Maya Style Navigation in SketchUp


First of all sorry about my english.

SketchUp is an amazing application but i can’t figure out how to change navigation behave like Maya. Many 3D and also 2D applications uses this type of navigation (Maya style).

Here is a list :

  • Maya (default)
  • Cinema 4D (default)
  • Houdini (default)
  • Softimage (optional)
  • Modo (optional)
  • 3ds Max (optional)
  • Mudbox (optional)
  • Zbrush (with plugin)
  • Substance Painter (default)
  • Substance Designer (default)
  • Blender (optional)
  • Moment of Inspiration (default)
  • Unity (default)
  • Keyshot (default)
  • 3D Coat (optional)
  • Marmoset Toolbag (default)
  • Topogun (default)
  • UDK (optional)
  • Unreal Engine 4 (default)
  • Headus Uv Layout (default)
  • Quixel 3DO (default)
  • Nvil (default)

As you can see, these are all industry standart applications and both uses “Maya style navigation” by default or allow users to change navigation style. I believe many of people coming SketchUp from these apps so why not add this feature to SketchUp?

So how Maya style navigation works? (without dropping current tool)

  • Alt + LMB / Orbit
  • Alt + RMB drag right / Zoom In
  • Alt + RMB drag left / Zoom Out
  • Alt + MMB / Pan

Btw, I tried some AutoHotkey scripts but none of them works properly.

Please consider this message and add this feature to SketchUp.

Best Regards


Use the middle mouse button and you will never want to go back.

Why do you want it to be so complicated? These are arcane combinations that were invented in the 1990s before the scroll wheel mouse became ubiquitous. I would never want to revert to needing two hands to zoom or orbit.

BTW, you refer to “Industry standard”. As far as the number of users goes, I understand that SketchUp, today, IS the industry standard. And I could count in AutoCad, Revit, Archicad… that all use the scroll wheel zoom analogicaly to SketchUp.


1 Like

funny. the usual requests at other software forums are more like “can we get a sketchup navigation mode?”



Thanks for replies.

Actually, my main point is “consistency between apps” rather than ease of use, that’s why i gave a list of other apps. “Ease of use” is relative to person to person.

Here’s an example what i am talking about :

Let’s say you’re a SketchUp user and you find SketchUp’s navigation perfect. One day you think about learning Cinema 4D as SketchUp companion and you realize that Cinema 4D doesn’t allow you to change navigation hotkeys and forces you to use that "alt + " combinations. Well that’s ok, just use Cinema 4D’s navigation.

Another day you think about learning 3D Coat for some detailing / texture painting. Guess what? Once again, 3D Coat doesn’t allow you change navigation and forces you use another kungfu style hotkey combination.

And so on…

Think about this, each application forces you to use different hotkey combinations and if you’re regulary moving back and forth between these apps, you’ll probably get confused about navigation.

Another thing is, i am not asking to replace default SketchUp navigation with “Maya Navigation”. Just give users this opportunity.

And i don’t think it’s hard to implement this feature, am i wrong?

I see what you’re saying and agree that it’s sometimes more confusing than necessary when switching between apps.
(I use rhino a lot which has orbiting tied to RMB… keystrokes and/or keyboard methodology is different etc)… once you reach a certain level, navigation&shortcuts are ingrained and controlled subconsciously but when switching, you have to bring these kinds of things back to the forefront or you end up undoing a lot of stuff.

but-- here’s the rub. I highly doubt you’re going to see this type of customization become available in Sketchup… I really don’t think we’ll ever see it so if sketchup is in your workflow, I think you’re better off to try to customize the other app(s) to corespond with sketchup as opposed to the other way around. you’re more likely to come up with a decent flow if doing it like that.
(though me personally-- I just use the individual apps as they’re designed and just train the brain to place some effort towards navigating when necessary-- it’s what works best for me these days)

Yes (you’re wrong.) In SketchUp, the mouse button + modifier key combos are unique to the tool.

Your asking the SketchUp development team to re-write all the native tools to avoid paring any functionality with the ALT key. That leaves only the SHIFT and CTRL/Command keys.

Then, further more, you’d have to ask the entire world of Ruby plugin developers, to avoid creating any Ruby tool functionality using the ALT key, and also write their tools to explicitly bubble up ALT+ mouse key combos to the application window.

It is just not going to happen.

And it may be more likely to use “application specific” settings with mouseware, inside the other applications, to enable scroll wheel zooming, and set the MMB to Orbit, and SHIFT+MMB to Pan, so as to create a SketchUp-like navigation mode.

Hi, Galtwo,
Seem nobody have any solution for you beside forcing you to keep following. Things doesn’t not satisfy them, but it doesn’t mean it’s not satisfy to the other. SketchUp dev should at least give the options to the user. Look at blender, bunch of control for simple user.

For my suggestion, you can use “X-Mouse Button Control” which is free.

With X-Mouse, you can set as to other software as well. Make sure it won’t conflict with built-in mouse navigation.