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About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. That is a great tip thanks.
    I think Blender has some totally amazing features, but falls down in communicating how they work to the public.

    I would like to see more customizability in the interface. (without having to touch python)

    My wishlist would be...
    right click a button and you can assign a hotkey
    custom Macros shelf
    easy to customise hot menus

    I would love to be able to assign Transform Rotate and scale gizmos to a single keyboard button press. Ctrl+ Space Click is a bit cumbersome, since you select them so incredibly often.

    • Did you try to right click on a button even? Because assigning own hotkeys is something we already have! :) Well, for the most part.
      But I agree, would be nice to be able to have that for really every single option.

        • Ha, yeah, that's one of the examples where it is not possible. But try any button in the toolshelf.
          However, you can still change the shortcut in the User Prefs. Go to Input and search for "Context Toggle" in the 3D View section.

          • It's great that you can map button in the properties section. etc. Thx.
            I am trying to optimise the actions that I do most of all, they tend to be the buttons at the bottom of the window. Hopefully it will be in a future version.

          • you know you can move the headers , right? to the top or bottom . if not just go to a blank space in the header area and rightclick and a little menu pops up , "F" for bottom "H" for top . just throwin it out there . this is great .

          • Yes, I know about the headers.

            Basically what I want is to be able to keep the mouse over the object I am working on. And bring up either the Translate Gizmo, Rotate Gizmo, Or Scale Gizmo. with a single keypress.
            If you have to move your mouse off the object you are editing, you have already broken your concentration on it.

            Ideally, If you have completely memorised your keymap you should be able to work with a 3D window with practically no interface visible. Then your soul focus is on what you are creating, not the program.

          • I may have failed to say previously. I love Blender! Just wanted to add that. Just a couple of really tiny tweaks and it would be even more awesome.

    • Maybe I get you wrong but scaling, rotating and translating have had their own keys from the very beginning: scale =[s]* rotate =[r], translate=[g] (from "grab"). With the letter of the axes you can restrict the operation along the axes. So with [g] then [x] you can move the object along the x-axis. Also you can hit [g] (or [r] or [g]) then move the mouse cursor a little along one axis and click the middle mouse button. This will restrict the operation to that axis as well.
      With shift + you can rule out one axis and include both others. So with [s] and then [shift + x] you can scale the object along the y and z axis without scaling it along the x-axis.
      These operations work the same in both object mode and edit mode.
      *[s] means s-key etc.

      • Yes, I am aware of the Grab function and the rotate, and scale function. Which can be accesed by hotkeys.That is what I use currently. Unfortunately, It's limited to choosing one axis at a time.Then you must redo the keyboard shortcut.

        3D manipulator gizmos are at the bottom of the window. They are really great!
        What drives me crazy is the functionality is there. The developers have done the hard work making lovely gizmos. You just can't assign them to a single key press.

        You can turn manipulators on or off with a shortcut, but you can't select them individually.
        I could turn them all on and then use the shortcut, but that is really messy.

          • probably, the closest way to do that is: enable 3d view manipulator menu addon, then call it with ctrl tab. and asign a shortcut to each gizmo cntroller.

          • I'm not sure if it would suit your taste, but it is possible to activate all three manipulator types at the same time by shift-selecting them. You could save that to your start-up file and activate/ deactivate all of them at once with control-space.

        • @equiso

          I can edit the shortcut for the 3D manipulator on/off toggle but how do you add a seperate one for the individual Gizmos? I couldn't find anything that seemed to correspond to them in the settings. are you talking about using python?

          • nope. Once you enable the " 3d manipulator menu " addon, you can call it with ctrl + space. Instead of turning on/off the gizmo, you will see another menu with the following options : translate, rotate, scale, combo and hide. You can asign a shortcut to each of them. for example, you can take off the subdivision shortcut, and asign ctrl1 to translate gizmo. (remember that you should asign the shortcut for mesh and 3dview mode)

  2. Sublime! i would say many already know there are shortcuts once you open a menu.. but these shortcuts were not given proper credit ;) thanks for the tip, Sebastian.. the encouragement to use it will surely pay in the end by making blender wizardry much more enjoyable. :)

  3. ha , did'nt know that . think i got faster just watching that tut . great tip . all this talk about upgrading the ui , this was very timely .

  4. Many, many, applications have had this feature for years, in Windows at least. Just press the Alt key once and then the letters you need. Try it in MS Word, Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop etc...

    • Hello :)

      Yeah... In GNU/Linux too (graphic mode). In any menu... Alt + (the letter underlined on the name of the menu) and then the letter underlined in the menu.
      Sometimes it's more accurate then a complex combination, like in blender with the famous CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+C (which I'm trained to do now - my left hand is like the clawed paw of a dragon... )

      But you had to be careful... Where the focus is on :)

  5. holy freakin %^$* . just been messin around with all these new "to me" hot keys , absolutely amazing. this is gonna knock alot of time off of my projects once i get the hang of it .gonna stick this in the ol' memory bank . lol . thanks for the tut . again .

  6. List shortcuts are great, but the way system lists (at least on windows) work is even better:
    When you press a letter, the selection moves to the item starting with that letter. If you press again, the selection moves to the next one starting with that letter.

    Now it might seem, that it is slower because you have to press enter after shortcut letter selection, but in practice you memorize number of times you need to press the key for each command automatically and after a short while it works lightning fast.

    Wish Blender's lists would employ this technique.

  7. nice tip but i don't really see why this video is over 4 minutes long. it shows the idea, then proceeds to apply it over and over in multiple cases.

  8. Hi, Sebastian!
    Thanx, nice find! I wonder how long time this was here? ))
    I'll definitely will be using it now!

    However, not all examples are good:
    instead of Ctrl+Tab then 1/2/3 to change Vert/Edge/Face sel. mode it's better to set hot keys to 1/2/3. Faster is only a thought.
    I've set these to the mesh editing mode and UV editor also. Second was harder - I've need some seek and tries but found it somehow (API glossary helps but not always).
    For anybody who searched this:

    3dView -> Mesh -> Add...

    True, False, False (for vertex, next two you guess how ;) )

    Image -> UV Editor -> Add...

    here was that "stuck" problem... oh.. no! not "set_value" here ))
    BTW this looks like a bit clumsy of design here (it could be good to use strings in every such cases as it gives a name, not True/False codes). But it's not a problem if it will be documented and have a tip on mouseOver.


    uv.snap_cursor - tells for itself and is very common thing to. If you often edit UVs and make fixes by scaling rows of verts manually then you definitely will like it to be set on some short cut

  9. P.S. Or it's even better to get a ready shortcut "cooking" menu on RMB, "set a shortcut..." This could give the whole menu (a little popup-window or a section like "Outliner", "Properties" and others) because in many cases you click on a button to show a list of choices (or commands). Or make it possible to get to every possible choice of a command to set a shortcut key.
    But anyway we have more and a lot of updated features in Blender now than a year ago as I feel it :) Not because of shortcuts!

  10. Thanks Sebastian, This is good, But imho, the underline letters seem to be assigned automatically by by Blender, which means, when the menu items changed (added or removed in future version), shortcut will usually be re-assigned to sort of different one. This is something borders me a bit for long time, since, after that, I have to clear my memory for that shortcut, and try remembering the new one. However, for some more "fixed" menus, it works good enough, as well as the 0-9 and ALT 0-9 feature on menus. :)

    Thanks again for the great tip!

  11. P.S.: It seems doesn't work well (or even doesn't work) with non-English UIs, either. Better use it with the English UI Language. :)

  12. This goes back to what Price was talking about of recognizing and remembering. I seriously doubt anyone no matter how much they use Blender or for how long is honestly going to remember all of those.
    They might recall the ones they use most often but it still gets chalked up to being a place to improve in Blender. Hot keys in Blender are nice but are too difficult to setup and there are way too many conflicts when changing hot keys. It needs to be brain dead simple so we can set it and get back to work.

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