Navigating the New Unreal Editor Interface

Learn about the new enhancements in the user interface of the Unreal Editor.


A New Experience in the Editor

Unreal Engine 5 brings a suite of improvements to the look and feel of the user interface, creating a modern, improved workflow for all users.

Updated Style

Unreal Engine has been redesigned to give users a more immersive experience when working in the Level Editor. Icons have been redesigned and menu items reorganized. Users can dock panels into tabs on the sidebars to maximize the viewport, minimizing distractions.

Icons are now smaller and more refined, giving more space to the user in the viewport.

New icons in the editor

On toolbars, buttons that display a corner arrow open a dropdown menu on click.

Toolbar button with a carat menu

Buttons on toolbars that display a vertical ellipse next to them will execute the command on click. The vertical ellipse opens a menu to adjust the settings of the command.

Toolbar button with a vertical ellipse menu

Main Toolbar Updates in the Level Editor

For better clarity and organization, the main toolbar has been reorganized. There are two new menu items, Create and Content.

Create and Content menus

The Create menu includes different types of Actors that can be added to the Project. Select an Actor to place it in the center of your viewport. If you prefer to keep this panel open, you can also display the panel by clicking on Place Actors Panel from the Create menu.

Create menu

The Content menu enables you to switch between different Content Browsers and get content from outside marketplaces such as Unreal Marketplace and Quixel Bridge. This button combines the Content and Marketplace buttons from UE4.

Content menu

Instead of a Modes button that enables you to toggle between the modes, each of the modes has been placed on the toolbar as a separate button. To activate its mode, click on the mode button.

Modes buttons

The Launch button has been renamed the Platforms button.

Tab Drawer System

Users can now dock tabs of minimized panels into a drawer on the left or right side of the Level Editor to maximize the viewport.

Any panel can be docked as a tab in the Level Editor. When a tab is docked, it will collapse the panel to the sidebar of the viewport where the panel is currently located, right or left. To dock a tab in the sidebar, right-click on the tab and select Move to Sidebar.

Move to Sidebar

This collapses the panel into a tab on the sidebar.

Tab docked in Sidebar

To open this panel, click on the tab. The panel appears temporarily for editing and closes again when the user clicks outside the panel.

Pressing the tab opens the window temporarily

The panel can be undocked at any time by right-clicking on the tab and selecting Restore Tab.

Restore Tab

The Content Drawer is a special Content Browser panel that appears temporarily by clicking on Ctrl + Spacebar. When an Asset is dragged from the Content Drawer into the scene, it automatically hides itself until the next time it is opened.

Favorite Properties

In the Level Editor, properties in the Details panel can be added to a collection of favorites for quick access. When toggled on, the Favorites category appears at the top of the Details panel.

Custom properties cannot be added to the Favorites category.

To enable the Favorites category in the Details panel, click on the Toggle Favorites button, represented by a star icon.

Toggle Favorites on by clicking the star icon

To add a property to the Favorites category in the Details panel, right-click on that property and select Add to Favorites.

Right click and select Add to Favorites

To remove a property from the Favorites category in the Details panel, right-click on that property and select Remove from Favorites.

Right click and select Remove from Favorites

Create and Edit Themes for the Editor

In the Unreal Editor interface, you can customize colors and save them as themes. To access themes, select Edit > Editor Preferences.

The Unreal Editor is still undergoing improvements between Early Access and full release, so some future changes may require you to redo the settings of your Themes.

Open Editor Preferences

The upper portion of the Editor Preferences window displays the options for Themes.

Colors are at the top of Editor Preferences

Switch between themes by clicking on the Active Theme dropdown menu.

Active Theme dropdown menu

To edit the active theme, click on the pencil icon.

Edit the Active Theme

Or click on the duplicate icon to duplicate the active theme and edit a new copy of it.

Duplicate the Active Theme

Editing the active theme or duplicating a new theme opens the Theme Editor. Click on any swatch to open a standard color picker to adjust the color. You will see the colors changing in the interface as you adjust them.

Adjust colors using the Color Picker

Once satisfied with the look of your theme, click on Save and now you can switch to this theme using the Active Theme dropdown menu.

Unreal Editor with a new Theme applied

Loading Screen

You can now see additional information displayed on the loading screen when a project file is being opened.

Unreal Engine 5 Loading Screen

In previous versions you would have seen a generic loading message with a percentage. Now you can see in the bottom left of the loading screen exactly what is happening as the file is loading.

Progress Bar

While a scene file is loading in Unreal Editor you will now see a progress bar at the lower right corner.

Clicking on the Progress Bar will open up additional information about the elements being loaded at that time. You can see processes like Compiling Shaders, Building Cards, Preparing Textures, and Preparing Static Meshes.

Simplified Project Creation Workflow

New project creation has now been simplified. All the relevant information a user needs to set when starting a new project is presented on one screen.

New Project screen

To create a new project, in the File menu select New Project. Adjust the settings as needed and then hit the Create button.

Type Promotion in Blueprints

Type Promotion in Blueprints changes how Operator nodes are used.

Operator nodes include the following node types:

  • Add

  • Subtract

  • Multiply

  • Divide

  • Not Equals

  • Equals

  • Greater Than

  • Greater Than or Equal to

  • Less Than

  • Less Than or Equal to

In previous Unreal Engine releases, Operator nodes were implemented for each type meaning that there were separate Add nodes for float, int, vector, and other data types.

Starting in Unreal Engine 5, there will be one Add node that can be connected to any combination of data types.





These new Operator nodes provide users the ability to connect multiple types of data pins at once.

For example, users can now multiply vector, float, and integer values together in a single operation. This same operation would have required the use of multiple Operation nodes prior to Unreal Engine 5.





Backwards Compatibility

All Blueprint classes containing deprecated Operation nodes will still function correctly without any changes.

Workflow Changes

Pins connected to the Operator node can be converted to any data type by right-clicking the Context Menu.


Toggling Type Promotion

Type promotion is enabled by default.

Type promotion can be disbled by navigating to Editor Preferences > Content Editors > Blueprint Editor > Workflow > Enable Type Promotion.