Switch operations between actions and tools


Maya makes a distinction between tools and actions. For example, many items under the Edit Curves, Surfaces, and Edit NURBS menus can be converted from actions to tools (or vice versa).

See Selection, tools, and actions for more information.

To change actions to tools throughout Maya

  1. Select Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences.
  2. In the Categories list of the Preferences window, click Modeling, then turn on Everything is a Tool.

Afterwards, you’ll notice more NURBS menu items have Tool in their names. To return to action-based behavior, turn on Everything is an Action in the same Preferences window.

If you turn on Mixed, a setting within each option box specifies whether the menu item is a tool or action.

To convert a single menu item from an action to a tool

  1. Open the item’s options window and select Edit > As Tool.
  2. To return to action-based behavior, select Edit > As Action.

    If the options window doesn’t have an Edit menu or the As Tool and As Action items are dim, the action (or tool) can’t be converted.

The setting in the Options window takes precedence over the Preferences window. Changing from actions to tools or vice versa works immediately.

When you use an action converted to a tool, Maya sets an object and component selection mask appropriate for the tool. Maya returns to the prior selection mask after you finish using the tool.

Tool options

If you change an action to a tool, the options window for that tool displays two extra options:

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