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Hot Keys

When the mouse is in the graphics window, several more commands are accessible via programmable hot keys. They allow you to do things like change mouse modes or advance the animation by a frame by simply pressing a key. The default key bindings are listed in the following tables. The commands listed are the text commands which are executed when the hot key is pressed; these text commands are explained in section §.

VMD keeps a list of user hot keys, which when pressed will result in an associated text command being executed as if it had been typed at the console. There are a number of predefined hot keys, as listed in tables 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4. The current state of these can be printed out with the command

The commands attached to these hot keys can be customized by the user.

To add/modify a hot key, use the command

key must be a single character. When that key is pressed while the mouse cursor is in the graphics display window, the associated command will be executed.

Once you have discovered a set of commands which are particularly useful and familiar for you, you will want to have these hot key commands automatically available every time you run VMD. This can be done by placing the commands to add these items in your .vmdrc file, which is a file containing VMD text commands that is executed every time VMD starts up. The basic method for setting up this file is described in section §. Once you have such a file, just put the user add commands in it, and you will have your own specialized version of VMD.

Table 4.1: Mouse control hot keys.
Hot Key Command Purpose
r, R mouse mode 0 0 enter rotate mode; stop rotation
t, T mouse mode 1 0 enter translate mode
s, S mouse mode 2 0 enter scaling mode
0 mouse mode 4 0 query item
c mouse mode 4 1 pick center
1 mouse mode 4 2 pick atom
2 mouse mode 4 3 pick bond (2 atoms)
3 mouse mode 4 4 pick angle (3 atoms)
4 mouse mode 4 5 pick dihedral (4 atoms)
5 mouse mode 4 6 move atom
6 mouse mode 4 7 move residue
7 mouse mode 4 8 move fragment
8 mouse mode 4 9 move molecule
9 mouse mode 4 13 move highlighted rep
% mouse mode 4 10 force on atom
${}^\wedge$ mouse mode 4 11 force on residue
& mouse mode 4 12 force on fragment

Table 4.2: Rotation & scaling hot keys.
Hot Key Command Purpose
x rock x by 1 -1 spin about x axis
X rock x by 1 70 rock about x axis
y rock y by 1 -1 spin about y axis
Y rock y by 1 70 rock about y axis
z rock z by 1 -1 spin about z axis
Z rock z by 1 70 rock about z axis
j, Cntl-n rotate x by 2 rotate $2^{\circ}$ about x
k, Cntl-p rotate x by -2 rotate $-2^{\circ}$ about x
l, Cntl-f rotate y by 2 rotate $2^{\circ}$ about y
h, Cntl-b rotate y by -2 rotate $-2^{\circ}$ about y
g rotate z by 2 rotate $2^{\circ}$ about z
G rotate z by -2 rotate $-2^{\circ}$ about z
Cntl-a scale by 1.1 enlarge 10 percent
Cntl-z scale by 0.9 shrink 10 percent

Table 4.3: Menu control hot keys.
Hot Key Command Purpose
Alt-M menu main off;menu main on Show main menu
Alt-m menu mol off;menu mol on Show mol menu
Alt-f menu files off;menu files on Show files menu
Alt-a menu animate off;menu animate on Show animate menu
Alt-e menu edit off;menu edit on Show edit menu
Alt-g menu graphics off;menu graphics on Show graphics menu
Alt-l menu labels off;menu labels on Show labels menu
Alt-r menu render off;menu render on Show render menu
Alt-d menu display off;menu display on Show display menu
Alt-c menu color off;menu color on Show color menu
Alt-s menu sim off;menu sim on Show sim menu
Alt-t menu tracker off;menu tracker on Show tracker menu
Cntl-r display resetview Reset display
Alt-q quit confirm Quit VMD with confirmation
Alt-Q quit Quit VMD
Alt-h hyperref invert Invert hyper text mode (NOT help)

Table 4.4: Animation hot keys.
Hot Key Command Purpose
+,f,F animate next move to next frame
-,b,B animate prev move to previous frame
.,> animate forward play animation forward
, animate reverse play animation reverse
< animate reverse play animation reverse
/, ? animate pause stop animation

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Next: Using the Spaceball in Up: Using the Mouse in Previous: Pick Item Mode   Contents   Index