Remove all hotkeys but the navigation hotkeys and make it standard

Reiner's picture
Bforartists Tracker

The Blender hotkeys is a mess. And our concept is a graphical UI.So we need a minimum hotkey set for navigation. And the rest should be user configurable.

The task is: remove all hotkeys but the navigation hotkeys + make it to the standard keymap. Movement keys should be at the so called home row. Q, W and E for move, rotate and scale.

We should do some tests to include at least a few more hotkeys for the most common tools. But it should really be a minimum  keymap.

Closed (fixed)
User interface
Mon, 08/31/2015 - 11:56
Fri, 12/04/2015 - 18:57


Reiner's picture

And at work.

This one is a tough one. There are quite a few hotkeys that cannot be edited in the surface easily. And it's dangerous to delete other hotkeys since they bring up floating panels. Like shift + a for an add menu. This one needs deep investigation. I hope i don't break too much stuff here while working through.

Reiner's picture

Assigned: Unassigned » Reiner
Reiner's picture

Removing really all hotkeys was a bit too optimistic as i just find out at the moment. When i really remove everything then you cannot use Bforartists anymore. At least the navigation hotkeys have to remain. Then there are standards that we better keep. Like for copy n paste. I am also happy with quite a few standard Blender hotkeys. Like the A key to select and deselect.

And then there are the hotkeys to call the sub menus as panels. Still unsure if we should remove them right now. Or at a later point, when our own GUI evolves. Give me one more night ...

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First iteration done. In the last days i went through all the editors, and disabled all hotkeys that were visible in the menus, and where it made sense. This has lead to quite a few new tracker entries since i found lots of oddities at my way. Like features that are just available through hotkeys and doesn't have a menu entry. Same items that are called different in editors and hotkey manager. And menu entries where the hotkey cannot be changed from within its rmb menu.

I will surely find more oddities at my way. Because now follows the second iteration. This time i go through the hotkeys by the user preferences. There is a ton of hotkeys left.

First task for the second iteration is to remove the X key for delete. It's a double entry that works the same way with the DEL key.

Reiner's picture

Just a note. This is a task for weeks.

The original Blender keymap has around 2400 entries. This is because every interaction is defined here. Not just the tool hotkeys.

I have removed quite a few tool hotkeys already in my first step. But going through the keymap items one by one is very cumbersome and time consuming. I have to write down what it does and where (if even) the menu entry is, judge to keep or to remove it, and do research at it when needed. I manage to go through around 20 - 50 entries per day at the moment. And there are around 2000 entries left.

So don't expect me to be finished here soon.

Reiner's picture

Ah the fun ...

I had started the keymap in Blender 2.74. Now i have exported it to Bforartists to continue there. And now i have a problem. There seems to be a conflict with the region handlers. Which i haven't touched. Bforartists throws errors: Can only scale action size from region zones. And goes funky then.

The hotkeys in question looks well. I have no idea what went wrong here. A hotkey conflict seems also impossible, since the keymap works fine in Blender 2.74. Most probably something goes wrong between the keymap im- and export between the two Blender versions 2.74 and 2.75. Bforartists is based at 2.75 at this point.

So from scratch. Luckily not completely from scratch. The time consuming part with the new hotkey map is investigating what the tools and hotkeys does, where the menu item is, when available, how to change the hotkeys, decide what to keep and what to trash, and writing everything down into a table. So to get back to the previous point is simply having a look at my current hotkey list, and readjust the hotkeys in the user preferences. A question of a few hours. But i hope that 2.76 will not kill my keymap again :/

EDIT says. And again wonky. This time Bforartists refuses to start at all. Very odd. There must be a hotkey that you better don't touch nor remove. Now go figure which one, with 2400 entries. Further investigations with repeating the exact steps didn't lead to a result. Under observation.

Reiner's picture

This is the first rough keymap. See attachment. Further refinements are already at its way.

Most important changes:

Nearly all tools that has a menu entry are hotkey free now. Which allows the user to assign single key hotkeys for most important tools again. Something that was impossible with the Blender hotkey map. Where really nearly every fart had a single key hotkey while most important tools had insane hotkeys with pressing four keys simultaneously. What is left is mainly the navigation hotkeys. And some special cases until the new UI is finished. Strg P for parent still exists, but will vanish in the future. Same goes for U to unwrap.

RMB is move. MMB is Rotate. Scrollwheel is Zoom. Ctrl + MMB is Zoom. Q is borderzoom

Translate, Rotate and Scale are now mapped to W E and R instead of G R and S

Extrude is now S, since the E key is occupied by the new navigation keys.

Click Extrude for Bone extrude is remapped from Ctrl Action Mouse to Ctrl Select Mouse. Which is LMB now. Easier to handle.

Special menu is now G, since the W key is occupied by the new navigation keys. Special menu will vanish completely in the future.

Hotkeys to toggle modes are gone. Like to toggle the transform orientation, or to cycle through the snap elements. Or most prominent: the nonsense tab hotkey to jump between the last used modes, like object and edit mode.

Most panels that could be called by hotkey are gone. See Popup Window collection:

Text Editor, removed some double hotkey functionality. For example, Shift Delete, Ctrl Insert and Shift Insert. The standard hotkeys for cut, copy and paste are Ctrl X, Ctrl C and Ctrl V. And they already exists in the hotkey map. One hotkey for a functionalit is enough.

Circle Select is now G. I needed to remap it since Y, X and C are used to switch between the mesh select modes.

Switching between mesh select modes is now Y, X and C

Switching between modes is key 1 to 7

More changes to come. There is for example still a ton of hotkey only functionality in the keymap. Which needs a menu entry somewhere first. So we will not only get a new keymap, but also quite some new menu entries.

Reiner's picture

Done with going again through the keymap. This taks was really time consuming. But as a result i have flooded the tracker with tasks now. The tracker has over 110 new entries with keymap issues now .

Most of them are missing menu items that just exists as hotkeys. That's what i was mainly after here. We need this menu entries when we really want to focus at a graphical UI. We cannot completely avoid hotkey only stuff. But hotkey only functionality should exist as few as possible. And definitely not for tools.

The keymap has again lost a few hotkeys. But this task is still not done. It will loose quite a few more while fixing the created issues. And we need to make it the standard keymap at one point too. So it stays open.


The attached zipfile does not only contain the keymap, but also a libre office document. Which contains a table of all the input nodes and the corresponding tasks.


Reiner's picture

Status: Active » Needs work
Reiner's picture

And third big step done. Solved all issues that came up with creating the new keymap. Over 100 little changes like missing menus, double menu entries, etc. . Mainly at the python files. But also some small changes in c files.

What remained unchanged is the Video sequence editor stuff. I still plan to remove this module. What also remained nearly unchanged is the Movie Clip editor. I have never done tracking before. I remember that i needed to remap a E key to Shift E since the new navigation hotkey set occupies the E key.

Final step: changed the keymap preset to Bforartists. This was done in the startup.blend

Now let's merge the keymap branch into the master. And call this task finished for now Smile

Attached is the new keymap as Beta 3. And also the current hotkeys in a table in a Libre Office document. Which i want to put in the manual now. But this one is another task.


Reiner's picture

Status: Needs work » Closed (fixed)