Pressing the A-KEY while hovering the mouse cursor over an open panel
will close it. Press the A-KEY again to open it. This is an easy way to keep
your Blender interface less cluttered.
Switch between 3D Editor and UV/Image Editor
(SHIFT + SPACEBAR)
Adding texture to a mesh requires spending time going back and forth
between the 3D Editor and the UV/Image Editor. Sometimes you would
like to send some time in just the one editor but want to be able to quickly
get back to viewing the other editor or both. That’s where
SHIFT + SPACEBAR comes in handy. Hovering the mouse over an
editor and pressing SHIFT + SPACEBAR makes the editor full screen.
Press SHIFT + SPACEBAR again toggles back to the previous view.
Keys Available for Custom Shortcuts
(1-KEY to 0-KEY)
Many of the keyboard keys are already taken for Blender’s built-in
shortcuts, or shortcuts introduced with a specific Blender addon,
making it somewhat difficult to find keys for your own use (i.e., your
custom shortcuts). I find that as a beginner I don’t use the layers
(1-KEY to 0-KEY) enough that I really need a shortcut. So I use them
for my own shortcuts:
1-KEY = Vertex Selection Mode
2-KEY = Edge Selection Mode
3-KEY = Face Selection Mode
4-KEY = Switch Face Normals
5-KEY = Loop Cut
6-KEY = Subdivide
7-KEY = Merge
8-KEY = Edge Split
The beauty of using these keys is that you are only pressing one key.
You don’t have to twist your hand around to reach two or more keys.
They are easy to remember and by activating them with your left hand
you don’t have to take your hand off of the mouse.
If you run out of keys you can also use ALT + 1-KEY to 0-KEY, which
by default are also used for switching layers.
Saving Intermediate Version of your File
It’s a good idea to save often so if you really mess up you can go back
and start from a recently saved file rather than having to star all over
Blender makes it easy to save versions. Press SHIFT + ALT/OPTION + S-KEY
then press NUMPAD-+ to incrementally increase the number of your version
to be saved (NUMPAD- - incrementally reduces the file number).
Finally, press ENTER and the file is saved and you are back to your project.
I like to start with “name01.blend” to keep my files in order. I usually have
more than 10 intermediates but have yet to go over 100.
Adding and Removing Viewports (Windows)
In Blender there is often “more than one way to skin a cat” (that is, more
than one way to do something).
To Adding and Removing Viewports (Windows) one method is to use
the cross-hatched areas in the upper right or lower left corners of
To create a new viewport, place the mouse over the cross-hatched area in
the corner, LMB click and drag either horizontally or vertically.
To close a viewport place the mouse over the cross-hatched area, LMB
to select the cross-hatched area of the viewport you ant to keep
and drag it over the hatched area of the viewport you want to get rid of
and release. As you drag the viewport which will be eliminated will turn
The second method is to select the divide between two viewports.
To create a new viewport place the mouse over the divide between
two viewports, RMB to get the Area Options window, and select
“Split Area”. You will be presented with a vertical dividing line,
which you can drag to where you want the divide then LMB to fix
it in place and create the new viewport. To split horizontally
hold down the middle mouse button (often the button associated
with the mouse wheel and drag.
To close a viewport, place the mouse over the divide between two
viewports, RMB to get the Area Options window, and select
“Join Area”. Hover the mouse over the viewport you want to get
rid of (an arrow will appear indicating the other viewport will take
over the space of the viewport to be eliminated) and LMB click.
Keep that to remove a viewport, the viewport to be kept must share the
whole dividing line with the viewport to be eliminated.