Autodesk 3ds Max Keyboard Shortcuts

11 february 2023 year

Hotkeys in the 3ds max program can be set independently, some of them can be changed as desired in the default settings, and the choice is yours. Explore the list of basic keyboard shortcuts for ease of use in our article.

Autodesk 3ds Max Keyboard Shortcuts

Why and how to set up hotkeys

Keyboard shortcuts are a very important element of working in 3ds max. From the beginning, it is worth learning how to work with them for one important reason - the speed of work. After learning a few basic hotkeys, work in the program will speed up significantly. Instead of looking for everything in different panels and all kinds of menus, it is enough to set up the desired button combinations.

Of course, remember that in 3ds Max you can edit and create your keyboard shortcuts - just select the Customize User Interface option (Customize > Customize User Interface > Keyboard).

List of main hotkeys

Instead of using the menu in the lower right corner, you can more conveniently and quickly navigate through the viewports with the mouse.

Pressing the mouse scroll button will move the image horizontally and vertically.

alt + scroll pressed - will rotate the image around the scene. You can get the same image rotation effect by enabling the Arc Rotate View Mode tool (shortcut ctrl + r).

scroll rotation - zoom in and out. The Zoom Mode tool (shortcut alt + Z) works similarly.

Ctrl + X - Export Mode Toogle, i.e. increase the workspace by hiding the sidebar and toolbar.

Alt + W - Maximize the Toogle Viewport, i.e. enlarge one selected viewport. Combined with Toogle's export mode, this gives you a really great workspace. Most often used in object modeling.

Ctrl + A - select all objects in the scene.

Q - Object selection tool.

H - will show us the list of objects in the scene.

W - select and move the tool, i.e. object movement.

E - select and rotate the tool, i.e. rotate the object.

R is a selection and uniform scaling tool, i.e. scaling. I've always wondered why the creators of 3dsmax didn't give this label to Rotate, since my intuition tells me that it would be the letter R.

Ctrl + I - invert selection.

Z - object centering.

Ctrl + Shift + Z - center the entire scene.

C - switch to the view from the camera installed in the scene.

Other commonly used abbreviations:

P - perspective mode

F - front view

T - top view

L - left side view

B - view from ... the back, by default it is set, but here is how the bottom changed to the back

F3 - view of the object mesh itself (Wireframe mode)

F4 - mesh view with polygons (Smooth + Highlights + Edged Faces)

Alt + Q - isolate the selected object

Alt + B - background configuration for viewport

S - Enable the Snaps Toogle tool

A - enable Toogle Angular Snap

Ctrl + V - copy the currently selected object / objects. Watch out for the keyboard shortcut CTRL + C! - does not copy, as in Windows Explorer, only adds a camera to the scene, works only in the Perspective viewport

M - go to material editor

F10 - go to render settings

Shift + Q - fast render

Ctrl + N - new scene

Ctrl + O - open file

Ctrl + Z / Ctrl + Y - go back / forward to the last action

Hotkeys for working with Editable Poly

The Edit Poly and Mesh modifiers have their own group in the Customize User Interface panel. You can edit the hotkeys there to match. They just don't use the same hotkeys. If you just want to temporarily disable the Edit Poly modifier hotkeys, you can turn off the keyboard shortcut override toggle in the center of the main toolbar. Just turn it back on when you're done.

Alt + 4 - move

Alt + 2 - set stream

Alt + 5 - rotate edges

Alt + Shift + 2 - straighten loops

Alt + 1 - fast loop

To work with Editable Mesh

B - edit soft selection

Ctrl + Shift + B - edit mesh bevel mode

Shift + R - edit mesh break vertices

Ctrl + Shift + C - edit mesh bevel mode

Ctrl + Alt + C - edit mesh, minimize

Alt + C - edit mesh

Ctrl + Alt + D - edit detach mesh

To work with nurbs objects

When you work with NURBS models, you often work with sub-objects.

While at the sub-object level, you use normal selection methods such as clicking, dragging an area, or holding Ctrl to select one or more sub-objects.

You can also select NURBS points, curves, and surface subobjects by name. Enable the keyboard shortcut override toggle, navigate to the NURBS subobject level, and press H. This will open the Select Subobjects dialog, which is a subset of the selection popup that lists only the subobjects of the current level. Select one or more items in the list, and then click Select. You can assign your names to NURBS sub-objects (other than summaries) that you want to edit frequently.

Tip: Press Ctrl+H to display only the subobjects directly below the mouse cursor in the Select Subobjects dialog box.

  • Subobject selection switch (by default Ctrl+B:) toggles between object and subobject levels.
  • The Subobject Level Loop shortcut (Insert: by default) switches from one subobject level to another.

What to do if hotkeys don't working

Keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys stop working when using 3ds Max.

Hotkeys not working - reasons:

  • The Keyboard Shortcut Override Toggle is disabled.
  • 3ds Max User Preferences are corrupted.
  • Incorrect or damaged keyboard mapping in Windows (geographically related).
  • New or updated input devices such as 3D mice, keyboards, or tablets, have the lock function enabled.

If the 3ds Max hotkeys stop working while working in the user interface, try one or more of the following actions:

  • Enable the override toggle switch
  • Make sure the hotkey override button is enabled. The button should be displayed in blue if it is currently active and allows the use of shortcuts.
  • Reset user settings

To ensure there are no corruptions in the 3ds Max user settings folder, try resetting the settings.

In some cases, the issue may be related to language settings set in the Windows operating system for the keyboard. Test resetting the Windows keyboard.


We've looked at the basic keyboard shortcuts and learned how to set up hotkeys in 3d max that will make your work easier and save you a lot of valuable time.

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