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Home < Slicer3:EventBindings

Keyboard accelerators

A list of global "hot-keys" and module-specific "hot-keys" for Slicer2 and Slicer3 is being actively compiled below. (This page is a little out of sync with development -- please make current!) With respect to the specification of keyboard accelerators, please follow these three recommendations;

  • Before assigning "hot-keys" to functionality, either in the main Slicer application or in a new module, please consult the list below to make sure the key is not already mapped.
  • Across Slicer modules, try to use similar "hot-key" assignments for similar functionality, and try to observe existing paradigms outlined below; this consistency makes Slicer easier for users to learn.
  • Once you assign "hot-keys" in your module, please add those mappings to the list below for others to reference.

Design paradigms

  • use CTRL-modified keys as global, and non-modified keys for module-specific accelerators.
  • use ALT modifiers to access menu items
  • SHIFT modifiers should apply to all instances of the same type as the current window

Design ideas

  • using CTRL-1, CTRL-2 CTRL-3 to navigate to most commonly used modules in the base (for instance, Data, Volumes, Editor?).
  • having hotkeys to toggle between axial, saggital, and coronal views in a slice window.
  • having a hotkey to toggle any window the mouse is inside between full screen and current size.
  • consistent set of mouse actions in 2D, 3D and control windows
  • consistent set of mouse-mode switches in 2D, 3D windows
  • use the right menu button to bring up a context-dependent menu (e.g. actions appropriate for the item under the cursor).

Global "hot-keys"

Window Behavior

Action Slicer3 Key Meaning Slicer3 Key
Toggle Maximize current window Control-m Make the current Slice or 3D View expand to full view space or return to previous size depending on current state None
Toggle Control Pane View F5 (KWW default) Show or hide the Control Pane depending on state None


Action Slicer3 Key Meaning Slicer3 Key
Open Scene... Control-O Bring up file browser to locate .mrml file None
Save Scene Control-S Save current scene no browser, disabled if no current file. If no current scene, does Save As... None
Save Scene As... None Bring up file browser to locate .mrml file None
Undo Control-Z Revert to last undo point None
Redo Control-Y Revert to last redo point None
Other Menu Items Alt-<letter> Bring up or invoke menu or menu item corresponding to letter Same

Slice Manipulation

Action Slicer3 Key Meaning Slicer3 Key
Next slice Right Arrow and Up Arrow Axial: move Superior, Sag: Right, Cor: Anterior Right Arrow
Previous slice Left Arrow and Down Arrow Axial: move Inferior, Sag: Left, Cor: Posterior Left Arrow
Linked Motion Shift Key Cause other slice windows to scroll to RAS point at current cursor location Same
Toggle Slice Visible v Make the current slice window show as a plane in the 3D view None
Toggle All Slices Visible V Make all slices show in 3D View None
Toggle Foreground/Background Opacity T Change opacity of foreground overlay None
Toggle Label Overlay g Show/Hide Label for this slice None
Toggle Label Overlay G Show/Hide Label for all slices None
Cycle Orientations Tab Cycle through Axial/Sagittal/Coronal None
Cycle All Orientations Shift-Tab Cycle through Axial/Sagittal/Coronal in all slice windows None
Fit to volume f Set the field of view to match the full extent of the foreground and background volumes None
Fit to volumes all Shift-F Set the field of view in all slices to match the full extent of the foreground and background volumes None

3D Manipulation

Action Slicer3 Key Meaning Slicer3 Key
Wireframe w change render mode to wireframe Same
Shaded s change render mode to shaded Same
Reset View r Set camera to see all objects None
Toggle Rock Mode TBD Toggle rock mode None
Toggle Spin Mode TBD Toggle spin mode None

Navigating Application

Action Slicer3 Key Meaning Slicer3 Key
Application Menu Space Bar Brings up a popup menu with all the application operations and their key binding information None
Module Navigation Control-<number> Jumps to the numbered module (number order is the same as the order of the shortcut icons in the toolbar at the top of the application. None
Move through module history Control-PageUp/PageDown Short cuts for the two arrow buttons next to the module popup menu None
Search for Module Control-F Starts an incremental search through the module names and descriptions, terminated by Enter to jump to the module. Probably needs a dialog box. None

Module-specific hot-keys


Action Slicer3 Key Meaning Slicer3 Key
Add Fiducial Control-p Adds fiducial at current pointer position Same
Delete Fiducial Control-d Deletes the fiducial picked from current mouse position (ignored if no fiducial is under mouse) Same
Select Fiducial Control-q Selects/Deselects the fiducial under the mouse q


Action Slicer3 Key Meaning Slicer3 Key

Mouse Actions

Button Use Constraints

  • Alt-Left mouse button should always be available as a substitute for the middle mouse button to support two button mice. On Mac, you can also use the command key with a mouse click to get middle mouse events.
  • Contrl-Left mouse button should always be available as a substitute for the right mouse button to support one button mice (on Mac). (it is actually command left on the MAC OS X 10.5.6, Ron 03-2009)
  • On some platforms (Thinkpad T61) moving mouse with middle button pressed does not translate the slice view. Instead, both left and right buttons must be pressed at the same time to get this functionality.


The current mouse mode will always be visible in a toolbar in the slicer display. There will also be hot keys to select specify mouse modes. Instead of (or in addition to) a toolbar we may want to use a WWidget in the overlay planes to reflect the mouse mode.

Mouse Modes and Actions

Interaction design for mouse-modes is under development; you can see design and contribute feedback on this page.