Shade selected objects in the 3dsMax viewport

Sometimes it’s hard to get a good look at objects in your viewport. The shaded viewport occludes too many objects and the wireframes are difficult to grasp with many objects present. Use the “Shade selected” option to solve this problem. When this toggle is switched on, only the selected objects are shaded, the rest is a wireframe. This is ideal when you want to view a single object within it’s context of other objects. I use this one all the time.

Put the “Shade selected” toggle under a keyboard shortcut, I use Shift+F2 for that. There’s one hickup though: this option isn’t available in the “customize UI” menu in 3dsMax 2012. That’s why I’ve created a small macroscript to make this Shade selected toggle available for a keyboard shortcut. See the bottom of the article for more info about this and the link to the script.

Many objects hide each other in shaded view


The same objects as wireframe are difficult to view as well


Use the “Shade selected” toggle to only shade the selected objects in your viewport


You can use the highlighted menuitem in the view-menu


Or you can assign the same action a keyboard shortcut. This option is available in 3dsMax 2010

Scripted alternative

In 3dsMax 2012 the Shade selected toggle is not available by default. Use the following macro to make it available. After running the macro you can find this action unde the name “Shade selected toggle by Klaas Nienhuis” in the Views category, just where you’d expect it (at least that’s what I expected!). You can treat this macro the same as any other action: assign it to a keyboard shortcut or create a new button with it.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

2013-06-15 at 12:04

So helpful – I thought I was going nuts, first I did have the shortcut and then it disappeared without any trace of how to find it in the customise panel 🙂

Thank you so much 🙂

2014-09-12 at 08:20

Thank you so much! Was getting very frustrated with my new version of max with the missing option to create a keyboard shortcut… especially with large scenes!
Here, have a beer 😉

2016-10-05 at 12:31


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