Is there an addon or setting, that allows for smooth transition between zoom/pan/orbit?

What I mean is that if you push the middle mouse button you can orbit, but in order to pan you have to let loose of the middle mousebutton, press shift and press middle mouse button again, same for ctrl to zoom.

Is there an addon or setting that detects a shift keypress while in orbit mode and allows you to switch to pan without you having to let go of the middle mousebutton and goes back to orbit if you let loose of the shift key or switch to the ctrl key for zoom?

I am new to blender, and this would go a long way of healing my nose after the crash against the rightclicking edit mode wall.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have you tried the flight mode Shift-F? Moving around in 3D viewport is something that takes a bit time but you'll learn to do well eventually :) $\endgroup$
    – kheetor
    Feb 20, 2018 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah fly mode is great in object and edit mode :) But sadly it is not available in sculpt or texture paint and probably for a reason ... flying with a graphics tablet is not that great ;) $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2018 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ The only reason is the keybind is being overridden by brush radial control. If you disable or rebind the key to something else you can use fly mode in these modes as well. I just don't think it's very practical and would recommend you to try to assume control of panning and orbiting even if it feels awkward at first. $\endgroup$
    – kheetor
    Feb 20, 2018 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ yes you are right :) the point of the question was not how to activate flymode, but rather on if there is a setting / addon that allows you to fluently switch between orbit/pan/zoom withour having to repress the middle mousebutton ... perhaps there is perhaps there is not ;) i do not know ... but if there is it would be great :D $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2018 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ It is very probably possible by setting the keyboard shortcuts right. I just have no idea how. Blender's possibilities of layering shortcuts is as powerful as it seems to be obscure. At least to me atm. I'm happy with switching shift mmb with mmb since I pan a lot more than I orbit. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2018 at 12:59

3 Answers 3


Sorry for necro-ing an old post. But it came up top in my google search of "blender pan mid orbit" so I thought I would share for others. I come from Sketchup and is very used to not releasing the middle mouse button while switching between pan and orbit. @Gerald's answer pointed me towards the right direction.

  1. In rotate view, add a shortcut to switch to move on left shift
  2. In pan view, add a shortcut to switch to rotate on release of left shift

Picture showing using shift to change from rotate (orbit) to pan and vice versa

  • $\begingroup$ Nice :) so its possible to do in blender > 2.80 to assign modifier keys for the switch to move / switch to rotate. Marking this as answer then. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2021 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ Brilliant! Thank you. Odd that you can't use "Shift" on it's own, unless you popup the details bit of "Switch to Rotate"; regardless, super helpful, feels much more comfortable now thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Seb
    Mar 2, 2022 at 22:42

I did some digging, and I am answering my own question ... I will not mark it as answer, because its a workaround. Perhaps someone can suggest an addon, that allows modifier keys to be used in keybinding without an additional key.

It is indeed possible to switch between orbit/move(pan)/zoom without releasing the middle mousebutton, but it is not possible at the moment to do it with pressing or releasing a modifier key like shift or alt, since modifier keys cannot be used in the keybinding without an aditional key.

When in orbit, move or zoom mode you can add a keybinding to switch between those three modes. Here are my settings that use mouse button4 to switch between orbit and move. When orbiting i hold mouse4 to pan and when i release mouse4 it goes back to orbit.

enter image description here


I wanted to post a solution to this (may only be possible in blender 2.80, not sure). It sounds like OP wanted it to function like 3ds Max (or other software). Just setup the keys exactly like this, and for Rotate View, under "modal" make sure you delete (with the X) any other "Alt" keys, there were 2 on mine that were for Axis lock and Axis lock (off)

enter image description here


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