Page history Edit this page How do I edit this website?
Original MediaWiki page

SNT › Key Shortcuts

The content of this page has not been vetted since shifting away from MediaWiki. If you’d like to help, check out the how to help guide!

Most SNT features are triggered by keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts are typically single keystrokes and do not require other modifier keys to be pressed. Most are highlighted in the user interface. E.g., to toggle the Trace/Fill on Secondary Layer checkbox, one only needs to press its highlighted letter, i.e., L.

Interactive Prompt

These shortcuts are always available:

  • Y - Confirms the current temporary path. Mnemonic: Yes.
  • N - Discards the current temporary path. Mnemonic: No.
  • F - Finishes a path. Note that you can finish a path by pressing Y twice.
  • C - Cancels a path. Note that you can finish a path by pressing N twice.
  • ⎋ Esc - Aborts current operation / Exits current mode


These shortcuts are available when running SNT in Tracing Mode:

  • L - Toggles Tracing/Filling on Secondary Layer (filtered image).
  • V - Finds the brightest Voxel above and below the current x,y position and automatically clicks on it. If multiple maxima exist, their average positioning is used. Note that this feature assumes that neurites are brighter than the background.
  • S - Toggles cursor Snapping: If enabled, the plugin will automatically move the cursor to the brightest voxel within the specified x,y,z snapping window1. This facilitates accurate positioning of path points and it is described in more detail in this issue.
  • ⌥ Alt + ⇧ Shift-click - Selects a point along the active path to be used as forking point (See step-by-step instructions for more details on joining and branching).
  • ⇧ Shift + E Activates Edit Mode (editing of selected Path).
  • ⇧ Shift + P Pauses tracing operations.

These shortcuts are always available:

  • ⇧ Shift - Synchronizes XY, ZY, and XZ views while moving the cursor when not using cursor snapping.
  • + - Zooms in (Simultaneously on all views) (IJ default).
  • - - Zooms out (Simultaneously on all views) (IJ default).
  • 4 - Displays tracing view(s) at original scale (IJ default).
  • 5 - Displays tracing view(s) at 100% (IJ default).
  • ␣ Space - Activates the Pan (Hand) tool (IJ default).
  • > / < - Previous/Next Z-slice, or Previous/Next channel, depending on the Reverse CZT oder of “>” and “<” choice set in IJ’s EditOptionsMisc.. prompt (IJ default).
  • ↵ Enter - Shuttles the window focus between the tracing image and the SNT window.

Path Handling

These shortcuts are always available:

  • 1 - Toggles the first visibility filter: Whether all traced paths should be displayed or just selected ones
  • 2 - Toggles the second visibility filter: Whether all nodes should be displayed across the Z-stack or just those in nearby Z-slices
  • 3 - Toggles the third visibility filter: Whether paths from all channels/frames should be displayed or just those in the active channel/frame
  • G - Selects the nearest path to the mouse cursor. Holding ⇧ Shift + G adds the path nearest to the mouse cursor to the current list of selected paths. Mnemonic: Group paths around cursor. Note that Paths can only be edited one at a time, and thus ⇧ Shift + G is disabled in Edit Mode.

Path Editing

These shortcuts become available in Edit Mode, activated through the contextual menu (displayed when right-clicking on a tracing canvas) or by pressing ⇧ Shift + E:

  • B - Brings active node to current Z-plane.
  • C - Connects highlighted nodes (see Connect to Help… in contextual menu)
  • D - Deletes the active node.
  • I - Inserts a new node at cursor position.
  • L - Locks active node to prevent accidental editing.
  • M - Moves active node to cursor position.
  • X - Split Tree at active node: Re-roots the current reconstruction at the active node.

Reconstruction Viewer

  • ← Left → Right ↑ Up ↓ Down - Rotate (with mouse: Left-click & drag)
  • ⇧ Shift + ← Left → Right ↑ Up ↓ Down - Pan (with mouse: Right-click & drag)
  • + - - Zoom (with mouse: Scroll wheel)
  • A - Toggle Axes
  • C - Toggle Camera Mode
  • D - Toggle Dark Mode
  • F - Fit View to Visible Objects
  • L - Log Scene Details to Console
  • R - Reset View
  • ⇧ Shift + R - Reload View
  • S - Save Screenshot

  • ⇧ Shift + F - Full Screen (⎋ Esc to exit)
  • ⇧ Shift + C - Toggle Control Panel

  • H - Help (as Notification) (F1 shows Help on a dedicated window)


  • Left Drag - Move around
  • ⇧ Shift +  Left Drag - Rotate around selected node
  • Left Click - Select node
  • Double Click - Centers clicked node
  • ⇧ Shift +  Mouse Wheel - Zoom
  • W A S D - Move around (hold ⇧ Shift for slow movement)

See sciview’s Helpmenu for a full list of shortcuts.

Legacy 3D Viewer

All shortcuts that are not specific to tracing canvases (XY, ZY and XZ views) should be recognized by the Legacy 3D viewer. In addition the following are also implemented:

  • H - Selects the Hand (rotation) tool.
  • W - Selects the Wand (selection) tool.
  • ⎋ Esc - Shuttles between the Hand and Wand tool after both have been selected at least once.


There are other key and mouse combinations used in e.g., Sholl Analysis (by Focal Point), and Branching and Joining Paths, that are listed in the contextual menu, displayed when righ-clicking a tracing canvas.


SNT was designed so that its shortcuts do not collide with those of ImageJ. SNT hotkeys do not require holding down ⌃ Ctrl (⌘ Command on MacOS). When such a modifier key is pressed, the hotkey will no longer be intercepted by SNT. E.g., During a tracing session pressing S will toggle cursor snapping while Pressing ⌃ Ctrl + S (⌘ Command + Son MacOS) will allow you to save the traced image using IJ”s built-in command FileSave.