Maya Keyboard Shortcuts : Complete Guide to Mastering Maya

Maya is one of the most powerful 3D Software in the world. However, it has features and options which are not easy to learn and explore. A smart way to work on this is by using Maya Keyboard Shortcuts.  which saves a lot of time of 3D Artists. Also, it one of the most efficient ways to work smoothly in Maya.

maya keyboard shortcuts
Image from Animation Alerts

Maya comprising of so many tools related to 3D Modeling, texturing, Animation, Rigging, Lighting, Rendering, Particles, Dynamics, Hair and Fur and much more. With each of them having their own set of keys, instructions, and shortcuts. It’s a daunting task to master all this. But there is a smart way to do this.

So let me explain without any delay, how shortcuts can help you in working fast in Autodesk Maya. Maya is no doubt Best 3D Software in the market, but it has so many tools and every tool is further divided into more parts. So to become more efficient and productive, people start using shortcuts which not only reduces time to perform tasks but they also creates a good reputation among fellow Maya Artists.

Here is the detailed list of all keys along with their shortcuts. Make sure to go through with them and try to use it slowly until it becomes a habit.

Maya Keyboard Shortcuts

Working with short cut keys saves a lot of time and energy. Let’s div deep into this and see how Mastering Maya shortcuts can change your workflow., Make sure your keyboard keys are properly working so that you can move in the right direction with ease.

So let’s start with one key shortcut. These keys are the first step for your go through this article.

One-Key Shortcuts

Maya Shortcut Keys
Image from Autodesk

One key shortcuts are the most popular ones. As from the very first day of working in Maya. You can use them. Some common ones are 1,2,3,4,5,6 for different smoothness displays of objects. And W, E, R which are used for Moving object, E for rotating and R for scaling the object.

Shortcut Commands by Category

2D Pan/Zoom

Panning the window is the most basic step to view objects. Using this key make sure you can see objects how they look in near or far view respectively.

\ + Middle mouse button         2D Pan tool
\ + Right mouse button           2D Zoom tool
\ Enable/disable                      2D Pan/Zoom

Animation Operations

One of the most popular keys in the Maya interface. There are many people who want to become an animator. Having command on these keys helps a lot while animating in Maya.

I                    Insert Keys Tool (for Graph Editor) (press and release)
S                   Set Key
Shift + E        Set key for Rotate
Shift + R        Set key for Scale
Shift + W       Set key for Translate
Alt + J           Toggle Multicolor Feedback
Shift + S        With left mouse button for Keyframe marking menu

Display Settings

These are some basic display settings used for object display.

0                    Default quality display setting
1                    Rough quality display setting
2                    Medium quality display setting
3                    Smooth quality display setting
4                    Wireframe
5                    Shaded display
6                    Shaded and Textured display
7                    Use All Lights

Tip*:- If you are an animator, Don’t focus on Modeling keys, instead focus on shortcuts and parameters which are used in animation pipeline only. Otherwise, you will end wasting a lot of time and getting no result.

Displaying Objects (Show, Hide)

Showing and hiding objects is very useful while working on the heavy scene, highly detailed models and even while rigging.

Ctrl + H                         Hide > Hide Selection
Alt + H                          Hide > Hide Unselected Objects
Shift + l                         Isolate Select > View Selected (in the panel menus)
Ctrl + Shift + H              Show > Show Last Hidden
Shift + H                        Show > Show Selection

Edit Operations

Ctrl (or Cmd) + C                      Copy
Ctrl (or Cmd) + X                      Cut
Ctrl + D                                    Duplicate
Ctrl + Shift + D                         Duplicate Special
Shift + D                                  Duplicate with Transform
Ctrl + G                                    Group
P                                              Parent
Ctrl (or Cmd) + V                      Paste
Shift + Z                                   Redo
G                                              Repeat
Shift + G                                   Repeat command at mouse position
Z                                               Undo (also Ctrl+z/+z)
Shift + P                                     Unparent
Ctrl + R                                      Create file reference
Ctrl + Q                                      Exit
Ctrl + N                                      New Scene
Ctrl + O                                      Open Scene
Ctrl + S                                      Save Scene
Ctrl + Shift + S                           Save Scene As

Hotbox Display

Space (When pressed down)         Show the hotbox

Tip*:- For anyone who is just starting over Maya software, Make a habit of pressing space key and within few days you will feel how smartly you are changing views while working in Maya Software.

Modeling Operations

2                          Cage + smooth polygon mesh display
Ctrl + F10             Convert polygon selection to Edges
Ctrl + F9               Convert polygon selection to Vertices
Ctrl + F11             Convert polygon selection to Faces
Ctrl + F12             Convert polygon selection to UVs
Page Down            Decreases Division Levels for Smooth Mesh Preview or Subdiv Proxy
1                           Default polygon mesh display (no smoothing)
~                           Displays both the original (proxy) and the smoothed mesh
Page Up                  Increases Division Levels for Smooth Mesh Preview or Subdiv Proxy
l                              Lock/unlock length of curve (press and hold)
3                             Smooth polygon mesh display

Moving Selected Objects

Alt + Down                      Move down one pixel
Alt + Left                         Move left one pixel
Alt + Right                       Move right one pixel
Alt + Up                           Move up one pixel

Painting Operations

Ctrl + B                               Edit Paint Effects template brush settings
Alt + F                                 Flood with the current value
Shift + B                              Modify lower brush radius (press and release)
M                                         Modify maximum displacement (Sculpt Surfaces and Sculpt Polygons Tool)
N                                         Modify paint value
B                                         Modify upper brush radius (press and release)
O + Left mouse button          Poly Brush Tool marking menu
O + Middle mouse button       Poly UV Tool marking menu
/                                          Switch to pick color mode (press and release)
Alt + R                                 Toggle Reflection on or off
Alt + C                                 Turn Color Feedback on or off
Alt + A                                 Turn Show Wireframe on or off
U                                         With left mouse button for Artisan Paint Operation marking menu

Pick Walk*

*Based on selection, the arrow keys let you walk up the hierarchy (object selected) or walk about the object’s components (component selected, including vertices, edge loops, edge rings).

Down                                     Walk down current
Left                                        Walk left in current
Right                                      Walk right in current
Up                                          Walk up current

Playback Control

Alt+Shift + V                                 Go to Min Frame
.                                                   Go to Next key
,                                                   Go to Previous key
Alt + ,                                           Move backward one frame in time
Alt + .                                           Move forward one frame in time
Alt + V                                           Turn Playback on or off
K + Middle mouse button                 Virtual Time Slider mode (press and hold and scrub timeline)


Ctrl + Left                         Render view next image
Ctrl + Right                       Render view previous image

Selecting Menus

F2                                    Show Animation menu set
F5                                    Show Dynamics menu set
F4                                    Show Modeling menu set
F3                                    Show Polygons menu set
F6                                    Show Rendering menu set
Ctrl + M                            Show/hide main menu bar
Shift + M                          Show/hide panel menu bar
Ctrl + Shift + M                 Show/hide panel toolbar

Selecting Objects and Components

F10                                     Edge
F11                                     Face
>                                        Grow polygon selection region
F8                                       Object/Component (Switch between object and component editing)
Ctrl + I                                Select next intermediate object
<                                        Shrink polygon selection region
F12                                     UV
F9                                       Vertex
Alt + F9                               Vertex Face

Snapping Operations

Shift + J                               Move, Rotate, Scale Tool relative snapping (press and release)
J                                          Move, Rotate, Scale Tool snapping (press and release)
C                                          Snap to curves (press and release)
X                                          Snap to grids (press and release)
V                                          Snap to points (press and release)

Tool Operations

Return                                  Complete current tool
–                                          Decrease manipulator size
Insert                                   Enter tool Edit mode
=, +                                     Increase manipulator size
W                                         Move Tool, or with left mouse button for Move Tool marking menu
J                                          Move, Rotate, Scale Tool Snapping (press and release)
E                                         Rotate Tool, or with left mouse button for Rotate Tool marking menu
R                                         Scale Tool, or with left mouse button for Scale Tool marking menu
Shift + Q                              Select Tool, or with left mouse button for Component marking menu
Alt + Q                                 Select Tool, or with left mouse button for Polygon marking menu
Q                                         Select Tool, or with left mouse button for Selection Mask marking menu
Y                                          Selects the last used tool that is not one of Select, Move, Rotate, or Scale
T                                           Show manipulator tool
Ctrl + T                                  Show universal manipulator tool
Insert                                     Switches between move pivot and move object (Move Tool)
D With left mouse button         Move pivot (Move Tool)

Tumble, Track or Dolly

Alt + Right mouse button            Dolly Tool (press and release)
Alt + Middle mouse button          Track Tool (press and release)
Alt + Left mouse button              Tumble Tool (press and release)

Window and View Operations

Space (When tapped)                        Switch between the active window in multi-pane display and single pane display
Alt + Ctrl + Middle mouse button        Fast pan in the Outliner
A                                                      Frame All in active panel, or with left mouse button for History Operations marking menu
Shift + A                                            Frame All in all views
F                                                       Frame Selected in active panel
Shift + F                                             Frame Selected in all views
F1                                                      Maya Help
Alt + Middle mouse button                    Pan in the Attribute Editor
Alt + Middle mouse button                    Pan in the Outliner
]                                                         Redo view change
Alt + B                                                Switch between a gradient, black, dark gray, or light gray background color
Ctrl + Space                                        Switch between the standard view and full-screen view of the current panels
Ctrl + A                                               Switches between Attribute Editor or Channel Box–displays the Attribute Editor if neither is shown
[                                                          Undo view change
Shift + }                                              View next layout
Shift + {                                              View previous layout

Pane Specific Commands

The following commands change based on specific editor pane you are actively using.

Graph Editor

1                                           Absolute View
A                                           Frame All
T                                           Frame Center View
G                                           Frame Playback Range
F                                           Frame Selected
H                                           Lock Channel
3                                           Normalized View
2                                           Stacked View
D                                           Tangents Auto
M                                           Toggle Curve Selection
J                                            Unlock Channel

HyperGraph Panel

Alt + T                                       Decrease Depth
Alt + G                                      Increase Depth


>                                        Graph Downstream
Ctrl + .                                Graph Remove Downstream
Ctrl + L                               Graph Remove Selected
Ctrl + /                                Graph Remove Unselected
Ctrl + ,                                Graph Remove Upstream
?                                         Graph Up Downstream
<                                        Graph Upstream
1                                         Hypdershade Hide Attributes
Down Arrow                         Pick Walk Down
Left Arrow                            Pick Walk Left
Right Arrow                          Pick Walk Right
Up Arrow                              Pick Walk Up
P                                          Pin Selected
#                                          Remove Material Soloing
/                                           Select Connected
.                                           Select Down Stream
,                                           Select Up Stream
3                                          Show All Attrs
2                                          Show Connected Attrs
4                                          Show Custom Attrs
!                                           Solo Last Output
@                                         Solo Material
5                                          Toggle Node Title Mode
=                                          Toggle Zoom In
–                                           Toggle Zoom Out

Also, learn – Who Invented Animation

Node Editor

Up Arrow                             Back to Parent
Enter                                   Dive Into Compound
>                                        Graph Downstream
Ctrl + .                                Graph Remove Downstream
Ctrl + L                                Graph Remove Selected
Ctrl + ,                                Graph Remove Upsream
?                                         Graph Up Downstream
<                                        Graph Upstream
X                                        Grid Toggle Snap
1                                        Hide Attributes
Down Arrow                         Pick Walk Down
Left Arrow                            Pick Walk Left
Right Arrow                          Pick Walk Right
Up Arrow                              Pick Walk Up
Ctrl + /                                 Remove Unselected
/                                           Select Connected
.                                           Select Down Stream
3                                          Show All Attrs
2                                          Show Connected Attrs
4                                          Show Custom Attrs
S                                          Toggle Attr Filter
P                                           Toggle Node Selected Pins
V                                           Toggle Node Swatch Size
5                                           Toggle Node Title Mode
C                                          Toggle Synced Selection
=                                          Toggle Zoom In
–                                           Toggle Zoom Out
,                                           Up Stream


Enter                                     Rename Selected Item
F                                           Reveal Selected

Pose Editor

Ctrl + G                                    Pose Interpolator New Group


1                                               Category View
2                                               CPU View
3                                               Thread View
Ctrl + R                                     Toggle Recording

Shape Editor

Ctrl + D                                       Duplicate Target
Ctrl + G                                       New Group
Alt + D                                         Select None

Time Editor

L                                                  Additive Layer
Y                                                  Clip Hold Toggle
T                                                  Clip Loop Toggle
W                                                 Clip Razor
Shift + H                                       Clip Scale End
Shift + G                                       Clip Scale Start
R Clip                                            Scale Toggle
H Clip                                            Trim End
G Clip                                            Trim Start
E Clip                                             Trim Toggle
Shift + I                                         Create Audio Clip
O                                                   Create Clip
Ctrl + G                                          Create Group From Selection
Shift + L                                         Create Override Layer
P                                                    Create Pose Clip
Ctrl + X                                          Cut Clips
Ctrl + Shift + G                               Explode Group
Ctrl + E                                          Export Selection
A                                                   Frame All
F                                                   Frame Selected
B                                                   Ghost Track Toggle
I                                                    Import Animation
U                                                   Ripple Edit Toggle Press
U                                                   Ripple Edit Toggle Release
Q                                                   Scene Authoring Toggle
S                                                   Set Key
D                                                   Set Zero Key
M                                                   Toggle Mute Selected Tracks
X                                                    Toggle Snap to Clip Press
X                                                    Toggle Snap to Clip Release
N                                                    Toggle Solo Selected Tracks
K                                                    Toggle Time Cursor Press
K                                                     Toggle Time Cursor Release

Final thoughts

So, This was the article over Maya Hot keys, we hope you enjoyed it. If you want a complete pdf file on it for reference. Click Maya Shortcuts (Source Autodesk) to download it.

Learning interface can take time, so make sure practicing these keys will take some time but results will be very much amazing. I wish you the best of luck for mastering Maya interface.

Read our other articles to enhance your knowledge. Thanks.

I am a former Animator and Graphic Designer who has worked on many International and Domestic projects and Tv series and E-learning projects. I created Animation Alerts so that people who are struggling to learn animation can learn this craft and grow together.


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