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Last update: October 17, 2022

Blender viewport navigation shortcuts

There are quite a few viewport navigation shortcuts in Blender that can make navigation easier and much quicker. So how do we access these shortcuts?

To find the viewport navigation shortcuts we can go to the View dropdown and there we will find all the navigations options with their shortcuts displayed next to them if they have one. We can also right click and add these to quick favorites or change their shortcuts.

In the rest of this article we'll go into more detail about the navigation shortcuts and how to use them. We'll also go into more detail about some shortcuts we use more often.

Related content: Blender shortcut keys: How to find, manage, change, and reset

Blender viewport navigation shortcuts cheat sheet list

Blender comes with quite a few shortcuts we can use to navigate with. Below is a list with all these shortcuts and quick explanation of what each does.

  • Frame Selected - Numpad Delete
    • One of the most useful shortcuts in Blender. This centers the view on the selected object which allows us to orbit the camera and move it relative to that object.
  • Frame All - Home
    • Centers the camera to the relative center of the whole scene.
  • Perspective/Orthographic - Numpad 5
    • Toggles the camera between orthographic and perspective. Orthographic view removes all perspective from the view which can help with modeling since perspective adds distortion.
  • Toggle Local View - Numpad /
    • Makes only the selected objects visible. This system is different than the hidden in hierarchy toggle.
  • Remove from local view - Alt Numpad /
    • Removes the selected objects from the local view.
  • Set Active Object as Camera - Ctrl Numpad 0
    • Will snap the view to the selected object as if it were a camera. Also can be used to set the active camera in the scene.
  • Active Camera - Numpad 0
    • Snaps the view to the active camera.
  • Frame Camera Bounds - Home
    • When in camera view the cameras view will be framed so that it fits the bounds of the view.
  • Viewport Camera - Numpad 0
    • Frames the view to the view of the camera.
  • Viewport Top Numpad 7, Bottom Ctrl Numpad 7, Front Numpad 1, Back Ctrl Numpad 1, Right Numpad 3, Left Ctrl Numpad 3
    • Snaps the view to each the directions and enables orthographic view.
  • Navigation Left Numpad 4, Right Numpad 6, Up Numpad 8 Down Numpad 2 Opposite Numpad 9
    • Will slightly rotate the view in the specified direction
  • Navigation Roll Left Shift Numpad 4, Right Shift Numpad 6
    • Rotates the view relative to it's perspective
  • Navigation Pan Left Ctrl Numpad 4, Right Ctrl Numpad 6, Up Ctrl Numpad 8, Down Ctrl Numpad 2
    • Moves the camera in the specified direction
  • Zoom - Ctrl +/-
    • Allows us to zoom in and out
  • Zoom Region - Shift B
    • Allow us to draw a box that the view will zoom in on.
  • Dolly View - Shift Ctrl Middle Mouse
    • Moves the camera left and right
  • Align view to active top Shift Numpad 7, Bottom Shift Ctrl Numpad 7, Front Shift Numpad 1, Back Shift Ctrl Numpad 1, Right Shift Numpad 3, Left Shift Ctrl Numpad 3
    • Sets the View in the selected direction towards the object as well as setting the view to orthographic.
  • Align active camera to view Ctrl Alt Numpad 0
    • Aligns the camera to the view
  • Center Cursor and frame all - Shift C
    • Moves the camera so that the whole scene is in frame as well as setting the cursor to the world origin.

Viewpoint, perspective and orthographic view and align navigation

Blender provides a quick way to toggle between different view angles as well a perspective and orthographic view.

To toggle between perspective and orthographic we just press 5 on the numpad. The top left will display which mode we're in and we can also tell if we're in orthographic view because everything will look very flat.

We can align our view to the top, down, left and right perspective of the selected object by holding shift and then pressing a direction on the numpad. The three numbers we'll use for this are 1 - Front 3 - Right 7 - Top. We can also Hold down Ctrl as well as Shift to align the view in the opposite direction.

Camera view shortcuts

The first Camera navigation shortcut is set active object as camera Ctrl Numpad 0. This allows us to snap our view to the perspective of whatever object we've selected. We can also use it to make the selected camera the active camera in the scene.

Active camera Numpad 0 will just align the view to the active camera in the scene. Frame camera to bounds will attempt to fit the cameras bounds to the viewport window.

There's also the walk and fly navigation modes. These don't have shortcuts but are both very nice ways of moving the camera through the scene. These can accessed by going to view > navigation at the bottom of the navigation options.

Focus view on object

Whenever we select something in Blender and press Numpad period the camera will be centered on what we've selected.

This applies in edit mode as well. We can also select more than one object or vertex and the camera will be centered to the mid point of our selection.

The camera will not be locked to this point but the invisible point that the camera orbits around will be moved to it.

Panning shortcuts

There's a couple ways we can pan the camera in Blender. The quickest way to do this if we have a move is to hold down Shift + Middle Mouse Button then drag the mouse in the direction you'd like to pan.

We can also pan the camera with the numpad by holding Ctrl and then a direction the numpad. These are organized in the respective direction on the numpad so 8 would be up, 6 right, 2 down, 4 left. When we pan the point that the camera orbits around moves in the direction we pan.

Zooming shortcuts

The quickest way to zoom in blender is to use the scroll wheel. We can also use Numpad + to zoom in or Numpad - to zoom out.

Since the Blender camera orbits relative to a point when we zoom out too far the controls become very strange as well as causing clipping issues we've zoomed out very far.

The quickest way to fix this is to select an object we want to pivot around and Go to View > Frame Selected or press the Numpad Period. We can also use the Fly or Walk Navigation modes to move this but re centering the camera is more intuitive for this.

Rotation shortcuts

The quickest way to rotate the camera in Blender is just to hold down the middle mouse button and drag in the direction we want to rotate the camera. We can also rotate the camera with the keyboard by using the numpad keys, the direction for this are 8 - up, 6 - right, 2 - down, 4 - left.

You may notice that the camera in Blender differs a bit from for example a first-person game. This is because the camera orbits around an invisible point rather than the camera being the point of rotation.

Describing it as an orbit may help us understand exactly how this is working. When we rotate the camera left and right the camera moves along the surface of the sphere.

Local view shortcut

Local view is a quick way to isolate objects in the scene. This is similar to just hiding objects in the scene but these methods scale much better especially if we don't want to adjust the way our visible objects are setup.

To setup local view just select the objects we want to view in local view and then press Numpad /. On the top left we should see the (local) added to indicate when we're in local view. We can also remove objects from local view by select them and pressing Alt + Numpad /.

Final thoughts

Blender provides quite a few different shortcuts for navigation in the viewport. Some of the shortcuts are more useful than others but in general all of them can be pretty handy.

With there being so many shortcuts it can be a bit hard to figure out what each of them. The cheat sheet provides an explanation which can be especially useful if the tooltip doesn't provide one.

For the more important or complicated shortcuts we've also gone into a bit more detail just

Thank you for your time.

Written by: Damian Paterson

Editor & Publisher

Erik Selin
3D artist, writer, and owner of artisticrender.com

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