Mouse and Keyboard Settings in Blender

Updated on: August 25, 2022

Great! You’re done with the quick setups. It wasn’t that terrible, was it? Before we move on to start working on Blender, we also need to talk about Mouse and Keyboard settings.

For using Blender, it is crucial to have a Three-Button Mouse. This means a mouse with a left click, a right click, and a middle scroll wheel that you can press. That third button is really important, and how you navigate the 3D space will depend on how well you use it.

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If you don’t have a three-button mouse, we recommend you get one. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Even a mouse that costs 10 bucks will do. So, please stop reading and come back when you have a three-button mouse… We’re just kidding.

If you can’t get a three-button mouse, for whatever the reason, Blender still has your back (and so do us).

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If you go under the Edit Tab, then Preferences, and hit the Input menu, you will find an option that reads “Emulate 3 Button Mouse”. Enabling this will allow you to use the same functions that the scroll wheel provides by holding ALT + using the left mouse click. This might come in handy if you’re thinking of using a trackpad (even though we can assure you it will be one of the most uncomfortable experiences you’ll ever have).

Next, we must talk about the Numpad. Yes, this is also pretty critical in Blender. However, if your keyboard doesn’t have one, and all you have is the row of numbers above your letters, you can get away with it too. Just make sure you’re on the same Input window in which you emulated the three-button mouse [Edit > Preferences > Input] and select the “Emulate Numpad” option. This will rebind all the functions that are normally on the Numpad to the numbers on the top row of your keyboard.

Tip: You can also assign individual functions on the Keymap Tab in that same Preferences window.

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Lorena M. Rodas leverages her experience across film, writing, and production to make complex tech concepts accessible through storytelling. With a background spanning sci-fi, AI, and emerging tech, Lorena translates her depth of knowledge into engaging, educational content. She is an expert at decoding high-level topics to reach broad audiences.
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