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Keyboard and mouse

This chapter gives an overview of the general mouse and keyboard usage in Blender, and the conventions used in this Manual to describe them, as well as tips on how to use non-standard devices.

Conventions in this Manual

This manual uses the following conventions to describe user input:

  • The mouse buttons are called LMB Template-LMB.png (left mouse button), MMB Template-MMB.png (middle mouse button) and RMB Template-RMB.png (right mouse button).
  • If your mouse has a wheel, MMB Template-MMB.png refers to clicking the wheel as if it were a button, while Wheel Template-MW.png means rolling the wheel.
  • Hotkey letters are shown in this manual like they appear on a keyboard. For example G which refers to the lowercase “g”. When used, the modifier ⇧ Shift is specified just as the other modifier keys, Ctrl and/or Alt ; this gives, for example, CtrlW or ⇧ ShiftAltA.
  • 0 NumPad to 9 NumPad, + NumPad and so on, refer to the keys on the separate numeric keypad. “NumLock” should generally be switched on.
  • Other keys are referred to by their names, such as Esc, ↵ Enter, ⇆ Tab, F1 to F12
  • Of special note are the arrow keys, , , and so on.

General Usage

Blender’s interface is designed to be best used with a three-button mouse. A mouse wheel is quite useful, but not essential.

Because Blender makes such extensive use of both mouse and keyboard, a golden rule has evolved among Blender users: Keep one hand on the mouse and the other on the keyboard. If you normally use a keyboard that is significantly different from the English keyboard layout, you may want to think about changing to the English or American layout for your work with Blender. The most frequently used keys are grouped so that they can be reached by the left hand in standard position (index finger on F) on the English keyboard layout. This assumes that you use the mouse with your right hand.

Mouse Button Emulation

It is perfectly possible to use Blender with a two-button mouse (e.g. laptop touchpad…) or an Apple single-button mouse. The missing buttons can be emulated with key/mouse-button combos.

Activate this functionality in the User Preferences window, View and Controls section, Emulate 3 Button Mouse button.

The following table shows the combos used:

2-button Mouse Apple Mouse
LMB Template-LMB.png LMB Template-LMB.png LMB Template-LMB.png (mouse button)
MMB Template-MMB.png AltLMB Template-LMB.png ⌥ OptLMB Template-LMB.png (Option/Alt key + mouse button)
RMB Template-RMB.png RMB Template-RMB.png ⌘ CmdLMB Template-LMB.png (Command/Apple key + mouse button)

All the mouse/keyboard combinations mentioned in the Manual can be expressed with the combos shown in the table. For example, ⇧ ShiftAltRMB Template-RMB.png becomes ⇧ ShiftAlt⌘ CmdLMB Template-LMB.png on a single-button mouse.

NumPad Emulation

The numpad keys are used quite often in Blender and are not the same keys as the regular number keys. If you have a keyboard without a numpad (e.g. on a laptop), you can tell Blender to treat the standard number keys as numpad keys in the User Preferences window, System & OpenGL section, Emulate Numpad button.

A detailed description can be found on this BsoD page.



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