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Is there a way to specify the coordinates of the viewport and direction that the viewport faces without using a mouse or pointing device, in other words, by entering numbers somewhere.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you just want to know how to navigate without a mouse, or do you want to use this for scripting? $\endgroup$
    – Gwen
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not so interested in writing scripts but if I have to I will. The end result needs to be that I can control the view port in a reasonably "easy" way without a mouse. so if i have to write a script to create a command that allows me to use the viewport without a mouse, then, if that is the only way, that is what i will do $\endgroup$
    – user1595
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ I still miss the workflow you are aiming at, can you describe the case you would want to do this? (are you reading values from a file for example that you want to use as a view point?) This isn't such a hard thing to do, but mostly users prefer to use the mouse for view-navigation so it was never made a prominent feature. $\endgroup$
    – ideasman42
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @ideasman42 I want to do this in situations where there is no mouse. That could be where the mouse is broken. I don't have a mouse, My device does not allow me to use a mouse etc. In my specific case I am using a tablet. thankfully the tablet provider sold me a keyboard that has a touch pad, effectively turning the tablet into a laptop, but sometimes I like to use the tablet without that keyboard (and touch-pad). so what i really want is a way to use the view-port without a mouse. $\endgroup$
    – user1595
    Commented Jun 29, 2013 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ @axrwkr, there are so many areas of blender that need mouse input, Im not sure you can realistically expect to be a proficient Blender user without one, while I'm all for keyboard driven workflows (vim etc), Simple things like selecting a vertex or an object just don't work well via the keyboard. $\endgroup$
    – ideasman42
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 10:29

6 Answers 6

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You won't have fine-tuned control of the viewport without a mouse, but there are extensive options for controlling it via the keyboard:

  • You can rotate the viewport using 2, 4, 6, and 8. You can also change between "Perspective" and "Orthographic" views by pressing 5.
  • By holding ctrl and any of the above, you can pan the view.
  • You can press / to switch between local and global view.
  • You can use Shift 2 and Shift 6 to roll the view, as of Blender 2.69 (r59707).
  • You can centre the view on an object by pressing "." on the number pad.
  • You can zoom in and out of the view using + and -.
  • You can access the current camera view with 0.

* Note: All of the number commands require that you either use your numberpad or enable "emulate numpad" in the preferences.

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  • $\begingroup$ How do we pan forwards and backwards? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ When I press . it just brings up options like "Median Point" and "3D Cursor". $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 4:38
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3d Navigation Addon

There is the 3d Navigation Addon which comes bundled with Blender, which I haven't seen mentioned here yet. I made modifications to this Addon that make it more convenient for me when I don't have a mouse and numpad connected to this laptop and don't want to mess up my key-bindings to compensate.

It would be easy enough to extend this to include an input area for manual input of the view matrix.

enter image description here

Stored Views Addon

This addon called Stored Views may be of interest to you too. It will let you import and export a list of view orientations and configurations.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I haven't tried out your modifications as yet, but I had a go at editing the source code for the add-on and hopefully I can use it as a starting point to find a way to type in numbers and drag sliders to control the viewport $\endgroup$
    – user1595
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 22:40
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By default you can't navigate by entering numeric values, in fact I'm wondering why you would want to do this at all.

Lock to an object

Since you ask - I would suggest that you use an object.

  • Add an empty object
  • You may need to press N to display the View properties panel
  • Enable 'Lock to Object' (in the view properties panel)
  • Rotate the view to align to this objects axis using Shift+1/3/7 (numbers on the number pad)

If you want to enter a number, you can using the object location/rotation. Or you can transform the object using numeric input.


Walk/Fly Mode

Fly mode allows some keyboard navigation, Once you enter fly mode (Shift+F), you can move the view with WASD,RF keys for up/down. However you can't turn your head using this method, for that part you need the mouse.


Note: If you happen to have a file with numbers I think it would be better to write a script that loads the view-ports into camera objects.

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    $\begingroup$ Also, you could make the empty object not visible in the 3D view by turning off its visibility in the Outliner $\endgroup$
    – Gwen
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 3:15
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    $\begingroup$ Fly Mode: when you have the viewport the way you want it, you can press the enter key to leave fly mode and keep that view. If you don't like the view press the escape key to exit and return to the previous view. $\endgroup$
    – user18697
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 17:59
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Besides what RolandiXor has listed, if you need better viewport control than what the numberpad provides, you can write a python script/plugin to orient the viewport.

The view_matrix is what controls the viewport orientation. You could, in theory...

  • press the space-bar to bring up blender's command menu
  • select your script/plugin's "Change viewport" command
  • then enter the desired view coordinates from the plugin

Though, I doubt you'll be able to do anything else useful in blender without a mouse.

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  1. Go to the user preferences with ⎈ Ctrl⎇ AltU

  2. Change the shortcut in Input > 3D view > Rotate View to something like ⎈ CtrlLMB LMB

image for blender help

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site :) It's preferred to avoid large amounts of text in images for various reasons. I've edited your answer to include short version of the text from your screenshot. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ This isn't right for the question which is asking a way to change the viewport rotation and location without using a mouse. I don't see how your answer changes that. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 20:41
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I found a way to rotate the view port on a laptop as if you were using a wheel and track ball on a regular pc.

Setup your user settings

Goto File>User Preferences( CtrlAltU )

Select With: Right Check: Emulate 3 Button Mouse Check: Emulate Numpad Orbit Style: Turntable

Goto bottom and again select: Turntable.

Save User Settings and close that window.

The Laptop's Mouse Pad Consist of: The Mouse Pad, Top Left Mouse Button, Top Center Mouse Button,
Top Right Mouse Button, and Bottom Left Mouse Button, and Bottom
Right Mouse Button.

Learning How to use it The first instinct is to press The Top Center Button and then slide your finger on the pad, it doesn't seem to work that way.

It worked for me when I first slid my finger on the pad and then pressing on the Top Center Button while sliding your finger on the pad. You have to slide your finger on the pad at a not-too-slow
rate and at a not-too-fast rate.

Example: Move your finger in a circular way on the pad, not too fast and
not too slow, keep moving your finger on the pad, then press the Top Center Button of the Mouse Pad. You should be able to see the view tilt around. If not, release the Top Center Button, try moving your finger on the pad slower or faster until you find
that magic speed.

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