April 10, 2023

April 10, 2023

April 10, 2023

Blender Shortcuts & Hotkeys - Quick Commands, Quicker Results

Blender Shortcuts & Hotkeys - Quick Commands, Quicker Results

Blender Shortcuts & Hotkeys - Quick Commands, Quicker Results




AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner & Data Science

Blender is one of the most popular pieces of software for 3D modeling and animation. Even though it is free and open-source, digital artists can utilize it in ways that match some of the best paid options—for example, it’s responsible for hundreds of high-quality animated short films.

One important step to becoming more efficient with Blender is increasing how fast you can get things done in the program. Knowing Blender hotkeys and shortcuts like the back of your hand is one of the fastest ways to achieve this. This article will take you through some of the most important ones to know.

The Essentials of Blender’s Interface

There’s a lot of functionality packed into Blender and the interface that greets you when you launch the program might clue you in on that. However, it can be unnecessarily time-consuming to dive into the Mesh menu and select Extrude each time you want to pull out a face.

There’s a lot that shortcuts and hotkeys can do when it comes to speeding up your productivity in Blender. Let’s start with the essentials.

Navigating Through Menus with Hotkeys

The basic Blender menus, located in the upper-left corner of the window, contain actions that you’re bound to use, whether you’re a beginner learning from a Blender course, or an expert. Let’s cover a few common shortcuts that span these menus.

  • File Menu:

    • New File: Ctrl + N

    • Open File: Ctrl + O

    • Save File: Ctrl + S

    • Save File As…: Shift + Ctrl + S

    • Quit Blender: Ctrl + Q

  • Edit Menu:

    • Undo: Ctrl + Z

    • Redo: Ctrl + Y

    • Repeat Last Action: Shift + R

    • Menu Search: F3

    • Rename: F2

  • Render Menu:

    • Render Image: F12

    • Render Animation: Ctrl + F12

    • View Image: F11

    • View Animation: Ctrl + F11

  • Window Menu:

    • Next Workspace: Ctrl + Page Down

    • Previous Workspace: Ctrl + Page Up

Understanding the Tool Shelf and its Shortcuts

The Tool Shelf is the vertical panel on the left side of the Blender window. This gives you access to a different set of tools depending on which Workspace you’re in. After all, the tools you use for modeling are different from tools for sculpting.

If you’re actively working on a model, you don’t need to move to the left side of the screen each time you want to change a tool. Just hold down Shift + Space and this will bring up a mini version of the Tool Shelf right where your mouse is. You’ll even see what letter you can press as a shortcut to choose any of the tools from the list.

Customizing Your Workflow

Blender shortcuts are great, but as you gain more experience, you might want to jump into tips that can speed up your workflow. Personalizing hotkeys is one of these. Let’s get into how you can do that.

Creating and Assigning Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts

If you find certain Blender hotkeys to be inconvenient for you or you’d prefer something easier to remember, you can use the Keymap Editor to customize them.

  1. Click on the Edit menu from the topbar.

  2. Choose Preferences.

  3. Select Keymap.

  4. You’ll see tens of collapsable tabs at the bottom, and these hold hundreds of actions whose key mappings you can view and change.

Tips for Managing and Personalizing Hotkeys

You might not know where to start when it comes to putting together Blender keyboard shortcuts of your own. Here are some tips you can follow.

  • Familiarize yourself with the defaults that you use the most. Identify the ones that work for you and the ones you’d like changed.

  • Get an idea of the actions that you use the most and prioritize changing those first.

  • Watch out for key binding conflicts. Since there are hundreds of preset shortcuts, you want to make sure that you don’t cancel an existing one out.

  • Adding modifier keys like Ctrl, Shift, or Alt will give you more possible key combinations than if you didn’t use them.

Key Shortcuts for Enhanced Productivity

If you’re a more experienced user, like one who is already applying CGI materials and needs to see how they look from all angles, some quick Blender commands can really optimize your workflow in the program.

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Tools in the Menu and Their Shortcuts

There are certain Blender commands that you can access from the Tool Shelf, but they tend to be used so often that not learning their shortcuts will make it incredibly difficult to get your workflow any faster. Below are a few of these essential tool shortcuts:

  • Move (or Grab) Object: G

  • Rotate Object: R

  • Scale Object: S

  • Open the Add Menu: Shift + A

  • Rotate View: Press the middle mouse button and drag.

  • Pan View: Shift + Middle Mouse Button

  • Zoom View: Mouse Scroll Wheel

  • Duplicate: Shift + D

  • Switch Between Edit Mode and Object Mode: Tab

The Importance of Hotkeys in Edit Mode

Using Tab, you can switch between Edit Mode and Object Mode. When in Edit Mode, you can start modifying the structure of the model. A lot of tools are available in this mode to make it possible to manipulate a model into the shape that you want it to be in. Reaching for each one manually can slow you down, so hotkeys are important here.

  • Extrude: E

  • Fill: F

  • Bevel: Ctrl + B

  • Loop Cut and Slide: Ctrl + R

  • Select Linked Vertices: L

  • Deselect Linked Vertices: Shift + L

  • Unwrap Mesh: U

  • Enable Proportional Editing: O

Advanced Techniques and Shortcuts

If you’re an enthusiast, you might consider what we’ve covered already to be Blender tips for beginners. At this point, you’re more concerned with productivity-boosting add-ons and more advanced shortcuts. Let’s get into some shortcuts that are more useful for your skill level.

Customizing Shortcuts for Vertex, Edge, and Face Selection

As a pro, you know that using 1, 2, and 3 on your keyboard’s number row can switch between the vertex, edge, and face select modes respectively.

However, you can change these Blender commands to something else, if the numbers aren’t convenient enough for you. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the Edit menu near the top-left corner of the window.

  2. Select Preferences.

  3. Choose Keymap from the left side of the window.

  4. Expand the 3D View menu.

  5. Expand Mesh, and then Mesh (Global).

  6. You’ll see several Select Mode options, but the first three, with the keys 1, 2, and 3, mapped, are the ones that align with Vertex, Edge, and Face Select Mode.

  7. Modify them as you please.

Advanced Editing with Keymap Library

The Keymap section in Preferences has the mappings for every single shortcut that Blender has, making it not only a great reference point to learn new hotkeys but also gives you the ability to customize all of them.

If you’re an advanced user, you might be able to make things more efficient by diving into this library and personalizing your shortcuts.


Blender is loved for many reasons: it is free, it is open-source, and it is powerful. But, it is also extremely customizable, providing you with hundreds of hotkeys and shortcuts that you can change to your preference.

This article is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Blender shortcuts you can take advantage of. Give these ones a shot to see how they improve your productivity, and explore Vagon to see how high-performance cloud computing can break you past the constraints of a low-end device.

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