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  • Camera (point of view) controls

    This article explains how to control your point of view in the 3D Second Life world.

    Keyboard controls

    By using your keyboard and mouse to control the camera, you can view nearly any object or avatar from any angle or distance.  

    • Alt + Left mouse button: Press and hold to zoom your view in when you move the mouse up or down. Orbits your view around the focal point when you move the mouse left or right.
    • Ctrl + Alt + Left mouse button: Press and hold to orbit your view around the focal point when you move the mouse in any direction.
    • Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left mouse button: Press and hold to pan your view parallel to the plane of your screen.
    • Mouse scroll wheel: Zooms in or out.
    • Escape key: Resets your view to its default location behind your avatar.  Moving your avatar also resets your view.

    Onscreen controls

    There are three ways to access onscreen camera controls in the Second Life Viewer:

    • Click the Camera Controls button on the bottom bar of the Viewer    image.png
    • From the menu bar, select Me > Camera Controls
    • Or use the keyboard shortcut Control-K (Windows) or Command-K (⌘K) (Mac)


    Once the Camera Controls floater is open, you can use the precise controls to adjust your camera to your liking. If you like your adjusted camera angle and would like to save it, you can click Save as preset... to give it a unique name and to make that view available from the Use preset dropdown in the future. 

    The profile icons include five default camera presets as buttons: Front View, Side View, Rear View, Object View (represented by the magnifying glass icon) and Mouselook. You can switch between these default views by clicking on the icons. Rear View is the typical default camera position in the Second Life Viewer. 

    Holding the Alt key and clicking on any object will center your camera on that object; from there, using the precise camera controls allows you to zoom in, orbit, or pan your camera from that object's position. Holding the Alt key and clicking on distant objects can be a fun way to explore a region without physically moving your avatar from place to place, and is especially helpful for getting a closer look at things at busy events.


    Mouselook sets the camera to a first-person perspective, allowing you to view the world through your avatar's eyes. You can enter mouselook by pressing the M key or by using your mouse's scroll wheel to zoom all the way in on your avatar.

    When in mouselook, your avatar turns to face the direction in which you are looking, which allows you to steer with your mouse while you walk or fly.  Mouselook is also often used in order to aim or activate scripted objects.

    Tip: Should you ever find yourself navigating a tight space, entering mouselook can help you get your bearings.

    Avatar mouse steering

    You can orbit your view around your avatar by clicking anywhere on your avatar and holding the Left mouse button. As you turn your view left or right, your avatar turns to face the same direction as the camera, allowing you to steer your avatar.

    Advanced camera controls

    There are two options in the Advanced menu that allow you to see objects or terrain at a considerable distance from where your avatar is standing:

    • Disable Camera Constraints increases the distance you can zoom.
    • Limit Select Distance allows you to right-click on faraway objects to find their owners.

    To enable these features:

    1. Select Me > Preferences Advanced.
    2. Select the Show Advanced Menu checkbox. The Advanced menu now appears at the top of your Viewer window.
    3. From the Advanced dropdown, uncheck Limit Select Distance (this is on by default).
    4. In the same menu, choose Disable Camera Constraints
    5. Click the Alt button, left-click your target, and zoom in using the scroll wheel.
    6. Right-click any object you see and select Edit > General to find its Creator and Owner.

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