Long story short, I was recently diagnosed with glioblastoma. I had surgery to remove one of the tumors and because of the surgery, I am paralyzed in my left arm. Hopefully, it's only temporary.

I love Blender as it is my passion, but it has become difficult to use Blender and the computer now with my arm, especially when using shortcuts. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas or tools to make blender more accessible and easier to use with this disability? So that I can make some art again

  • $\begingroup$ Would buying a 3d mouse be beyond your means? $\endgroup$ – sambler Oct 8 '17 at 6:39

Not that I can say it is a solution, but Pitiwazou over on blenderartist.org has a thread concerning his Wazou's RMB Pie menu, and theoretically it could help a lot towards enabling more to one hand.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I will definitely be using this to help make some art! $\endgroup$ – lazycody Oct 7 '17 at 16:35
  • Most operating system have keyboard adjustments for people with a disability. Microsoft Windows has some. Sometimes on screen keyboards like a modern glass screen cell phone. I do not have the details.

  • I would guess there are detailed videos on youtube for people with disabilities.

  • Some ideas below require purchases and time to decide.

  • Some higher end pointing devices with many keys can be programmed for short cuts.
  • Second Keyboards are often inexpensive in the second and third markets.

  • I use an ambidextrous ball mouse often to switch between hands.

  • I also use a second numeric USB Keypad.

  • What follows is not a joke. I have seen on some online retailers selling pointing devices or input devices controlled by feet. Tailors have foot pedals.

  • People can even switch hand use with enough practice.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ ... second keyboard and numeric keypad? $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Oct 6 '17 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ Kinesis offers a triple foot pedal, as well as dual pedal and single pedal versions. (I haven't used it, but I can strongly vouch for the Kinesis Advantage, so I suspect that the pedals are good quality, too.) $\endgroup$ – wchargin Oct 7 '17 at 13:44

I know people who are using some kind of usb pedals so they can do right / left clicks / shortcuts even they have no problem with hands - just to spread the strain to whole body. Maybe you could try find more info about this. Google something like "usb foot controller".

The easiest solution should be to get a mouse with many buttons and map them to the most frequent shortcuts you use. You can use X-Mouse Button Control program for that purpose.

Or maybe even look at a 3D mouse, but thats much more expensive solution.

Anyway I wish you quick recovery!


I have a condition of the spinal cord, syringomyelia, that necessitates my lying on my side most of the day (I'm paraplegic). So I use Blender one-handed, holding my laptop sideways with the other. I can use either hand, but until last week I could only do Blender with the left hand, lying on my right; on the other side, the shift, ctrl and tab keys are too far away from the working hand.

The solution for me has been a six-button programmable mouse, just 10 dollah on Amazon. I programmed the two thumb buttons to the Shift and Ctrl keys, and now I can at least pan around a mesh without the keyboard. I've never used any gaming tools, but I've seen joysticks with lots of buttons, and if they're programmable, it might work for you. For the rest, I promise you will learn to type one-handed at a decent rate of speed.


Blender is keyboard shortcut based, but there are a few ways to work around this.

  1. The Space Bar menu: it can be used to run most of Blender's operators
  2. Add-ons. There were a few add-ons that I think were made for pen interfaces, such as "3D Navigation" and "Display Tools", that might also help for your situation. I'm not sure if these were included with 2.78, but they came with 2.79 by default. If you're locked to an older version of Blender you might be able to get them to work by copying them into the older Blender's add-ons directory.
  3. The input preferences: In Blender's preferences menu under input you can change most keyboard shortcuts.
  4. As has been mentioned, on-screen-keyboards.

I'm only familiar with Microsoft Windows' On-Screen-Keyboard, but other OS's also have them if I remember correctly. MS Windows actually has 2, one that becomes available in "touch screen" mode and another more advanced one buried in the settings menu:

Settings > Home > Ease of Access > Keyboard > On Screen Keyboard

With the on-screen-keyboard you can enable Modifier keys like CTRL or ALT that will stay active until they're turned off. Enabling the modifier key in the on-screen keyboard has the same affect as holding down the modifier key on a regular keyboard. The advanced on-screen keyboard also a setting in its option menu to add a number pad to the keyboard.


I have the same problem, and here is how I solved it. I assume that you are right-handed (and you know that the sticky-keys function does not work with Blender). Because of the num-pad, you cannot reach the shift and control keys and click the mouse at the same time with one hand. My solution can be maddening--even for a lefty like me--but you must put the mouse on the left side of the keyboard. Now you can reach the shift and control keys and click the mouse all with one hand at the same time. At the very least, the default mouse-button arrangement is perfect for a left-handed person.


https://www.bforartists.de has an all mouse workflow that you can adapt, with more than 200 keyboard only entries now in the UI, more icons everywhere, and more optimized for mouse only workflow. Might be handy for you.


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