Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Keystroke, Button, and Menu Notation
As you read through these tutorials, you will encounter cryptic codes such as+ and Timeline → End Frame. These codes describe actions you perform using the keyboard and mouse. The notation used in this book comes from the Blender community, and it is standard there. We will try to import those standards here to facilitate our studies.
If you're reading this book online, you may wish to print this page for future reference. In addition, you can bookmark in your browser for faster reference when behind your PC.
Most computer keyboards have number keys in two different places: in a row above the letters and in a numpad (numeric keypad) on the right side of the keyboard. While many applications use these two sets of keys interchangeably, Blender does not. It assigns different functions to each set. If you're using a laptop keyboard without a separate numeric keypad, this might cause some difficulty. You'll need to use your function key to do some things. It is possible to indicate to Blender the type of keyboard you are using, but we strongly recommend you use a standard external keyboard even if you're on a laptop for these tutorials as it will make your studies and usage of Blender much more straightforward and enjoyable.
This book often assumes that your keyboard has a numpad. If yours doesn't, consult the tutorial on Non-standard Input Devices for alternative ways to access the numpad's functions.
|Notation||Action or Key|
|(press and hold) the Alt (Option) key|
|(press and hold) the Command or Super key (On a Windows keyboard, the key bearing the Windows logo; on a Macintosh, it bears the Apple logo.)|
|(press and hold) the Ctrl (Control) key|
|(press and hold) the Fn (Function) key (generally found only on laptops)|
|(press and hold) the Shift key|
|(press) the Enter (Return) key (on the main keypad)|
|(press) the Esc (Escape) key|
|through||function keys F1 through F12 (often in a row along the top of the keyboard)|
|(press) the space bar (usually unmarked)|
|(press) the Tab key|
|through||the letters (on the main keypad)|
|through||the numerals (above the letters) on the main keypad|
|through||the numerals on the numpad|
|, , , , , , and||other keys on the numpad|
|(press) the Delete key (not!)|
|(press) the down arrow key (not!)|
|(press) the left arrow key (not!)|
|(press) the right arrow key (not!)|
|(press) the up arrow key (not!)|
Combinations that involve holding down a key while performing another action are written with a plus sign (+). Thus:
- + means to while holding down
- + + means to while holding down both and .
Blender uses three mouse buttons and the scroll wheel as well, if you have one. If your mouse only has one or two buttons, consult the tutorial on Non-standard Input Devices for alternative ways to access the functions assigned to these buttons.
|Notation||Action or Button|
|click with the Left Mouse Button|
|click with the Right Mouse Button|
|press down on (don't turn) the scroll wheel or Middle Mouse Button|
|SCROLL||turn the scroll wheel in either direction|
Mouse and keyboard actions are often combined.+ means to click while holding down .
Blender uses both pop-up and pull-down/pull-up menus. Many menus have submenus (menus that are reached by going through another menu). If a menu item displays a triangle, that means it leads to a submenu. For instance, the pull-down menu shown below has seventeen items, four of which lead to submenus:
You can move through items in a menu by:
- moving the mouse pointer up and down
- pressing and
You can enter a submenu either by:
- moving the mouse pointer to the right
You can leave a submenu either by:
- moving the mouse pointer to the left
To initiate a menu action, you can either:
You can escape from a menu either by:
- moving the mouse pointer away from the menu
For each menu, Blender remembers which item you chose last time and highlights it for you the next time you enter the menu.
Menu notation is fairly self-explanatory.
+ Mesh → UV Sphere
- Press Shift+A
- In the menu that pops up, move through the items until Mesh is highlighted
- Enter the Mesh submenu
- Move through the items until UV Sphere is highlighted
- Press Enter or click the left mouse button to initiate the action
- the Blender Manual page on "keyboard and mouse" at http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual/Interface/Keyboard_and_Mouse