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General Usage of Input Devices

Blender's workflows are optimized for parallel usage of mouse and keyboard. That's why we have evolved the 'golden rule':

Keep one hand on the mouse and the other on the keyboard

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.

Input configuration

Blender's interface is designed to be used with the following recommended input configuration:

  • A three-button mouse with a scroll wheel
  • A full keyboard with a numeric keypad (NumLock should generally be switched on).

Read more about Blender configuration »

Usage of Mouse Buttons

The mouse takes an important role while working with Blender. Therefore we have established a general usage of the mouse buttons which apply in most cases:

Right Mouse Button: Select an item
Left Mouse Button: Initiate or confirm an action

(These can be swapped in the Input tab of the User Preferences)

Note: The Reference section contains details (and a short video guide) about the Usage of Mouse Buttons for basic Operations

Conventions in this Manual

This manual uses the following conventions to describe user input:

  • The mouse buttons are referred to as:
LMB Template-LMB.png - Left Mouse Button
MMB Template-MMB.png - Middle Mouse Button
RMB Template-RMB.png - Right Mouse Button
  • If your mouse has a wheel
MMB Template-MMB.png - Middle Mouse Button (clicking the wheel)
Wheel Template-MW.png - rolling the wheel.
  • Hotkey letters are shown in this manual like they appear on a keyboard; for example,
G - refers to the lowercase ''g''.

⇧ Shift,Ctrl and Alt are generally specified as modifier keys

CtrlW or ⇧ ShiftAltA - indicates that these keys should be pressed simultaneously

0 NumPad to 9 NumPad, + NumPad - and so on refer to the keys on the separate numeric keypad.

Other keys are referred to by their names, such as Esc, ⇆ Tab, F1 to F12. Of special note are the arrow keys, , and so on.

Mouse Button Emulation

If you do not have a 3 button mouse, you'll need to emulate it by checking the option in the User Preferences (unchecked by default).

The following table shows the combinations used:

3-button Mouse 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 combinations shown in the table. For Example, ⇧ ShiftAltRMB Template-RMB.png becomes ⇧ ShiftAlt⌘ CmdLMB Template-LMB.png on a single-button mouse.

NumPad Emulation

If you do not have a Numeric Numpad on the side of your keyboard, you may want to Emulate one (uses the numbers at the top of the keyboard instead, however removes quick access to layer visibility).

Read more about NumPad Emulation on User Preferences page »

Non English Keyboard

If you use a keyboard with a non-english keyboard layout, you still may benefit from switching your computer to the UK or US layout as long as you work with Blender. Note that you can also change the Blender default keymap and change the default hotkeys. However this manual is based on the default keymap.

Read more about Blender configuration »