Sunday, December 11, 2022

tested Stellarium shortcuts (0.22.1-1.1)

Today, I wanted to update my keyboard and mouse shortcuts listing to the latest version of Stellarium 1.1. Across the board!

Unfortunately, the Macintosh I have ready access to is running an old OS X, 10.12.x, which I cannot upgrade. That limited me to installing Stellarium version 0.22.1. All that said, I can't think of much that is different. 

Therefore I believe this document should be relevant for current editions of Stellarium on Apple computers. i.e. 0.22.2, 1.0 (0.22.3), and 1.1 (0.22.4). If I'm lucky, there are no differences at all.

Also, I have been using Stellarium 1.1 a good deal on the Ubuntu Linux OS. So I can confirm the operation of shortcuts for that environment too (which, in the end, is the same as Windows). 

Thanks are due.

Larry N, during a Stellarium level 2 intermediate training course in early July 2022, revealed a trick on a button in the horizontal toolbar. In Windows, he had randomly right-clicked his mouse on the Telescope Control plug-in to find it immediately opened the mount configuration window. I took that a step further and found his technique to work on all buttons associated with plug-ins. But only today did I find out how to do it on the Mac.

And also, somehow, I had overlooked a shortcut associated with the oculars. Probably due to my non-plussed attitude on an early implementation of the oculars feature. But, in fact, it is a great shortcut. It was Chris V using it in one of his Insider's Guide to the Galaxy talks that reminded me of it. It is included.

{ed. Update to the update! 12 Dec '22, I learned another technique! While asking people how to zoom in on an object, Susan S said, "double-click it." I was looking for the slash key method but as they offered this I tried it. Holy smokes. It centred. I didn't recall doing that before. So, there's another option now for centring! I'm assuming it works on the Mac but I'll have to test that... 14 Dec '22: Ian B verified the action on his Mac.}

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

If you're using a Mac, some shortcuts may be interfered with by OS and application global shortcuts. You are on own I'm afraid, having to research what is getting in the way and determining if it can be turned off to make Stellarium work as described. Can you still get an "extended" keyboard for an Apple? Once one of my favourite keyboards.

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
Windows Ubuntu
show Location window
Fn F64
toggle cardinal compass points qq
toggle detailed compass marks Shift q⇧ q
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
Windows Ubuntu
toggle stars
toggle star labels
Alt s
⌥ s
toggle constellation lines
toggle constellation boundaries
toggle constellation labels
toggle constellation artwork
reload sky culture
Ctrl Alt i
⌘ ⌥ i
toggle asterism lines
Alt a
⌥ a
toggle asterism labels
Alt v
⌥ v
toggle ray helpers
Alt r
⌥ r14
toggle DSO/nebula labels
n or d
n or d
nebula background images
reload DSO background images
Ctrl i
⌘ i
toggle quasars
Ctrl Alt q
toggle pulsars
Ctrl Alt p
⌘ ⌥ p5
toggle zodiacal light
Ctrl Shift z
⌘ ⇧ z
toggle Milky Way
toggle HiPS sky survey
Ctrl Alt d
exoplanet labels, indicators
Ctrl Alt e
⌘ ⌥ e5
show Sky and Viewing Options
Fn F4

single constellation mode
Windows Ubuntu
remove previous constellations
show all constellations
Alt w
⌥ w

the sky - solar system
Windows Ubuntu
toggle planets and Moon
toggle planet and Moon labels
Alt p
⌥ p
toggle planet markers
Ctrl p
⌘ p1,20
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
⌘ ⌥ s5,17

controlling lines
Windows Ubuntu
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
Windows Ubuntu
flip horizontally
Ctrl Shift h
⌘ ⇧ h
flip vertically
Ctrl Shift v
⌘ ⇧ v
equatorial or azimuthal mode
Ctrl m
⌘ m
look to the north
Shift n
⇧ n
look to east
Shift e
⇧ e
look to west
Shift w
⇧ w
look to south
Shift s
⇧ s
look up to zenith
Shift z
⇧ z
look to north celestial pole
Alt Shift n
⌥ ⇧ n
look to SCP
Alt Shift s
⌥ ⇧  s

Windows Ubuntu
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
/ twice1,21
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)

Windows Ubuntu
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 key

controlling time flow
Windows Ubuntu
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 or reverse time direction
0 (zero)
0 (zero)

time with mouse... 
Windows Ubuntu
increase/decrease by minutes

increase/decrease by hours
Ctrl Shift
⌘ ⇧ 
increase/decrease by days
Ctrl Alt
⌘ ⌥ 
increase/decrease by years
Ctrl Alt Shift
⌘ ⌥ ⇧ 1

controlling "regular" time
Windows Ubuntu
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
Windows Ubuntu
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 [
⌘ ⌥ ⇧ [1

working with objects
Windows Ubuntu
select an object
centre on selected object
select and centre object
toggle tracking of object
deselect object
right-click or
Ctrl Spacebar

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

using oculars
Windows Ubuntu
toggle ocular view
Ctrl o
⌘ o
toggle crosshairs
Alt c
⌥ c
show Telrad sight
Ctrl b
⌘ b
show oculars pop-up menu
Alt o
⌥ o1,22
rotate reticule clockwise
Alt m
⌥ m13
rotate reticule CCW
Alt Shift m
⌥ ⇧ m13

controlling the screen
Windows Ubuntu
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
Windows Ubuntu
slew to selected object
Ctrl + number
⌘ + number12
slew to middle of screen
Alt + number
Alt + number12
show move or slew
   telescope window

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

Windows Ubuntu
show script console window
pause script
Ctrl d, p
⌘ d, p
resume script
Ctrl d, r
⌘ d, r
stop script
Ctrl d, s
⌘ d, s

controlling the application
Windows Ubuntu
show configuration window
Fn F2
show help/about window
Fn F1
keyboard shortcuts window
Fn F7
show Astro. Calc. window
Fn F10
update or calculate in AC
Shift F10
⇧ Fn F101,18
show Bookmarks window
Alt b
⌥ b24
show Exoplanets config window
Alt e
⌥ e5
show meteor settings window
Ctrl Alt Shift m
⌘ ⌥ ⇧ m5
show meteor search window
Ctrl Alt m
⌘ ⌥ m5
show plug-in config window
plug-in button

plug-in button
quit from Stellarium
Ctrl q
⌘ q


  1. Recently added or changed shortcuts.
  2. On the Mac, the return-to-home shortcut ⌘ h hides the app. This is an operating system shortcut.
  3. On the Mac, the quasar shortcut ⌘ Option 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. It shows the Mac desktop. This is an operating system shortcut.
  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...
  17. Opens the Solar System Editor display at the Import Data window.
  18. Use Shift F10 to update positions or calculate values inside the Astronomical Calculations window.
  19. On the Mac, the DSS shortcut ⌘ Option d toggles the Dock. This is an operating system shortcut. On Ubuntu, Ctrl Alt d shows the desktop.
  20. Planet markers only work when labels are active.
  21. Shortcut / (slash) "double zoom" works on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus only.
  22. Quickly switch the ocular, telescope, magnifier, etc. via on-screen menu which appears at the current mouse position.
  23. High-speed alternative than going through the general Stellarium config window. On the Mac, hold the Control key while clicking the plug-in button. All except Online Queries.
  24. aka the Observing Lists windows.

Some shortcuts were omitted. Very few now...

Finally, the Stellarium documentation and keyboard labelling for the Mac 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 (though I elected to not use the symbol)
⌥ 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...


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

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