The FreeCAD mouse navigation consists of the commands used to visually navigate the 3D space and interact with the objects displayed. FreeCAD supports multiple mouse 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 which you can choose according to your preferences.
The mouse gestures used for object manipulation vary depending on the Navigation style selected; the currently selected style is used for all workbenches.
There are two ways to change the navigation style:
- In the Preferences Editor; menu Edit → Preferences → Display → Navigation → 3D Navigation.
- By right-clicking in empty space in the 3D view, then selecting Navigation styles in the context menu.
This is the default navigation style. It allows the user a simple control of the view, and does not require the use of keyboard keys except to make multi-selections.
|Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select.
Holding downallows the selection of multiple objects.
|Hold the middle mouse button, then move the pointer.||Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
Clicking the middle mouse button re-centers the view on the location of the cursor.
|Hold the middle mouse button, then press and hold the left mouse button, then move the pointer.
The cursor location when the middle mouse button is pressed 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 view continues spinning, if this is enabled.
A double click with the middle mouse button sets a new center of rotation.
|Hold the middle mouse button, then press and hold the right mouse button, then move the pointer.
With this method the middle mouse button may be released after the right mouse button is held pressed.
Users who use the mouse with their right hand may find this method easier than the first method.
|Pan mode: hold the introduced in version 0.17key, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer.||Zoom mode: hold the introduced in version 0.17and keys, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer.||Rotate mode: hold the introduced in version 0.17key, press the right mouse button once, then move the pointer.|
OpenInventor navigation (formerly Inventor) was modeled after Open Inventor. In order to select objects, you must hold down the key.
This mode is not based on Autodesk Inventor.
The Blender navigation style was modeled after Blender. Previously there was no mouse-only panning; it always required holding the key. This changed in 2016, now you can hold both left and right mouse buttons to pan.
In Touchpad Navigation, panning, zooming, and rotating the view require a modifier key together with the touchpad.
This style was introduced in version 0.16, and was tailored for use with a touchscreen and pen. Nevertheless, it can also be used with a mouse, and is recommended for use when using a Mac with a trackpad.
|Select||Pan||Zoom||Rotate view||Tilt view|
|Press the left mouse button over an object you want to select.||Hold the right mouse button, then move the pointer.||Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.||Hold the left mouse button, then move the pointer.
In Sketcher and other edit modes, this behavior is disabled. Hold when pressing the mouse button to enter rotation mode.
To set the camera's focus point for rotation, click a point with the middle mouse button. Alternatively, aim the cursor at a point and presson the keyboard.
|Hold both left and right mouse buttons, then move the pointer sideways.|
|Tap to select.||Drag with two fingers.
Alternatively, tap and hold, then drag. This simulates the pan with the right mouse button.
|Drag two fingers (pinch) closer or farther apart.||Drag with one finger to rotate.
Hold Sketcher.when in the
|Rotate the imaginary line formed by two touch points.
On v0.18 this method is disabled by default. To enable, go to Edit → Preferences → Display, and untick "Disable touchscreen tilt gesture" checkbox.
In Maya-Gesture Navigation, panning, zooming, and rotating the view require the Gesture Navigation mode.key together with a mouse button; therefore, a three-button mouse is required. It's also possible to use gestures as this mode was developed over the
This style was introduced in version 0.18.
This style was introduced in version 0.18.
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.
FreeCAD offers manipulators that are handles that can be used to modify an object's appearance, shape, or other parameters.
FreeCAD also supports some 3D input devices.
Recommended macOS Mouse Model
On MacBooks with a trackpad works the Gesture mouse model very well, but the gestures have a special meaning:
- Zoom: drag with two fingers
- Rotate: drag with three fingers
- Pan: Control + three fingers.
The tutorial Adding a new mouse navigation option to FreeCAD orients developers who want to develop a custom mouse navigation option. Familiarity with the C++ syntax is required.