ZBrush keyboard shortcuts

My notes on ZBrush keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) and control. This page is derived largely from the ZBrush 4R7 and ZBrush Core Online Documentation, © 2016 by Pixologic, Inc. I have reproduced much of the Keyboard Shortcut documentation here for the purpose of personal study and with the hope of adding additional notes that may be helpful to others who, like me, are new to the software.


General shortcuts

Open ProjectCTRL + O 
Save ProjectCTRL + S 
UndoCTRL + Z 
Popup selection (on PC only)
  • Tools – F1
  • Brushes – F2
  • Strokes – F3
  • Alphas – F4
  • Textures – F5
  • Materials – F6 (with cursor off canvas area)



Show QuickMenuSPACE or right-click 
Show/hide floating palettesTAB 
Show item descriptionCTRL + cursor over itemWhen Popup Info is switched on.
Show alternative item descriptionCTRL + ALT + cursor over item 
Assign custom hotkeyCTRL+ ALT + click on itemStores hotkeys in Preferences > Hotkeys submenu
Projection MasterG 

Lightbox and Spotlight

Show/hide Lightbox, 
load selected itemdouble-click on Lightbox thumbnailTexture / Alphas will be loaded into Spotlight if it is active.
Turn on/off SpotlightSHIFT + Z 
Show/hide Spotlight DialZ 

Right-Click Navigation

Turn on RightClick Navigation in the Preferences > Interface menu.

MoveALT + right-click & drag (can be over the model) 
ScaleCTRL + right-click & drag (can be over the model) 
Rotateright-click & drag (can be over the model) 


  • With a 3D mesh in Edit mode, press W (Move), E (Scale), or R (Rotate), then click and drag to draw the orange action line.
  • Click on the mesh to reposition the action line aligned to the surface normal.
  • To align to an axis, click the end of the red, green or blue axis line.
Move action line while drawingHold SPACE 
Move action line after drawingclick + drag orange line or center orange ring 
Change action line end point positionclick + drag orange end ring 
Toggle between the Transpose line and Gizmo 3DYwhile in Move, Scale, or Rotate mode

Quick tip: in Move/Scale mode, ALT + click + drag on the mesh (not on action line) to move or scale mesh

Inner (red/white) ring actions

These actions apply to the inner red or white rings of the action line. The terms center or end refer to the position on the line.

Move mode – W
Moveclick + drag center 
Duplicate meshCTRL + click + drag center 
Bend meshALT + click + drag center or end point 
Stretch meshdrag end point furthest from mesh 
Flatten meshdrag end point next to mesh 
Inflateright-click + drag end ring furthest from mesh 
Create Edgeloop & extrudewith partially masked mesh, hold CTRL and click + drag center point 
Scale – E
Scaleclick + drag end point in line direction 
Scale along axisclick + drag center point 
Create Edgeloop and deflate / inflatewith partially masked mesh, hold
CTRL and click + drag center point
Rotate – R
Rotate around end pointclick + drag other end point 
Rotate around action lineclick + drag center 
Joint bendALT + click + drag end point (rotation around same point) 

Sculpting and Painting

Draw SizeS 
Focal ShiftO 
RGB IntensityI 
Z IntensityU 
Increase Draw Size by set units](set increment in the Zplugin > Misc Utilities > Brush Increment slider)
Decrease Draw Size by set units[(set increment in the Zplugin > Misc Utilities >Brush Increment slider)
Edit mode on/offT 
Toggle ZAdd and ZSubALTWhile brushing on a model, hold down ALT to toggle from ZAdd to ZSub.

Sculpting Brushes

Each brush has its own keyboard shortcut combo. You can learn them by pressing B to bring up the brush palette, then a letter like C (to filter by all brushes starting with C), and then the letter indicated in the top left of the brush icon in to brush palette.

ActionKey Sequence 
Show Brush pop-upB 
Clay BuildupB + C + D 
Damien Standard (dam std)B + D + S 
InflateB + I + N 
MoveB + M + V 
SpiralB + S + AHold down ALT to spiral in the opposite direction.
ZModelerB + Z + M 

InsertMultiMesh brushes

Show all meshes in brushM 

Changing the Brush hotkeys (pop-up palette)

Here is what you have to do:

  • Press B to bring up the brush palette.
  • Then click or press the letter that you want to narrow down to, in this example press C.
  • With C selected all you will see is the brushes that start with C. You will see the next letter that selects the brush.
  • At this point you can hold CTRL + ALT to change the shortcut to whatever you want by just clicking on the brush and then click your new shortcut.

NOTE: Keep in mind that when you do this ZBrush automatically replaces the shortcut of another brush if you select a shortcut that is already assigned.


Select Color under cursorC 
Switch ColorV 


Lazy mouseLToggles the lazy mouse mode.
Replay Last Stroke1This is very handy to use after pressing CTRL, and moving a subtool to duplicate it. Pressing 1 will create yet another duplicate, moving it the same distance on the same axis as before. So, this is a great way to create an array of equally spaced duplicates.
Record Stroke3 
Replay All Recorded Strokes2 


Smooth curve6 
Snapshot curve5 
Delete a curveALT + draw across curve 

3D Models

Save ToolSHIFT + CTRL + T 
Frame (Fit Mesh To view)F(You may need to press it twice.)
Dynamic Persp (Perspective Distortion)P 
Floor GridSHIFT + P 
Activate SymmetryX 
Show/hide Polyframe & polygroupsSHIFT + F 
Point Selection ModeSHIFT + CTRL + P 
Set Pivot PointCTRL + P 
Clear Pivot PointSHIFT + P 
Snapshot a version to canvasSHIFT + S 

Edit mode Navigation

The following actions apply when in Edit Object (Key: T) mode.

Note: For best results turn off RightClick Navigation in the Preferences > Interface menu.

Frame (Fit Mesh to View)F 
Move (Move Edited Object)ALT + click and drag Background 
Zoom3D (Scale Edited Object)ALT + click on background, release ALT, then drag 
Free Rotateclick + drag on background 
Constrain to 90-degree rotationclick + drag on background and then press SHIFT 
Rotate around Z-axisSHIFT, click on background, release SHIFT, drag 
ScaleALT + click, release ALT, drag Background 


List all subtoolsN 
Select SubToolALT + click on SubTool 
Frame SubToolSHIFT + ALT + click on selected SubToolNote this option can be set in the Preferences > Edit > Enable Auto Center slider; 0 = off; 1 = Alt + click; 2 = SHIFT + Alt + click
Show SubTool Pop-up ListN 


Toggle Polypaint ColorizeClick on paintbrush icon 
Toggle Polypaint Colorize for all SubToolsSHIFT + click on paintbrush icon 


DivideCTRL + D 
Lower ResSHIFT + D 
Higher ResD 
Edge LoopCTRL + E(partially hidden mesh)


Remesh Dynamesh sculpt – in Edit > Draw mode CTRL + drag Background

HD Geometry

Toggle in/out of HD Sculpting modeA(cursor over mesh)
Render all HD GeometryA(cursor over background)


View maskCTRL + H 
Invert maskCTRL + I 
Mask allCTRL + A 
Select masking Brushhold CTRL while selecting brush from popup 
Paint mask on object (alphas/strokes can be used)CTRL (hold down) 
Delete or paint reverse maskCTRL + ALT (hold down) 
Reverse maskCTRL + click backgrounda.k.a. Flip Mask, Invert Mask
Clear maskCTRL + click + drag background 
Constant-intensity maskCTRL + click, release CTRL, drag (starting off mesh) 
Alpha-intensity mask (using MaskPen or MaskRect brush)CTRL + click & drag(select alpha while holding CTRL)
Blur maskCTRL + click on meshWhen a mask has been drawn on a mesh, this action blurs (softens) the edges of the mask.
Sharpen maskCTRL + ALT + click on mesh 

Topological Masking

in Move, Scale or Rotate mode – CTRL + click + drag the action line on the model


Group Masked and Clear MaskCTRL +
This is super handy! Basically, it turns anything you have masked into a polygroup and then clears the mask. In other words, if you want to turn the currently masked area into a polygroup, press CTRL + W.
Make all polygroups into oneCTRL +
In addition to the above, this key combination can also be used to apply a single polygroup to the active subtool. For example – if a subtool has several polygroups and you want only one.

Partial Mesh Visibility & Clip Brushes

Select Selection or Clip Brushhold SHIFT + CTRL while selecting brush from popup 
Show mesh portionSHIFT + CTRL + click, release keys & drag (green selection area) 
Hide mesh portionSHIFT + CTRL + click, release keys & drag – press Alt (red selection area) 
Grow mesh portionCTRL + SHIFT + X 
Shrink mesh portionCTRL + SHIFT + S 
Grow all mesh portionCTRL + SHIFT + A 
Outer Ring visibilityCTRL + SHIFT + O 
Move selection or clip areapress SPACE without releasing mouse/pen 
Show entire meshSHIFT + CTRL + click background 
Show only selected Polygroup (on fully visible mesh)SHIFT + CTRL + click 
Hide selected Polygroup (on fully visible mesh)SHIFT + CTRL + click twice 
Hide selected Polygroup (on partially visible mesh)SHIFT + CTRL + click 
Reverse visibilitySHIFT + CTRL + click & drag background 
Hide edge loopwith Lasso option selected, SHIFT + CTRL + click on edge that crosses loop 
ClipCurve add soft direction changepress ALT once 
ClipCurve add sharp direction changepress ALT twice 
reverse clip areaALT (hold down) 


Stencil OnALT + H 
Hide/Show StencilCTRL + H 
Coin ControllerSPACE 


Preview Adaptive SkinA 

ZSpheres – Draw mode

Add a child ZSpheredrag ZSphere 
Delete ZSphereALT + click ZSphere 
Add a child ZSphere at same sizeclick + drag, press SHIFT 
Add a child ZSphere and scale Link Spheresclick + drag to size new ZSphere, press CTRL + drag 
Insert ZSphereclick Link-Sphere 
Sphere Define magnet/ break meshioALT + click Link-Sphere(with Tool > Adaptive Skin > Use ClassicSkinning on)

ZSpheres – Move mode

Move ZSpheredrag ZSphere 
Pose (Natural-linked move)drag Link-Sphere 
Move ChainAlt + drag Link-Sphere 

ZSpheres – Scale mode

Scale Zspheredrag ZSphere 
Inflate/deflate chainALT + drag Link-Sphere 
Scale chaindrag Link-Sphere 

ZSpheres – Rotate mode

Spin chaindrag ZSphere 
Control twistALT + drag Link-Sphere 
Rotate chaindrag Link-Sphere 

ZSpheres – ZSketch

Activate ZSketch Edit modeSHIFT + A (with a ZSphere armature in Edit mode) 
Preview Unified SkinA 

Canvas and 2.5D

Reverse 2.5D brush effectALT (hold down) 
Crop And FillSHIFT + CTRL + F 
Grab Texture From DocumentSHIFT + CTRL + G 

Document Layers

Clear LayerCTRL + N 
Fill LayerCTRL + F 
Bake LayerCTRL + B 
On Layer thumbnail, toggle all layers on/offSHIFT + CLICK 
Select layer on which clicked pixol resides~ + click canvas (US)
@ + click canvas (UK)
Move layer contents up/down/sideways (X & Y)~ + drag (US) @ + drag (UK) 


Markers will only show when Edit is turned off

Remove MarkerCTRL + M 

Canvas Zoom

Actual Size0 
Antialiased Half SizeCTRL + 0 
Zoom In+ 
Zoom Out- 


Place a new key frameclick on the Timeline 
Select an existing key frameclick on the key frame dot 
Zoom Timeline in/outclick on selected key frame dot 
Move selected key frameclick + drag dot to new position (dragging off end will delete) 
Store new data in existing key frameSHIFT + CTRL + click on the key frame dot 
Delete a key frameclick + drag dot off the Timeline 
Copy selected key frameSHIFT + click on the Timeline at the point where you want the copy 
Copy multiple key framesSHIFT + click on all the key frames dots to be copied, then SHIFT + click the Timelineat the point where you want the copies
Create Transition key frameCTRL + click on an existing key frame dot 
Create Rigid key frameALT + click on an existing key frame dot 
Go to Previous Camera key frameLEFT ARROW 
Go to Next Camera key frameRIGHT ARROW 
Play the TimelineSHIFT+click on the Timeline cursor(will play as a loop)
Stop the Timeline playingESC 
Record Timeline as a MovieSHIFT + CTRL + click on the Timeline cursor(set the cursor to the start first using the LEFT ARROW)


Snapshot to MovieCTRL + SHIFT + ! (US)
SHIFT + CTRL + PageUp (UK)


Best Preview Render (BPR)SHIFT + R 
Render AllSHIFT + CTRL + R 
Cursor Selective RenderCTRL + R 

Custom UI and Configuration

Move item to custom interface positionCTRL + ALT + drag (when Enable Customize is switched on)
Remove item from custom interface positionCTRL + ALT + drag to Canvas(when Enable Customize is on)
Store Configuration FileSHIFT + CTRL + I 
Load User Interface Configuration FileCTRL + L 
Save User Interface Configuration FileSHIFT + CTRL + ALT + I 


Load ZScriptSHIFT + CTRL + L 
Reload ZScriptCTRL + U 
Show/Hide ZScript windowH 

Reference Resources

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