Tuesday, January 26, 2021

updated Stellarium shortcuts!

Well, it's high time that I update the shortcuts guide for Stellarium. I last did this in June 2020 for Stellarium 0.20.2 on Windows 10 and, arguably, not a lot has changed. But a couple of mistakes were uncovered. And I learned a couple of new shortcuts.

Also I wanted to embrace some that I have ignored before, like ones to do with the oculars plug-in and scripting. Plus, driving a mount (assuming one has made the proper connections). This makes this a major update!

I thank Ian Bain for this assistance in general and for specifically testing these on the Macintosh platform. Also, he tested the zoom-to-specific-FOV shortcuts!

This is an update of my keyboard and mouse shortcuts listing. This reference is for Windows and Macintosh computers. Linux users should be able to use the Windows method.

If you're on a laptop without a mouse, using a silly touchpad, you'll want to be comfortable with the supported gestures on the touchpad to simulate an external three-button mouse.

The "notes" column to the far right with numbers are keyed to the footnotes. For example, 1 is used to indicate newly added or recently changed items.

controlling the surroundings

show Location window
Fn F64
toggle cardinal compass points   q q
toggle detailed compass marks Shift q⇧ q1
toggle ground and buildings
toggle ground fog
toggle atmosphere or air
toggle sky glow/building lights
Shift g
⇧ g11
ground (mountain) labels
Ctrl Shift g
⌘ ⇧ g
return to "home" (start-up) view
Ctrl h

controlling the sky - deep sky

toggle stars
toggle star labels
Alt s
⌥ s
toggle constellation lines
toggle constellation boundaries
toggle constellation labels
toggle constellation artwork
toggle asterism lines
Alt a
⌥ a
toggle asterism labels
Alt v
⌥ v
toggle ray helpers
Alt r
⌥ r14
toggle DSO/nebula labelsn or d
n or d
nebula background images
toggle quasars
Ctrl Alt q
⌘ ⌥ q3,5
toggle pulsars
Ctrl Alt p
⌘ ⌥ p1,5
toggle zodiacal light
Ctrl Shift z
⌘ ⇧ z
toggle Milky Way
toggle digital sky survey
Ctrl Alt d
⌘ ⌥ d6
exoplanet labels, indicators
Ctrl Alt e
⌘ ⌥ e5
show Sky and Viewing Options
Fn F4

single constellation mode

remove previous constellations
show all constellations
Alt w
⌥ w

the sky - solar system

toggle planets and Moon
toggle planet and Moon labels
Alt p
⌥ p
toggle planet markers
Ctrl p
⌘ p
toggle planet orbits
toggle star-lore planet names
Ctrl Shift n
⌘ ⇧ n
toggle planet trails
Shift t
⇧ t
toggle planet surface labels
Alt n
⌥ n9
toggle meteor radiants
Ctrl Shift m
⌘ ⇧ m
toggle meteor radiant labels
Shift m
⇧ m
import data from MPC
Ctrl Alt s
⌘ ⌥ s1,5

controlling lines

toggle altitude/azimuth grid
toggle equatorial grid
toggle ecliptic line
, (comma)
, (comma)
toggle celestial equator
. (period)
. (period)
toggle meridian line
toggle horizon line

changing image presentation

flip horizontally
Ctrl Shift h
⌘ ⇧ h
flip vertically
Ctrl Shift v
⌘ ⇧ v
equatorial or azimuthal mode
Ctrl m
⌘ m
look to east (or n, w, s)
Shift e
⇧ e
look up to zenith
Shift z
⇧ z
look to NCP
Alt Shift n
⌥ ⇧ n
look to SCP
Alt Shift s
⌥ ⇧  s


zoom in
PgUp or
Ctrl Up Arrow

Fn Up Arrow
zoom out
PgDn or
Ctrl Dn Arrow

Fn Down Arrow
zoom in or out slowly
Shift with keys
⇧ with keys
quickly zoom in/out w/ mouse
2 finger swipe
zoom close to selected object
/ (slash)
/ (slash)
zoom out fully
\ (backslash)
\ (backslash)
zoom very close to planet
/ twice
/ twice
set field of view (FOV) to 180°
Ctrl Alt 1
⌘ ⌥ 1
set FOV to 90°
Ctrl Alt 2
⌘ ⌥ 2
set FOV to 60° (naturalistic)
Ctrl Alt 3
⌘ ⌥ 3
set FOV to 45°
Ctrl Alt 4
⌘ ⌥ 4
set FOV to 20°
Ctrl Alt 5
⌘ ⌥ 5
set FOV to 10° (binoculars)
Ctrl Alt 6
⌘ ⌥ 6
set FOV to 5° (binoculars)
Ctrl Alt 7
⌘ ⌥ 7
set FOV to 2°
Ctrl Alt 8
⌘ ⌥ 8
set to 1° (lo-power telescopic)
Ctrl Alt 9
⌘ ⌥ 9
to ½° (med-power telescopic)
Ctrl Alt 0 (zero)
⌘ ⌥ 0 (zero)


quickly pan celestial sphere
pan right
Right Arrow
Right Arrow
pan left
Left Arrow
Left Arrow
pan up
Up Arrow
Up Arrow
pan down
Down Arrow
Down Arrow
pan a small amount slowly
Shift Arrow-key 
⇧ Arrow key1

controlling time flow

set date/time to now
set time rate to zero
increase time flow
l (lower case L)
l (i.e. L)
decrease time flow
run time at normal rate
increase time flow a little
Shift l (that's L)
⇧ l (i.e. L)
decrease time flow a little
Shift j
⇧ j
drag for time
Ctrl drag
Control drag10
flip time direction
0 (zero)
0 (zero)

time with mouse... 

increase/decrease by minutes

increase/decrease by hours
Ctrl Shift
⌘ ⇧ 
increase/decrease by days
Ctrl Alt
⌘ ⌥ 
increase/decrease by years
Ctrl Alt Shift

controlling "regular" time

show date/time window
Fn F5
forward 1 hour solar
Ctrl = (equal)
⌘ =
backward 1 hour
Ctrl - (hyphen)
⌘ -
forward 1 day solar
= (equal)
= (equal)
backward 1 day
- (hyphen)
- (hyphen)
forward 1 week solar
backward 1 week

controlling sidereal time

forward 1 day sidereal
Alt = (equal)
⌥ = (equal)
backward 1 day
Alt - (hyphen)
⌥ - (hyphen)
forward 1 year sidereal
Ctrl Alt Shift ]
⌘ ⌥ ⇧ ]
backward 1 year
Ctrl Alt Shift [
⌘ ⌥ ⇧ [

working with objects

select an object
centre on selected object
toggle tracking of object
deselect object
right-click or
Ctrl Spacebar

display search dialogue box
Ctrl f or F3
⌘ f or Fn F3
go, i.e. travel, to a planet
Ctrl g
⌘ g
toggle angular measurement
Ctrl a
⌘ a5
copy object info to clipboard
Ctrl Shift c
⌘ ⇧ c
add custom marker
Shift click
⇧ click
remove custom marker
Shift right-click
Control ⇧ click
remove all custom markers
Alt Shift right-click
⌥ Control ⇧ click

working with satellites

configure artificial satellites
Alt z
⌥ z
toggle satellite display or "hints"
Ctrl z
⌘ z
toggle satellite labels
Alt Shift z
⌥ ⇧ z

using oculars

toggle ocular view
Ctrl o
⌘ o1
toggle crosshairs
Alt c
⌥ c1
show Telrad sight
Ctrl b
⌘ b1
rotate reticule clockwise
Alt m
⌥ m1,13
rotate reticule CCW
Alt Shift m
⌥ ⇧ m1,13

controlling the screen

toggle night (red light) mode
Ctrl n
⌘ n
toggle full-screen mode
toggle toolbars/menus, i.e. GUI
Ctrl t
⌘ t
save screenshot to disk
Ctrl s
⌘ s
toggle planet selection marker
Ctrl Shift p
⌘ ⇧ p
close a window/dialogue box

driving a mount

slew to selected object
Ctrl + number
⌘ + number1,12
slew to middle of screen
Alt + number
Alt + number1,12
show move or slew
   telescope window

Ctrl 0 (zero)
⌘ 0 (zero)1
abort slew
Ctrl Alt Shift + ...
⌘ ⌥ ⇧ + ...1,12


show script console window
pause script
Ctrl d, p
⌘ d, p1
resume script
Ctrl d, r
⌘ d, r1
stop script
Ctrl d, s
⌘ d, s1

controlling the application

show configuration window
Fn F2
show help/about window
Fn F1
keyboard shortcuts window
Fn F7
show Astro. Calc. window
Fn F10
show Bookmarks window
Alt b
⌥ b
show Exoplanets config window
Alt e
⌥ e5
show meteor settings window
Ctrl Alt Shift m
⌘ ⌥ ⇧ m5
show meteor search window
Ctrl Alt m
⌘ ⌥ m5
quit from Stellarium
Ctrl q
⌘ q


  1. Recently added or changed shortcuts.
  2. On the Mac, the shortcut ⌘ h hides the app. This is an operating system shortcut.
  3. On the Mac, the shortcut ⌘ Shift q causes Stellarium to quit. 
  4. The operation of function keys on both Windows and Mac computers may require the use of a function or Fn key.
  5. Keyboard shortcuts associated with a plug-in. They may not function if the plug-in is not active.
  6. The digital sky survey layering feature refers to the display as a "hierarchical progressive" sky survey.
  7. The "remove" constellation shortcut applies when "single constellation mode" is active, as triggered in Configuration, Tools.
  8. The F11 does not work on iMac 21.5 and 2011 wireless keyboard.
  9. Referred to as surface "nomenclature" labels. This marks detailed surface features on planets, for example, Olympus Mons on Mars.
  10. On the Mac, only works when mouse is dragged horizontally. Only changes seconds.
  11. This is referred to as the "illumination" in a compatible landscape file.
  12. The number used to slew refers to the mount profile in the Telescopes window. If there's only one profile, it is simply Ctrl 1 or ⌘ 1. If a user has four telescope profiles and the fourth is to be used, then the user must press Ctrl 4 or ⌘ 4.
  13. This assumes one is showing the CMG or Meade astrometric eyepiece.
  14. Ray helpers example... "Arc to Arcturus."
  15. On Windows, roll middle mouse wheel up or down with overlay keys. On Macintosh, use overlay keys while performing two-finder swipe up or down on mouse.
  16. On click on nothing, if you can...

Some shortcuts were omitted.

Finally, of course, Mac documentation and keyboard labelling is inconsistent. We note the symbols below:

⌘ (cloverleaf) is the Command key,
      with the apple symbol on very old systems
⌃ (carat) is the Control key
⌥ is the Option (alt) or alternate key
⇧ (up arrow) is the Shift key
⇪ (up arrow with segments) indicates that the Caps Lock is used
fn or Fn is the Function key

Please report errors in the comments below...


Updated on 31 Jan 2021 after additional checks with Ian B.


See my "top" list for a very short collection of most frequently used, most helpful, techniques. Handy if heading into a presentation.

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