kind of a weird question, so here's some context.

I'm left handed, and use the mouse (and tablet stylus) with my left hand (like a heathen, I know), and it forces to to be hunched over in kind of a weird position, leaning to the left, using the left side of the keyboard with my right hand, which results in a lot of weird finger stretching

I've been looking into getting a mini re programmable keyboard ( something like this ) to save my posture while blender-ing, sculpting (and using other programs), and avoid rebinding Blender's metric ton of shortcuts to something more ergonomically sensible. (I'd have no idea where to even start with that, lol.)

So, would anyone happen to know how many keys (out of the standard ~104) Blender actually uses, so that I know how few keys, and how small a keyboard I can reasonably get away with? (I realize I could try switching to a traditionally accepted righthanded mouse style, but switching my mouse hand at this point seems like more trouble than this sort of thing.)

  • $\begingroup$ I'd really like to give you a number, but unfortunately I never counted them myself. There are several cheat sheats in various flavors but even they don't show everything. On top of that most add-ons come with their own list of shortcuts. I am left-handed too, but managed to "rewire" my brain to normal mkb usage (keyboard center, mouse right) back in the 90s. Some things, especially Blender, are so much easier to learn, if you can follow tutorials and don't need to constantly translate all the shortcuts to your layout. Stylus left, keyboard center and mouse right is still a nice advantage. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ @metaphor_set Yeah, the more I think about it, the more just yanking off the prodigial band-aid and switching my mouse hand seems to be a better idea. Unfortunately, I use a Cintiq, which makes pushing the tablet to one direction less convenient than it would otherwise be, haha. I might end up getting the mini keyboard just for sculpting and using other illustration programs, who knows. More brainstorming to be done. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 1:33
  • $\begingroup$ You usually don't use most of the shortcuts anyway. If you decide not to switch hands (which I would hihgly recommend), you could just write a list of your own most used shortcuts and go from there. Even with mouse in right hand, you still have to time to time your right hand on the keyboard. Also you can add custom shortcuts to whatever the default are, so with ctrl, shift and alt at your right hand the number of keys actually necessary shouldn't be that high. $\endgroup$
    – aky-her
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 7:00

2 Answers 2


I couldn't really give you a number, but I do know they have a documented list of all the shortcuts they use. It should be listed in your user preferences (because you can remap them), but you can also find a list if you search for the version you're using.

Please Take Notice: Many of the shortcuts changed for 2.8. If you're planning on using that version at any point in the future, consider taking a look at those shortcut keys, instead.

  • $\begingroup$ Please don't comment on Blender 2.8 until it is released. Also, if you don't add substantial information to what other people have written in their comments, please don't use the answer function. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ It was a caution for the future. The bulk of the answer had nothing to do with 2.8. I addressed the issue in a way that wasn't addressed by previous comments,, and the warning was so they wouldn't make a setup that could become obsolete in three months. $\endgroup$
    – Lee
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 2:04

For starters blender has 113 different keys it can use (136 input types). Buttons like "Left Shift" and "Right Shift" are counted separately. So that number will come down some.

After iterating through the shortcuts I can tell you blender uses 100 different buttons on the keyboard.

Here is the list of the used buttons:

'DOWN_ARROW', 'E', 'EIGHT', 'END', 'EQUAL', 'ESC', 'F', 'F1', 'F10','F11', 'F12', 'F2', 
'F3', 'F4', 'F5', 'F6', 'F7', 'F8', 'F9', 'FIVE', 'FOUR', 'G', 'H', 'HOME', 'I', 'INSERT',
'TWO', 'U', 'UP_ARROW', 'V', 'W', 'X', 'Y', 'Z', 'ZERO']

I guess this is bad news since you were hoping to get a small keyboard.
Seeing just how many keys blender uses, I think it would be easier to change the shortcuts to suit you. Lets face it, you will never use most of these shortcuts. Just change the ones you do use and make blender easier for you.

An interesting rabbit trail is what buttons does blender not use.

Here they are:

['RIGHT_ALT', 'OSKEY', 'GRLESS', 'LINE_FEED', 'PLUS', 'F13', 'F14', 'F15', 'F16', 'F17', 'F18', 'F19', 'PAUSE']

Nine of the threteen are not even on most keyboards. Then the OSKEY, is kind of used by the OS; you should not bind a modifier key, and I'm not sure which "PLUS" is not used.
Which leaves just "Pause" (not the media controls) the mystery plus button, and if you still have a "line feed" key you can use that.


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