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. They describe actions you perform using the keyboard and mouse. The notation used in this book comes from the standard used by the Blender community. We will try to import those standards here to facilitate our studies.
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Most computer keyboards have number keys in two different places. A row above the letters, and in a numpad (numeric keypad) to the right 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 if you use a laptop for these tutorials as it will make your studies and usage of Blender much more straightforward and enjoyable.
This book often assumes 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.
Key Notation Edit
|Notation||Corresponding key or action|
|The Alt key (known as ⌥ Option on Apple keyboards)|
|The ⌘ Command key also known on other platforms as the ⌘ Windows key or ❖ Super key|
|The ⌃ Ctrl key (also known as the Control key)|
|The Fn key (also known as the Function key, generally found only on laptops)|
|The ⇪ Shift key|
|The ↵ Return key (also known as the Enter key)|
|The Esc key (also known as the Escape key)|
|through||The function keys F1 through F12 (often in a row along the top of the keyboard)|
|The ↹ Tab key|
|through||The letters A to Z (on the keyboard)|
|through||The digits 0 to 9, placed above the letters on the keyboard|
|through||The digits 0 to 9, placed on the numpad|
|, , , , , , and||The NumLock, /, *, -, +, Enter, and . keys respectively, all located on the numpad.|
|The Delete key|
|The ⇣ Down Arrow key|
|The ⇠ Left Arrow key|
|The ⇢ Right Arrow key|
|The ⇡ Up Arrow key|
When a key is used in a module, it means press that key. For exammple:
- means "press the M key"
- means "press the 0 key thats found on the numpad."
Combinations that involve holding down a key while performing another action are written with a plus sign (+). For example:
- + means "press while holding down "
- + + means "press while holding down both and "
Mouse Notation Edit
Blender uses three mouse buttons and the scroll wheel, 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.
|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 sub menus (menus that are reached via another menu). If a menu item displays a triangle, that means it leads to a sub menu.
You can move through items in a menu by either:
- Moving the mouse pointer up and down
- Pressing and
You can enter a sub menu by either:
- Moving the mouse pointer to the right
- Pressing while hovering over a menu item that shows a triangle on its side.
You can leave a sub menu by doing one of the following:
- moving the mouse pointer to the left
To initiate a menu action, you can:
You can escape from a menu by:
- moving the mouse pointer away from the menu
For each menu, Blender remembers your last choice 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 sub menu
- Move through the items until UV Sphere is highlighted
- Press Enter or click the left mouse button to initiate the action
Additional Resources Edit
- the Blender Manual page on "keyboard and mouse" at http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual/Interface/Keyboard_and_Mouse