Survey Results: Best 3-D Pan, Zoom, & Rotate

We asked “Which software product has the most intuitive 3-D pan, zoom, and rotate tools, in your opinion.?” The results are in and you like SOLIDWORKS the best.


This highly unscientific poll (can you say “sample bias”?) yielded some interesting commentary too.

  • The best is “whatever I am used to.” This respondent must be a very practical person. And they also help prove the adage “Only a poor musician blames his instrument.”
  • 3D Connexion.” This wise user knows that a two-handed approach to 3-D software often works the best: traditional mouse for clicking in the GUI and a 3-D mouse from 3D Connexion for all the panning, zooming, and rotating of the 3-D model. This user probably also knows that Pointwise has supported 3D Connexions’ products for many years (see our supported hardware web page).
  • Make it configurable.” I agree, but this will be a case of do what I say not what I do. We hope to eventually make the 3-D controls fully user-configurable, but for now you have a handful of┬ápreference settings for mouse and keyboard controls.
  • Rotate.” I’m sorry, Sir, but this was not a popularity contest. (But I too probably would’ve chosen rotate over pan and zoom as my favorite.)
  • Minecraft.” I suppose I could log all my gaming time to “research.”
  • I think the default in Pointwise is pretty terrible.” And this, Madam, is why we ran the survey.

Thank you to everyone who responded.

Would you like to try the meshing software that tied for 2nd place for most intuitive pan, zoom, and rotate tools? Start your no-obligation evaluation of Pointwise today.



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2 Responses to Survey Results: Best 3-D Pan, Zoom, & Rotate

  1. Dominic Afonso says:

    so what are the pan, zoom, and rotate controls in solidworks, paraview and pointwise?

  2. John Chawner says:

    I can’t speak for SolidWorks and ParaView but in Pointwise the basics are:

    Shift+RMB = pan in screen-x and screen-y

    Ctrl+RMB = rotate around screen-x and screen-y

    MMB = zoom

    Ctrl+MMB = rotate around screen-z

    Number Pad Keys:

    NumLock, Pad /, Pad * = rotate around body x, y, and z axes, respectively

    Pad 7, Pad 8, Pad 9 = rotate around screen x, y, and z axes, respectively

    Other keys provide control over direction of rotation and increment of rotation. User preferences can be used to change these to various preconfigured settings. 3D Connexion devices are supported also.

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