Wings 3D/User Manual/User Interface/Hotkeys

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One of the great advantages Wings3D offers its users, is the ability to set user defined hotkeys. There are standard hotkeys which come predefined upon installing Wings, but most of these can be redefined to your liking.

=Assigning Hotkeys[edit]

Any command that appears in a menu can be assigned to a keyboard shortcut. To assign a hotkey to a command, open the menu containing the command. Highlight the command and press the < Insert > or the < / > key, followed by the key you wish to assign it to. The hotkey should now appear beside the command. To delete a hotkey, highlight the command and press the < Del > or < \ > key.

These instructions can also be found in Help|How to define hotkeys

What to Know about Hotkeys[edit]

Here are a few facts about hotkeying in Wings, which will help in creating a layout that works for you.

  • The hotkey assigned to a tool or command is displayed beside it in the menu where that command is found.
  • Wings accepts any combination of <Ctrl>, <Shift> or <Alt> as a modifier to a hotkey. For instance, using the B key, you can assign the following eight command:
  • B, <Ctrl>+B, <Shift>+B, <Alt>+B, <Ctrl>+<Shift>+B, <Ctrl>+<Alt>+B, <Shift>+<Alt>+B, <Ctrl>+<Shift>+<Alt>+B
  • Wings uses Context Sensitive hotkeys. Just as with Context Sensative Menus, Wings only allows you access to hotkeys of tools and commands available from within the current Selection Mode. This means that you can re-use the same hotkey for tools or commands in different Modes. For instance S can be assigned to both Smooth in the Face menu and Slide in the Edge menu. If there is a conflict Wings will tell you right away.
  • Hotkeys assigned to tools or commands found in the Menu Bar cannot be re-used. This is because the commands found in Menu Bar menus will (for the most part) work across all modes, making them global hotkeys. For example if you assign <Ctrl>+T to Tweak in the Tools Menu, you cannot re-use this hotkey because pressing <Ctrl>+T in any mode will start up Tweak Mode.
  • Wings does not currently allow hotkeying for Right or Middle mouse button options.
  • For your current hotkey listing, in the Menu Bar go to Help|Defined Hotkeys.
  • Currently there is no built in facility for printing a list of your hotkeys, however one can use the Erlang Console to produce an .html of all your hotkeys, which you can print. To do this you must enter some code into the Erlang Console. Instructions are found on Scorpius's web page

Hotkey Strategies[edit]

Although everybody eventually comes up with their own system for hotkeys, there are some good basic strategies to get you started. The primary tools in wings such as Move, Rotate, and Scale have five basic directions along which you can perform an operation. These are:

  • the three axies X, Y, Z
  • along the selection's Normal
  • along the plane created by the camera's point of view, called Free

The primary tools Move, Rotate, and Scale also share the fact that they are available across all of the selection modes. Because of this it makes sense to use the same hotkey for Move, say 'M', in all four selection modes and use modifier keys to achieve the five basic directions. Because the basic directions X, Y, Z, Normal, and Free exist across all modes for a variety of tools, it makes sense to assign a modifier key to each direction. For example if we decide that <Alt> represents the X direction, then 'Move along X axis' would be <Alt>+M. You can then hotkey Move along X axis as <Alt>+M in the Vertex, Edge, Face, Body, and Light selection modes, so no matter what selection mode you are in you can always hit <Alt>+M to move your selection along the X axis. You could then consider using <Ctrl> for the Z axis, and <Shift> for the Y axis so no matter what tool you use the modifier for the operation's direction is always the same. Say you decide that 'R' is for rotate. Rotate around the Z axis can be hotkeyed as <Shift>+R, and around the X axis can be <Alt>+R just like Move along Z axis could be <Shift>+M. Once you decide what is best for you you can assign the other directions. Remember that there are eight possible combinations of any key plus its modifiers. This should be plenty to get the majority of the tools hotkeyed in a way you are going to remember them.