Maya Can't Do This Can It?



Everyone I’ve talked to says you can’t remap Maya’s Mouse Control. Is this really true?

For Example, I’m swithching over from XSI to Maya so I can start a short. In XSI, S + LMB, MMB and RMB does essentially what ALT + LMB,MMB and RMB, which is control your viewport shortcuts for navigation.

Is it possible to switch the ALT in Maya to S now?

My buddy says you cant becuase its ingrained in Maya code. Has anyone in the CG community done this?

Please, no " why would you want to do that?" replies, i get enough of that at work :slight_smile:
The answer is so i can work at home in a program and transition flawlessly at work to a completly different package, or vice versa, the less differences the easier right?

Can anyone out there do this, has anyone done it?

Thanks for any help.



I’ve been using maya for about a year and a half and I haven’t seen any mouse button switching.


right, thats what i’m thinking but i know you can script Maya so ONE hotkey can have different functions much the way XSI is set up. So i was thinking and my buddy agrees that there might be a way to script S to do the same function as Alt does, tumble track and zoom.

Maya DOES NOT show what its doing when u select Alt and MMB LMB or RMB in the script editor, other wise i would have gotten that text, saved as a MEL script and plotted that to go to S when nothing or something is selected.

I’ve never done any scripting but i imagine it can’t be too hard, right?

ANyways, that solutions out the door becuase like i said, Maya doesnt list what its doing when ALT is activated in its script editor.

So, i know i can map S to be the track tool, is there a way, or script i can pop on there so that when something is selected, and holding down the S key, and pressing the RMB or LMB or MMB activates a different tool?

I think i can take a crack at it but i dont know what the script command line would be for


if something selected & S is pressed then
S + MMB = track, or S + RMB = tumble or S + LMB = zoom

or something like that right?

this would be a great help for anyone switching over or working in two packages.

If no one knows how to script that (above ^ and underlined _ ) does anyone know if theres even COMMAND LINE for MMB, LMB or RMB?

I know theres a genious out there somewhere, help please!


In you face suker!!!
nah just kidding.
i don’t know crap about xsi, and i haven’t worked in maya in a few years.
Damn it Abel you know i’m a max guy stop teasing me.
i harte you.


my knowledge of mel is still close to 0, although after more than a year since I started, I have advanced considerably in some areas of the vast Maya land. So I can’t help you much with scripting but as far as I know you can’t access or alter the Alt key navigation functions with mel.

You can easily create a hotkey for any navigation Tool – those tools are all listed in View > Camera Tools under any panel menu. Their commands are the same as their names: TumbleTool; TrackTool; DollyTool; You can map all 3 of them to a key with the Shift, Ctrl, and Alt modifiers but I’m afraid you can’t alter a user hot key function by the mouse buttons. I’m sure the GUI doesn’t provide for this. And I’m afraid mel can’t do it too. It would be very nice if this is possible.

And by the way s is the hot key for setting keys in Maya.

I have tried once XSI and I found that XSI can be adjusted to Maya more easily than the other way around. I hope in the upcoming version Alias improves this and makes Maya UI more customizable so people like you can enter Maya without pain.



No your stupid Carlos!

I FOUND A WAY! (well actually i cried and moaned about it to my friend while at work [not carlos, it was rylan, you know, the smart one] and he said he didnt know either but he found a guy who did)


Thanks Rylan! Thanks Carlos, and thanks a million to this guy:

now i just have to try it. i will by tonight. in your face! you got serverd and all that girly type of stuff. Unless it doesn’t work then in that case i apologize and once again, please help.


hey that works okay but not the same as the ALT key…it constrains your movement to one axis at a time… half way there but good to know.


I just tried it and it worked without any constrains for me. However it slows the navigation considerably if I hold the key for longer than one navigation mouse move and If I keep holding it, the navigation feed back almost stop.

  It feels good though to see something like that is possible.

Edit: Actually it works perfectly if you assign to a single key instead of a key + modifier combination. The slow down was with Alt + e. Now I just assigned “ ; ” and it works like charm.
Lucky Tonnabel!!!
Have fun


I have the tuble, track, dolly assigned to difretn hotkeys, no prob, no secret. Just punch the key and dolly all I want, switch to a nother tool, etc. I personaly found it to be a drag to hole down the damn ALT key and a mouse button while trying to mouse navigate around.

Just assign a hotkey like S to the dolly, etc what ever you want.


Now seeing all this is possible I wonder if somebody may help with what I always dream about - swapping the Alt key functionality with the Space bar key.

In Maya I use the Alt key the most. The Space bar is the easiest to hit and hold when you reach for the keyboard and you can always find it without first sending a look. Not only that, but this will also synchronize Maya with the Photoshop’s pan command which uses the space bar. I always mix alt with space when I switch to Photoshop from Maya and vice versa and it takes some frustrating tune up time.

I have asked for this in previous posts and have given hope but If this is actually possible this will be one of the most happiest Maya experiences for me.

I hope some hero comes down and lends a hand.


In XSI and other apps this is solved very elegantly by what is called sticky keys. You can either hold briefly and get back to your previous tool or tap it to stick it for longer navigating session. I thing everybody hates holding Alt all the time and Alias should finally take notice.


There is a workaround to enable sticky keys that you can use if you’re on windows.

Go into the control panel and chose Accessibility Options. Enable sticky keys and set any
additional options that you want. Now you can press alt twice to lock it and you can navigate without needing to hold down alt key.

Not as nice as XSI but it works.


i have sticky keys… But only becuse i spilled DrPeper on my key board!:slight_smile:


yeah…dr pepper…


i would also like to change the space bar to do something else besides that maximize minimize thing with the window,which some people believe to be the “best thing” about maya.

in XSI it toggles the selection tool which would also be a nice thing to bring over to Maya, you see, i have a dream…

that one day controls will be so interchangeable an animator like myself will be able to roam free, from package to package, from computer to computer, with no fear of learning curves or down time to get accustomed to new controls…I HAVE A DREAM!


learn MEL :stuck_out_tongue:

Other than that, go into your hotkey editor, and see what’s assigned to the spacebar.
Just change that to ToggleSelMode; or something (ctrl+f8 is the original hotkey, I believe)


Thank you Iconoklast, you’ve been a great help around.

Yes, mel.
I believe every user who enters the Maya land will hit the MEL wall on a lot of occasions and climbing over it requires mel learning, but unfortunately I’m still not there yet – still exploring the vast area outside the wall

  Anyway, your suggestion will work perfectly for Toonabel, but for me it makes it only half way there which at the end I found it not worthy. 

My goal is to swap the functionality of the space bar with Alt key for reasons explained earlier in this thread. I successfully mapped the Alt to Space bar with assigning ”overrideModifier -press Alt;” to the Space bar, but can’t find a way to assign anything on holding and/or tapping the Alt key. I even tried assigning the Hotbox to Alt + Space combination to see what happes but it simply didn’t work at all. Also when I assigned the navigation to the space bar, tapping it no longer switches to the last used layout.:sad:


search for Sticky Keys for Maya v1.0 in Highend3d


So basically, you want the spacebar to function as follows:

  1. holding the space bar and pressing a mouse button will control the tumble/dolly/zoom
  2. tapping the space bar will still do the maximise/minimise the viewports

That correct?

I haven’t taken a long look at the scripting behind of the alt+mousebutton yet, but when I get home, I’m going to go and find out what’s happening behind the scenes. The worst case scenario would be that it’s hardcoded within maya, but it’s worth finding out exactly how it’s working.
As far as the viewport maximising and minimising. The script panePop creates that functionality. Alternatively, the script for the hotbox has a line right at the button which makes the window max/min when you tap the space bar (which is based on how long the space bar is pressed to determine whether to switch the max/min viewports, or create the hotbox menus).

I’ll take a further look tonight.


Just to clarify what I need:

1)holding the space bar and pressing a mouse button will control the tumble/dolly/zoom (I can do this already)

2)Holding Alt key to bring the Hot box (I tried Alt + Space as closest alternative to holding Alt only, but it didn’t work at all)

3)Tapping the Space to maximise/minimise the viewports (I wouldn’t mind if Alt key does this instead) [i]edit:[/i] Actually I don't miind maximise/minimise on any  key/s for ex. Home or/and End keys

Thank you a lot for helping.