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Useful 3ds Max Shortcut List

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If you are working on a project using 3ds Max, you must work efficiently. Creating 3D art itself is a time-consuming activity. Instead of using your valuable time finding where the button is, you will find very helpful if you are using shortcut. I am not shortcut freak, but in my experience using shortcut saves me a lot of time. Once you memorize them by using them frequently, shortcut will increase your productivity, because you are working using your right hand in the mouse and left hand in keyboard.

Here I list most useful 3ds max shortcuts:


F3 Toggle between WireFrame/Smooth And Highlight
F4 Turn on/off Edged Faces
G Hide/show Grid
F Switch to Front viewport
T Switch to Top viewport
L Switch to Left viewport
R Switch to Right viewport
B Swith to Bottom viewport
P Switch to Perspective viewport
C Swith to Camera viewport

Swith to User viewport

Z Zoom Extent All if none object is selected, if there is object selected, it will zoom extent the object
X Turn on/off Transform Gizmo. Sometimes the transform gizmo is off by accident. This is the quick way to restore it
D Disable the viewport
Alt+W Maximize viewport
Ctrl+(+) Zoom in selected viewport
Ctrl+(-) Zoom out selected viewport


Q Select
W Select and Move
E Select and Rotate
R Select and Scale
H Select by Name
Ctrl+A Select all
Ctrl+D De-select all
Ctrl+I Invert selection
Spacebar Lock selection
Del Delete selected object
1 to 5

Select one of sub-object selection
(1=Vertex, 2=Edge, 3=border, 4=Polygon, 5=element)

S Toggle Snap
A Toggle Angle Snap


M Open Material Editor
G When is Material Editor = Get Material
Up arrow When in Material Editor = Go to Parent


F9 Render last rendered viewport, or if used at first render, it will render selected viewport
F10 Open Render Scene dialog

Render selected viewport

Ctrl+C Clone Selected Object


Alt+C When in Editable Poly = Enable Cut
Shift+E When in Editable Poly = Enable Extrude


N Toggle Auto Key button
/ (slash) Play animation


6 Particle View window
7 Counts faces amount in selected object
8 Open Environment window
9 Open Advanced Lighting
0 Render to Texture
F1 Help
F12 Transform Type In
Ctrl+X Expert Mode
Ctrl+N Open new file
Ctrl+O Open file
Ctrl+S Save file
Ctrl+Z Undo
Ctrl+Y Redo

Tips: Use only the shortcut you need based on your projects. To become familiar with shorcuts, I suggest use several of them once in a while and after you memorize them begin trying other shortcuts. You don't need to memorize them all at once.

The shortcuts mentioned in this page are just a small subset of the available shortcuts in 3D Studio MAX. I don't think you need more than these, but in case you need other shotcuts you can find in the 3D Studio MAX user reference.

In addition to the default keyboard shortcuts, you can also create your own custom keyboard shortcut:

  • Choose Customize menu > Customize User Interface
  • In Keyboard tab, highlight the action for which you want to create a shortcut.
  • In the Hotkey field, enter the keyboard shortcut you want to assign to the action.
  • Click Assign.



Beside using shortcut, you can also maximize your mouse usage in 3ds Max. Using the mouse properly can be a huge timesaver as well. Usually we use only Left Mouse Button and Right Mouse Button. If you have 3 button mouse, you can benefit from Middle Mouse Button. Here I list the use of each 3 mouse buttons in 3ds Max.

LMB=left mouse button, MMB=middle mouse button, RMB=right mouse button

Ctrl+LMB Add selection
Alt+LMB Reduce selection
Shift+LMB Clone object
RMB right click in non-active viewport will activate it
RMB right click inside active viewport will open Quad Menu
RMB right click in viewport's name will open viewport menu
MMB Pan view
Alt+MMB Rotate view
Scroll wheel Zoom in / out

This tutorial is written by
Didik Wijaya

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