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

SNT › Key Shortcuts

Most SNT features are triggered by keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts are typically single keystrokes and most 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.


SNT was designed so that its shortcuts minimally collide with those of ImageJ. Most SNT hotkeys do not require holding down ⌃ Ctrl / ⌘ ⌃ Ctrl on a PC ⌘ command on a Mac . 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 / ⌘ ⌃ Ctrl on a PC ⌘ command on a Mac  + S will allow you to save the traced image using IJ”s built-in command FileSave.

Interactive Prompt

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 Y twice
C Cancels a path. Note that you can finish a path by pressing N N twice
⎋ Esc Aborts current operation / Exits current mode
⇧ Shift Synchronizes XY, ZY, and XZ views while moving the cursor when not using cursor snapping
+ / - Zooms in/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

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

The Command Palette is a faster way to access actions. Press ⌃ Ctrl / ⌘ ⌃ Ctrl on a PC ⌘ command on a Mac  + ⇧ Shift + P and begin typing to filter an interactive list of actions, scripts and commands in SNT’s or Reconstruction Viewer dialogs:


These shortcuts are available when running SNT in Tracing Mode:

⌃ Ctrl + S / ⌘ Command + S Save tracings
⌃ Ctrl + ⇧ Shift + S / ⌘ Command + ⇧ Shift + S Save Snapshot Backup
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. When set correctly, this facilitates accurate positioning of path points
⌥ Alt + ⇧ Shift +  Left 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

Path Editing

These shortcuts become available in Edit Mode, activated through the contextual menu (displayed with Right Click 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 Splits tree at active node, re-rooting the selected structure at the active node

Reconstruction Viewer

← Left → Right ↑ Up ↓ Down Rotate (with mouse: Left Drag)
⇧ Shift + ← Left → Right ↑ Up ↓ Down Pan (with mouse: Right Drag)
+ / - Zoom (with mouse: Mouse 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 (1 press) or Reload Scene (double press)
S Save Screenshot
⇧ Shift + C Toggle Control Panel
⇧ Shift + F Toggle Full Screen (⎋ Esc can also be used to exit)
⇧ Shift + S Toggle Status Bar
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.