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CATIA V5: On-Screen Model Manipulation

In CATIA V5, the mouse (or a Space Mouse, if used) can be used to control the position, orientation and zoom level of a model – and allows a great degree of control. Whilst for most situations this is exactly what is required, in some situations it is necessary to show the model at certain orientations. Selecting the X, Y and Z labels on the compass effectively orients the model in that direction, however often it is necessary to have an orthographic view that is not covered by the compass labels, or for example an isometric view in a specific direction. In these cases, the mouse is perhaps not the best method of obtaining the desired view.

The keyboard can be used effectively to control the position and orientation of the model on the screen. The following video demonstrates how the keyboard can be used to control model viewpoints, however in summary:

To pan the model: Ctrl + direction arrow

To rotate the model about the ‘X’ and ‘Y’ planes: Shift + direction arrow

To rotate the model about an axis coming out of the screen ‘Z’: Ctrl + Shift + direction arrow



The angle to which a model is rotated can be set within the Tools > Options section in CATIA, as demonstrated in the video. The value entered into the Options setting relates to how many increments CATIA will divide a 90° angle into – for example, entering a value of 9 dictates that each keyboard rotation will be 10° (ie. 90° / 9).

For more information or if you have any questions, please leave a comment below or email

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