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How to emulate a third mouse button and keypad for Blender

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

#Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—#modeling, #rigging, #animation, #simulation, #rendering, #compositing and motion tracking, #video editing and 2D animation pipeline.

Without the right tools, it can be hard to navigate. Luckily, we're here to help!

Blender has options that allow you to emulate both of these features. If you go into the User Preferences view and select the 'Input' tab, you should see a bunch of options on the left side of your screen.

To use the numbers across the top of your keyboard instead of a number pad, select 'Emulate Numpad.'

To emulate the third mouse button, select 'Emulate 3 Button Mouse.' What this does is allows you to press the Alt key while using your left mouse button, and have it behave just like the middle/third mouse button. Sweet!

Image of the Blender UI

Hack protip: You can emulate the third button for Blender by defaut with this hack.

Open terminal and type:

flatpak run org.blender.Blender --python-expr "import bpy; bpy.context.preferences.inputs.use_mouse_emulate_3_button = True; bpy.context.preferences.inputs.use_emulate_numpad = True;

Ultimately however, if you're going to be using Blender heavily, you're going to want to get a real three button mouse and/or a numpad. It's heavily recommend getting a USB or wireless three-button mouse as it saves a ton of time over the Alt-click setting.

We hope this helps.

- The Hack Team

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