How to choose a tool via keyboard shortcut that also picks the right tool in the tool menu

I’ve been using the 2.8 beta and there’s something I don’t understand with respect to keyboard shortcuts and the tool menu.

When I’m editing a mesh and, say, I want to use the knife tool, I can press the ‘K’ key to use the knife tool. However, it doesn’t select the knife tool in the tool menu on the left side of the 3D View. In fact, after I use the keyboard ‘K’ shortcut to choose the knife tool and after I use the actual tool, the cursor goes back to whatever tool I last selected on the tool menu.

Is there a way to link whatever keyboard shortcut I use for a tool to also select the equivalent tool on the tool menu? That way, the tool will stay in active use until I decide to use another tool. Currently, this behavior seems to be counter-intuitive, where there’s a disconnect between the keyboard shortcut and the tool in the tool menu.


There’s no solution for this.
I’ve been asking for a preference to turn off all the modal tools, so when we use the shortcut it goes directly to the tools, but no luck. And things got even worse when they added modal tools to the right click context menu, when clearly it should be the active tools. Crazy stuff. :rofl:

In the meantime you have hit shift + space (or space only if you choose that in the preferences) and choose the tool there, which is terrible.

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Thanks for the tip on shift + space. That’s an acceptable workaround so that I can always select the icon on the toolbar rather than a “temporary” version of the tool.

There is no global preference. But you can reassign a shortcut for a tool to active tool.
W is an example. It changes current active tool to Select tool.
If active tool is already a select tool, it browse tool through the category/group.

That is not ideal if you want to to call a directly an active tool.
That is annoying for brushes.
That is a design issue.

Except if you have the will to create your own keymap, that is probably better to use shift spacebar.

@Regnas Is there a link to where you’ve raised the request for the preference? I’d be glad to add my vote to it, though not sure it will do much.

I’m still new to Blender and have started with 2.8. Is there any good reference/Documentation to learn more about Active Tools and Modal Tools and the difference between them?

I’ve been trying to make the ‘G’ shortcut select the Move tool (and highlight it in the toolbar) in both Edit and Object modes. I cannot figure out what tool to modify the Keyboard shortcut for, in the Keymap section in Preferences. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Can’t find them anymore. Also I don’t think they will ever listen to this, but you can always try to make new requests.

Don’t know of any…

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There’s a patch for this, here:

Additionally, the Industry Compatible keymap works this way.

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Manually you can assign hotkey this way:

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