Panel Shortcuts

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There are two types of Shortcut: Application Shortcuts that are built-in to TouchDesigner's authoring interface and Panel Shortcuts (described here). Panel Shortcuts can be added to any custom built panel to add keyboard functionality.

Here are default Panel Shortcuts, as you would use in Perform Mode or in operating any panel:

  • To stop the timeline, hold down Shift and press the Space Bar.
  • To step forward one frame, hold down Shift and press the right-arrow
  • To step back one frame, hold down Shift and press the left-arrow.

Setting Panel Shortcuts[edit]

In Designer Mode, the Application Shortcuts behavior is: Space bar pauses, right-arrow steps forward one frame, and left arrow steps back one frame.

To create new Panel Shortcuts, add a DAT at location local/shortcuts for each desired panel component. The first column is blank, the second column is the character, and the third column is the script command. It’s only read by panels, not worksheets. The reason for the unused first column is to keep the format the same as the application shortcuts table. Note: the third column is currently only TScript. To use Python place your code in macro and simply reference the macro from this table instead.

Example: local/shortcuts table: (Remember the first column is blank.)

c echo you pressed c
D echo you pressed D
b echo you pressed b
B echo you pressed B

You can use specially reserved labels to specify specific keyboard characters: (Remember the first column is blank.)

up echo You pressed up
down echo You pressed down
left echo You pressed left
right echo You pressed right
tab echo You pressed tab
enter echo you pressed enter
esc echo you pressed escape
backspace echo you pressed backspace
space echo you pressed space bar
prtsc echo you pressed print screen
scrlk echo you pressed scroll lock
pause echo you pressed pause
insert echo you pressed insert
home echo you pressed home
pgup echo you pressed page up
del echo you pressed del
end echo you pressed end
pgdn echo you pressed page down
numlk echo you pressed num lock
F1 echo you pressed F1
F2 echo you pressed F2
F3 echo you pressed F3

You may also specify characters by their ASCII value: (Remember the first column is blank.)

65 echo you pressed capital A
66 echo you pressed a

You can add ctrl, alt, shift modifiers: (Remember the first column is blank.)

alt.b echo you pressed alt b
ctrl.b echo you pressed ctrl b echo you pressed shift tab
ctrl.alt.down echo you pressed ctrl alt down
shift.ctrl.up echo you pressed ctrl shift up

The compound modifier order is arbitrary: alt.ctrl.shift, ctrl.alt, etc. Also note, not all keyboards report the same keys combinations identically.

Using Panel Values for Shortcuts[edit]

Alternatively, every panel also includes the 'key' Panel Value, which pulses the numeric value of the key pressed over it. Whenever a key is pressed the 'key' panel value gets set to the ASCII value of the character, then immediately back to zero. Be sure your scripts capture the off-to-on key value change.

Every key press event is sent up its panel chain, until it is intercepted by either a field component, or a shortcut script along the way.

Use the following functions to convert between ASCII values and characters:

string  ftoc(int num)   // float to char
num     ctof(string)    // char to float


ftoc(65) = "a"
ctof("a") = 65

An Operator Family that manipulates text strings: multi-line text or tables. Multi-line text is often a command Script, but can be any multi-line text. Tables are rows and columns of cells, each containing a text string.