version or when the startup file is corrupt? For example, I have in total 151 addons (including some build in ones) that I want to enable in Blender, And setting up Blender as I want to have it usually takes more than four days. 


Why does it take that long? The N Panel (sidebar) gets unreadable when you enable 20+ add-ons. We know that there is a solution, and that is to use Workspaces. But this workflow, without the NPanel Manager, has all kinds of quirks: 


  • It's hard to find an add-on in the Workspace Filter. First, you have to read a lot of text.
  • Only the enabled add-ons are listed in the Workspace Filter.
  • You cannot filter, sort, and use an advanced search.
  • Sometimes you don't have any idea what the add-on is about. 
  • Often you forget where to find the add-on, and you need to look it up in the preferences. 


(There is another solution that works with renaming the tabs. But the N Panel Manager works very differently, as we see later.)


The Benefits of N Panel Manager


  • It saves you precious time settings up Blender with all the add-ons.
  • The N Panel Manager creates a workable environment every time you use Blender.
  • Use the add-ons again you invested in. You probably don't use many of them because the add-ons are not organized in Blender. 
  • Export setups as presets. For example, you can have a light version and another preset where most add-ons are enabled. Import them back in.



The UI shows the features



The User Interface of the N Panel Manager Add-on appears in the Properties Panel > Scene Tab.


  1. Filter the category in the list. E.g., Add_Mesh, Development, Import-Export.
  2. List all the add-ons, or only the Enabled or Disabled.
  3. The list of add-ons is shown according to all filters.
  4. Enable the add-on globally (as in preferences).
  5. Search by (part of) Name, Author, or Description.
  6. Type a search term. 
  7. Refresh the list whenever you make changes outside the N panel Manager.
  8. Clears the list.
  9. Info Panel where you can see the Author, Description, and location. Handy for when you forgot what the add-on was about. 
  10. To make a note. For example, a shortcut or a link. 
  11. Export the current configuration. You can use it as a preset or view it in another program like Excel. Or previous import configurations.
  12. Turn the workspace filter on or off. 
  13. Enable the selected addon in the selected workspace.


Known issues

  • There might be a quirk when you update an addon, and only then when the addon doesn't register or unregister properly. Sometimes when you uninstall an addon you get a register/unregister error.  When that happens, and you can't enable/disable the addon in the N Panel Manager: go to the Blender's own workspace filter, scroll down to the unknown addons and uncheck the addon that showed an error. 


Release Log

Update 31 May 2022: There is now an initialize button in the preferences. This will enable the N Panel Manager addon in every workspace and load all current data of addons and workspaces in the N Panel Manager's list. See the screenshot below.  You can find the update in the downloads and it's the file: n_panel_manager_V1-2.zip.  Important: Uninstall the old version, save preferences, restart Blender and install the new version (This is the best way to update addons generally). Please mind that this update is tested in 3 different Blender versions. It would be great if you could provide us feedback so we can adjust the addon to a wide range of scenarios. 





The history of the N Panel Manger


I got nearly a nervous breakdown when there was a new Blender version. At such moments, I am less productive for a week, finetuning all the settings. So I decided not to struggle anymore and designed the N Panel Manager. 
Halfway through the addon development, I had to ask Blenderboi to do the more complex coding, and he helped me above expectations. 
And there we have the N Panel Manager that allows us to set up Blender with 150 addons in just 2 or 3 hours (150+ addons including build in) instead of 4 days. 


Roadmap


Depends on requests. 


How to contact us


  • You see on the right of this page (if you are logged in): "Ask a Question." After a click, you will see a short form, and I will get a notification. Usually, I will reply within 9 hours unless I am on holiday. 
  • You can also join our Discord Server. There you can ask questions, see all updates, and you can submit your art. 


Sales 100+
Customer Ratings 5
Average Rating
Published 3 months ago
Software Version 3.0, 3.1, 3.2
License GPL
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