Network Editor

The Network Editor is a pane type in TouchDesigner that is used to create and modify Operators. The Network Editor is the default pane type for TouchDesigner and is visible when the program is launched. Navigating in the Network Editor is an important skill to learn early in TouchDesigner. Mastery of the Network Editor allows you to more easily modify and update your networks over time. The primary tool for network navigation is the mouse, although some operations have menu or keyboard equivalents. Each mouse button manipulates the Network Editor interface in a different way.

Network Navigation

Node Selection

Use the left mouse button LMB to select nodes. Select multiple nodes by box-selecting all desired nodes using the RMB. Alternatively, you can hold down the Ctrl key and left-click on each individual node you want to add tot he selection. To move a node, select it and keep the LMB depressed to drag it around the Network Editor.

Moving Around the Network

The left mouse button (LMB) navigates networks without changing the zoom level. Drag using the LMB in any empty area in the network to pan around the network. A scale 'overview' representation of the Network can be toggled on and off with the "o" key.


The middle mouse button MMB controls the zoom level. The current zoom level is always visible at the top left corner of the Network Editor. To return to Unity Zoom (zoom level of 1), use the keyboard shortcut "f" for Unity Frame All.

If the middle mouse button is also a scroll wheel on your mouse, scroll forwards to zoom in and scroll backwards to zoom out. For more sensitive zoom control, click and hold down the MMB, dragging up or right to zoom in, or dragging down or left to zoom out.

You can also box zoom by holding down the Ctrl button while using the MMB. To zoom in, hold down Ctrl and draw a box from left to right with the MMB. To zoom out, draw the box from right to left.

Moving Between Networks

There are several ways to move in and out of Component networks.

To enter a network (go inside a component):

  • double-click on a component to go inside its network
  • use the scroll wheel to zoom up close to a component and keep zooming in to go inside its network
  • select the component and then press <Enter> key to go inside its network
  • select the component and then press the < i > key to go inside its network
  • select the component and then press the 'double arrow' in the network path found at the top of the pane
  • on the component click RMB and select Enter Component from the menu

When inside a Component, to go up a level:

  • press the u key
  • use the scroll wheel to zoom out
  • in the network path found at the top of the pane, click on the component’s name you want to see. For example, if the path is /project1/scene1/geo2 and you want to go /project1, simply click on the word "project1".
  • you may find the Back and Forward buttons in the top pane bar handy to navigate in and out of Components.

Interacting with Operators

Here are some other interactions you can perform in the Network Editor.

  • Resize nodes by grabbing the edge of the node with LMB and dragging
  • Grid snapping is on by default, adjust grid options in Preferences (Edit > Preferences > Network)
  • Layout and Display options are found in the Network Editor's RMB menu
  • Node Viewers can go into Viewer Active mode (interactive mode) by clicking on the Viewer Active flag found in the lower-right corner.
  • Flags on the operators can be used to toggle their state (display state, render state, pickable state, etc)
  • Animated Wires indicate data flow between operators.
  • The Network Editor can be toggled to list mode by pressing the t key.

See also