75+ essential Maya shortcuts: your 3D cheat sheet

Learning the Autodesk Maya hotkeys can help you churn out animations or effects faster, making your work more efficient and impressing your clients and team, too. Mastering these shortcuts may take some practice, but it’s worth the time and effort. 

So, we created a comprehensive guide of 75+ Maya shortcuts and quick keys to optimize how you work. We also share how to custom map your keyboard and equipment. 

79 must-know Maya shortcuts (separated by category)

Known for processes ranging from 3D modeling to game development, Maya comes with a variety of controls. We sorted each Maya shortcut by category, starting with a shortlist of the most popular hotkeys. 

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Popular Maya hotkeys and shortcuts 

Looking for the basics? Here are some of the most common Maya shortcuts you likely use daily: 

Control Shortcut
Rotate camera Alt + Left click
Pan camera Alt + Middle click
Zoom camera Alt + Right click
Redo Shift + Z
Undo Z
Select Q
Move W
Rotate E
Scale R
Manipulator T
Repeat last tool Y
Repeat last action G
All frame A
Select frame F
Save scene Ctrl + S
Object mode F8
Vertex mode F9
Edge mode F10
Face mode F11


Control Shortcut
Turn playback on/off Alt + V
Move forward one frame Alt + .
Move backward one frame Alt + ,
Go to previous key ,
Go to next key .
Go to min frame Alt + Shift + V

Selecting and snapping 

Control Shortcut
Shrink polygon selection region <
Select next intermediate object Ctrl + I
Toggle between object and component F8
Vertex F9
Edge F10
Face F11
UV F12
Scale tool relative snapping Shift + J
Scale tool snapping J
Snap to curves C
Snap to grid X
Snap to points V

Display settings

Control Shortcut
Default quality display setting 0
Rough quality display setting 1
Medium quality display setting 2
Smooth quality display setting 3
Wireframe 4
Shaded display 5
Shaded and textured display 6
Use all lights 7
Hide > Hide selection Ctrl + H
Hide > Hide unselected objects Alt + H
Set key S
Insert keys tool I
Enable/disable 2D pan/zoom \


Control Shortcut Additive layer L Clip razor W Clip trim start G Clip trim end H Clip trim toggle E Create audio clip Shift + I Create clip O Create pose clip P Cut clips Ctrl + X Export selection Ctrl + E Frame all A Set key S Toggle mute selected tracks M


Control Shortcut
Default polygon mesh display 1
Cage + smooth polygon mesh display 2
Smooth polygon mesh display 3
Convert polygon selection to vertices Ctrl + F9
Convert polygon selection to edges Ctrl + F10
Convert polygon selection to faces Ctrl + F11
Convert polygon selection to UVs Ctrl + F12


Control Shortcut
Modify paint value N
Modify maximum displacement M
Modify upper brush radius B
Flood with the current value Alt + F
Edit paint effects template brush Ctrl + B
Toggle reflection on or off Alt + R

Tumble, track, or dolly

Control Shortcut
Dolly tool Alt + Right mouse button
Track tool Alt + Middle mouse button
Tumble tool Alt + Left mouse button

How to add or change shortcuts in Maya

Autodesk’s Maya provides plenty of built-in shortcuts, making it easy to carry out your work. That said, some artists or animators may prefer to create their own custom keyboard shortcuts to build a more personalized workflow or extend their workspace across several pieces of equipment. 

You can set up your own Maya shortcuts and open up the hotkey editor using the following steps: 

  1. Start by navigating to Windows > Settings/Preferences > Hotkey Editor.
  1. Select the gear icon next to the Hotkey Set field in the upper left corner and choose Duplicate.
  1. In the Edit Hotkeys menu, select the category for your hotkey to find the appropriate command. 
  1. Ensure that On Press or On Release is active in the dropdown menu next to the hotkey selector. 
  1. Once you find the command, select it and then choose the desired key on the Hotkey Editor keyboard layout. 
  1. The adjusted key is now active. You can click the corresponding key on the Hotkey Editor to double-check you successfully assigned the command. 
  1. Select Save to finalize your remappings. 

Note that some keys are reserved for essential commands and, as a result, can’t be remapped. For instance, Ctrl + W is a critical operating system hotkey and can’t be adjusted. 

How to transfer your Maya hotkeys

When working with dense animation files, switching between workspaces is common. You can transfer your Maya hotkeys using the following export process: 

  1. Save a separate copy of your hotkeys set within the Hotkey Editor by selecting Duplicate and entering the name of your hotkeys set. 
  1. Adjust and save your custom Maya hotkeys set.
  1. On your new computer or device, click Import to load your Maya hotkeys set into the Hotkey Editor

This way, you can seamlessly transfer your custom-mapped workspace from any interface. 

Final thoughts

Adopting Maya shortcuts into your animation or VFX workflow is just one way to increase your productivity. 

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