The FreeCAD mouse model consists of the commands used to visually navigate the 3D space and interact with the objects displayed. FreeCAD supports multiple mouse model navigation styles. The default navigation style is referred to as "CAD Navigation," and is very simple and practical, but FreeCAD also provides alternative navigation styles, that you can choose according to your preferences.

Navigation

The object handling is common to all workbenches. The following mouse gestures can be used to control the object position and view according to which Navigation style is selected.

There are two ways to change the navigation style:

  • In the Preferences Editor, Display section, 3D View tab;
  • By right-clicking in empty space in the 3D view area, then selecting Navigation style in the contextual menu.


CAD Navigation (default)

This is the default navigation style and allows the user a simple control of the view, and does not require the use of keyboard keys except to make multi-selections.

Select Pan Zoom Rotate View Rotate View

Alternate Method

Hand cursor.png Pan cursor.png Zoom cursor.png Rotate cursor.png Rotate cursor.png
to Select to Pan to Zoom in or out to Rotate view to Rotate view
Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select. Holding down ctrl allows the selection of multiple objects. Click the middle mouse button and move the object around to pan Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Clicking the middle mouse button re-centers the view to the location of the cursor. Click first with the middle mouse button, hold it down, and then click the left mouse button and drag the mouse in the desired direction. The cursor location at the middle mouse button click determines the center of rotation. Rotation works like spinning a ball which rotates around its center. If the buttons are released before you stop the mouse motion, the object continues spinning, if this is enabled. A double click with the middle mouse button sets a new center of rotation. Click first with the middle mouse button, hold it down, and then click the right mouse button and drag the mouse in the desired direction. This method works just like the previously described Rotate View that uses Middle Mouse Button + Left Mouse Button, except that the middle mouse button may be released after the right mouse button is pressed. Users who use the mouse with their right hand may find this Rotate View method easier than the previous method.
to Pan to Zoom to rotate
Press and hold Ctrl key and click and release right mouse button to pan (rev 0.14) Once in Pan mode, press and release left mouse button to Zoom, to exit back to pan mode press and release right mouse button (rev 0.14) Once in Pan mode, click and momentary hold left mouse button to rotate, to exit back to pan mode press and release right mouse button (rev 0.14)


Inventor Navigation

In Inventor Navigation, modeled after Open Inventor (not to be confused with Autodesk Inventor), there is no mouse-only selection. In order to select objects, you must hold down the CTRL key.

Select Pan Zoom Rotate View
Hand cursor.png Pan cursor.png Zoom cursor.png Rotate cursor.png
ctrl +to Select to Pan to Zoom in or out or to Zoom in or out to Rotate
Hold ctrl and press the left mouse button over an object you want to select. Click the left mouse button and move the object around. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out, or click and hold the middle mouse button and click the left mouse button. Click and drag with the left mouse button to rotate


Blender Navigation

In Blender Navigation, modeled after Blender, there is no mouse-only panning. In order to pan the view, you must hold down the SHIFT key.

Select Pan Zoom Rotate View
Hand cursor.png Pan cursor.png Zoom cursor.png Rotate cursor.png
to Select shift+to Pan to Zoom in or out to Rotate
Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select. Hold shift and click the middle mouse button and move the object around. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Click and drag with the middle mouse button.


Touchpad Navigation

In Touchpad Navigation, neither panning, nor zooming, nor rotating the view, are mouse-only (or touchpad-only) operations.

Select Pan Zoom Rotate View
Hand cursor.png Pan cursor.png Zoom cursor.png Rotate cursor.png
to Select shift+to Pan PgUp / PgDn alt+to Rotate
Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select. Hold shift and move the object around. Use PgUp and PgDn to zoom in and out. Hold alt and move the pointer.
or or
shift+ctrl+to Zoom shift+ctrl+to ROtate
Hold down both the shift and the ctrl keys, press the left mouse button, and move the pointer. Hold down both the shift and the ctrl keys and move the pointer.


Gesture Navigation (v0.16)

This navigation style was tailored for usability with touchscreen and pen, but is very usable with mouse too.

Select Pan Zoom Rotate View Tilt View
Hand cursor.png Pan cursor.png Zoom cursor.png Rotate cursor.png Rotate cursor.png
to Select to Pan to Zoom in or out to Rotate view to Tilt view
Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select. Holding down Ctrl allows the selection of multiple objects. Hold right mouse button and drag to pan the view. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. The zoom is centered at the cursor location. Hold Left mouse button and drag to rotate the view.

In Sketcher and other edit modes, this behavior is disabled. Hold Alt when pressing the mouse button to enter rotation mode.

Rotation is always around camera's focus point. To set camera's focus point, click the new point with middle mouse button; the view will center on that point. Alternatively, aim the cursor at the new point and press H on keyboard.

Press both left and right mouse buttons, and drag left or right to tilt the view (adjust horizon).
Touch Tap.svg Touch Tap-Hold-Drag.svg

or

Touch Two-Finger-Drag.svg

Touch Pinch.svg Touch One-Finger-Drag.svg Touch Rotate.svg
Tap to select. Drag with two fingers to pan the view. Alternatively, tap and hold, then drag (simulates pan with right mouse button). Pinch to zoom (i.e., drag two fingers to each other/apart). Drag with one finger to rotate. Hold Alt additionally when in Sketcher and some other edit modes. Rotate to tilt the view (i.e., put two fingers on surface and rotate the imaginary line formed by two touch points).

Notes on Gesture Navigation style:

  • on Windows, the actions of two-finger gestures are separated. The action depends on how one starts the gesture. For example, if one starts two-finger pan, the gesture will only pan. Changing the distance between fingers afterwards will not affect the scaling.


Maya-Gesture Navigation

In Maya-Gesture Navigation, all view movements are archived pressing ALT and a mouse button, so that it will be needed to have a 3 button mouse in order to correctly use this navigation mode. Alternately it's possible to use gestures as this mode was been developed over the normal Gesture Navigation mode.

Select Pan Zoom Rotate View
Hand cursor.png Pan cursor.png Zoom cursor.png Rotate cursor.png
to Select alt+to Pan alt+to Zoom in or out or to Zoom in or out alt+to Rotate
Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select. Hold alt, hold the middle mouse button and drag to pan the view. Hold alt, hold the right mouse button and drag to zoom in and out or use the mouse wheel to get the same effect. Hold alt, hold the left mouse button and drag to rotate the object around.


Selecting objects

Simple selection

Objects can be selected by a click with the left mouse button either by clicking on the object in the 3D-view or by selecting it in the tree view.

Preselection

There is also a Preselection mechanism that highlights objects and displays information before selection by just hovering the mouse over the objects. If you don't like this behaviour or you have a slow machine, you can switch preselection off in the preferences.


Manipulating Objects

FreeCAD offers manipulators that are handles that can be used to modify an object's appearance, shape, or other parameters.

.

Obsolete

The clipping plane is a good example of an object with manipulators. A clipping plane can be activated with the View→Clipping Plane menu. After activation the clipping plane object appears and shows seven obvious manipulators as little boxes: One on each end of its three coordinate axes and one on the center of the plane normal axis. There are four more that are not as obvious: The plane itself and the thin part of the three axis objects.

Scaling
To scale the object click with the left mouse button on the box manipulators at the end of the axes and pull them back and forth. Depending on the object the manipulators work independently or synchronously.
Out of plane shifting
To shift the object along its normal vector, pull the long box on the center of an axis with the left mouse button. For the clipping plane there is only one manipulator along the normal vector.
In plane shifting
To move the center of the clipping plane, click on the plane object and pull it to the desired location.
Rotation
Clicking on the thin part of the axes puts the manipulator in rotation mode.


Hardware support

FreeCAD also supports some 3D input devices.

Mac OS X Issues

Recently we got reports on the forum from Mac users that those mouse button and key combination do not work as expected. Unfortunately, none of the developers owns a Mac, neither do the other regular contributors. We need your help to determine which mouse buttons and key combination work so we can update this wiki.

Other languages:
čeština • ‎Deutsch • ‎English • ‎español • ‎français • ‎Bahasa Indonesia • ‎italiano • ‎polski • ‎português • ‎português do Brasil • ‎română • ‎русский • ‎svenska • ‎Türkçe • ‎українська • ‎中文