An Illustrated Guide to Blender for Beginners: View and Selection

Blender can seem extremely daunting when you first encounter it, but learning just a few keyboard and mouse commands can bring you a very long way.  That’s exactly what this document is going to describe, and future tutorials will assume you have read this.  I am also assuming you have a) a 3 button mouse with a scroll wheel b) a full number pad.  You can get by without either, but it makes life a ton more difficult.

First, let’s look at how to navigate around the screen.

Rotating the view


Using the mouse:

Middle Button + Move

Using the keyboard:

Num pad 4: Rotate view left

Num pad 6: Rotate view right

Num pad 8: Rotate view up

Num pad 2: Rotate view down

Panning the view

Using the mouse:CameraPanning_thumb[3]

Shift Key + Middle Button + Move

Using the Keyboard:

Num Pad 4 + Control Key: Pan left

Num Pad 6 + Control Key: Pan right

Num Pad 8 + Control Key: Pan up

Num Pad 4 + Control Key: Pan down

Zooming the view

Using the mouse:ZoomCamera_thumb[1]

Scroll wheel Up/Down


Control + Middle Button + Up/Down

Using the Keyboard:

Numberpad + Key: Zoom in

Numberpad Key: Zoom Out

Frame Selected

Using the keyboard:FrameSelected_thumb[3]

Press . on the numberpad


This command automatically moves the camera to look centered at the selected object and zooms so object takes up the entire view.

Selection Tools

Rectangle/Border Select

Hit the B key to enter border select modeBorderSelect_thumb[5]

Left-click to start selection

Draw rectangle around selection

Left-click again to finish selection

Circle Select

Press C key to start circle selection mode CircleSelect_thumb[1]

Using the mouse:

Spin the scroll wheel to resize circle

Using the keyboard:

  Use + or – keypad keys to resize circle

Move mouse over area to select

Left click to make selection.

Select All

Press A to select all SelectAll_thumb[1]

Press A again to select nothing

Note: This selection mode will work on whatever mode is currently selected, be it edit mode, object mode, etc.  If in Edit Mode->Face, for example, all faces will be selected.  If in object mode, all objects in the scene will be selected.

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