Keyboard Shortcuts 01

The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog lets users define custom hotkeys.

A Hotkey is a key or combination of keys that performs a action.

Hotkeys are also referred to as keyboard shortcuts or shortcut keys.

In Foldit, there are many hotkeys defined. Some hotkeys allow bypassing menus or icons.

Some hotkeys provide the only way to access a given function, and some hotkeys work in conjunction with mouse position or mouse movements. For example, Visibility Shortcuts don't have visible controls, and generally require mouse movements.

While Foldit provides default hotkey definitions, users can customize hotkey assignments using the Configure Keyboard Shortcuts dialog under General Options.

In some cases, the hotkey differs between the original interface and the selection interface. For example, the "wiggle backbone" hotkey is "Y" in the original interface, but "T" in the selection interface.

Hotkeys can also have multiple functions. For example, in the selection interface, the "B" hotkey normally toggles the behavior menu. But "B" is also used for "back" when certain other tools, such as mutate, are active.

On this page, all shortcuts are specified as uppercase for legibility. Type the lowercase letter, so for "Q", type "q". Uppercase "Q" is specified as "shift-Q". The style varies quite a bit elsewhere in the wiki.

In the selection interface, the icon for a given tool or menu usually shows the shortcut. For example, the "wiggle" icon has a "W" in the upper left.

[Click here for a single-page printable cheat sheet]

Best view Edit

  • Q: re-center the protein on your screen — useful if you have lost your protein off-screen
  • Home (Windows only): re-center protein, adjust zoom
  • Click and drag (background): rotate the protein to see the other faces (without changing the shape)
  • Right click and drag (background): move the entire protein (without changing the shape)
  • Scroll of the mouse / shift click and drag / middle click and drag: zoom in and out


Original Interface
Actions affect all unfrozen elements of the protein

Selection Interface
Actions affect all unfrozen elements of the selected segments, or the entire protein if no segments are selected

W Global wiggle backbone and sidechains
E Wiggle sidechains only
T Wiggle backbone only
Y Wiggle backbone only Mutate sidechains
M Mutate sidechains Mutate by hand (opens dialog)
S Shake sidechains
2 idealize peptide bonds
5 idealize secondary structure
left-click+drag Nudge see Bands
space bar or Esc Stops any ongoing action, in realtime — preserving the instantaneous score
space bar if no action is running, deselects all segments
Ctrl-x Save and exit

Bands Edit

Original Interface Selection Interface
right-click+drag segment Create a band
shift-click+drag segment Create a band
shift-alt-click+drag segment Create a band without snapping to any protein elements
D Disable or enable all bands
R Remove all bands
click mid-band Delete band
click band end Center band end at clicked point
left-click+drag band end Move band end to a new location, snapping to any nearby part of the protein.
alt-click+drag band end Move band end to a new location without snapping to the protein.

Freezing Edit

Original Interface Selection Interface
F Freeze the entire protein / unfreeze all frozen elements
shift-click / middle-click Freeze element (segment or sidechain)
shift-double-click Freeze entire structure (backbone only)
right-click Freeze element (segment or sidechain)
right-double-click Freeze entire structure (backbone only)


  • Z or ctrl-Z: undo
  • Shift-Z or ctrl-Y: redo
  • Ctrl-B: restore best
  • Ctrl-shift-N: set recent best
  • Ctrl-N: restore recent best
  • A: restore absolute best
  • I: restore credit best
  • Ctrl-R: reset puzzle (opens dialog)
  • Ctrl-E: reset structures
  • Ctrl-P : open puzzle menu

Save and loadEdit

  • Ctrl-shift-9: save structures
  • Ctrl-9: Load saved structures
  • Ctrl-S: Save solution (opens dialog)
  • Ctrl-O: Open/share solutions (opens Manage Solutions dialog)
  • Ctrl-H: save a picture on your desktop
  • Ctrl-shift-1: save current solution in quicksave slot 1
  • Ctrl-1: quick load solution stored in quicksave slot 1
  • quicksave slots 1 through 8 are available using shortcut keys

Mode (original interface)Edit

Menus and SelectionsEdit

  • Right-click on the segment in the original interface: open the pie menu with tools (rebuild, tweak, cut, idealize ...)
  • L: open alignment panel
  • U: open Undo menu
  • H: show menus in selection interface
  • C: cookbook in selection interface
  • V: view options in selection interface
  • B: behavior menu in selection interface
  • Ctrl-T: general options menu + release version
  • Shift-E: electron density menu
  • Shift-I: buddies
  • Shift-L: exploration map (not currently functional as of 07/16/2016)
  • A: align to the guide in selection interface
  • G: align to the guide in the original interface
  • Ctrl-A: select the entire protein in selection interface
  • Click a segment: select a segment in selection interface
  • Double-click: select a structure and the loops at each end in selection interface
  • Ctrl-click: add a segment to the selection
  • Shift-click a segment: selection of the protein from a previously clicked-on segment to the current segment in selection interface
  • Click the background: unselect all in selection interface


Move the mouse along the backbone: in the original interface, in structure mode, paint first-selected structure along the backbone

View ShortcutsEdit

  • Tab: partial score of a hovered-over segment (use arrow keys to move between segments in the original interface); template used in threading
  • Ctrl-Shift-M: revert to main style
  • General View Options:
    • Shift-C: toggle "Show clashes"
    • Shift-V: toggle "Show voids"
    • Shift-B: toggle "Show bonds (sheet)"
    • Shift-H: toggle "Show bonds (helix)"
    • Shift-R: toggle "Use relative score coloring"
    • Shift-S: toggle "Show guide"
    • Shift-F: toggle "Color relative to guide"
    • Shift-G: toggle "Hide GUI"
    • Ctrl-M: toggle "Color mutable segments"
    • Ctrl-W: toggle "Show bondable atoms"
    • Ctrl-shift-E: toggle "Show ligand constraints"
    • Shift-E : toggle "Show constraints"
    • Ctrl-D: toggle "X-ray tunnel for ligand"
    • Ctrl-I: toggle "Show isosurface"
  • Color Options:
    • Ctrl-Shift-H: enter hydrophobic view
    • Ctrl-Shift-S: enter score view
    • Ctrl-shift-U: previous color option
    • Ctrl-shift-I: next color option
  • View Protein Options:
    • Ctrl-shift-O: previous backbone view option
    • Ctrl-shift-P: next backbone view option
    • Ctrl-shift-S: tube
  • Combined Color / Protein Options:
    • Ctrl-shift-X: enzdes / cartoon thin
    • Ctrl-shift-D: CPK / line
    • Ctrl-shift-F: CPK / line+polarH
    • Ctrl-shift-G: CPK / polarH
    • Ctrl-shift-L: score/hydro / trace line
    • Ctrl-shift-M: score/hydro / cartoon
    • Ctrl-shift-C: CPK / stick
    • Ctrl-shift-B: CPK / stick+H
    • Ctrl-shift-V: CPK / stick+polarH
  • View Sidechains Options:
    • Shift-D: select "Don't Show (Fast)"
    • Shift-T: select "Show Stubs"
    • Shift-A: select "Show All (Slow)"

Visibility ShortcutsEdit

Visibility shortcuts control how much of the protein is visible in the far and near distance. They also affect the display of the electron density cloud, if the cloud is visible.

The "focus on segment" shortcut is especially useful in electron density puzzles. It restricts the density display to the same plane as the selected segment.

The distance shortcuts, in Windows, involve holding some combination of shift, ctrl, and alt, clicking with the left mouse button and dragging the pointer upward or downward.

The shortcuts in this section work the same way in the original and the selection interfaces.

The shortcuts are:

  • Ctrl-shift-click+drag: far distance cutoff. Holding ctrl+shift and dragging the pointer downward causes the more distant parts of the protein to quickly fade and disappear. Dragging the pointer upward brings the distant parts of the protein into view.
  • Alt-shift-click+drag: distance fog or haze. Holding alt+shift and dragging the pointer downward reduces the visibility of the more distant parts of the protein. Dragging the pointer upward makes the more distant parts more visible again.
  • Ctrl-alt-click+drag: near visibility cutoff. Holding ctrl+alt and dragging the pointer upward causes the nearer parts of the protein to quickly fade and disappear. Dragging the pointer downward brings the nearer parts of the protein into view. Note that the direction of dragging is different than in the far visibility shortcuts.
  • Shift-Q: focus on segment. Hovering over a segment and hitting shift-q moves the segment to the center of the window. If an electron density cloud is visible, only the density in the same plane as the selected segment is displayed.
  • Q: recenter protein. The q shortcut resets all the visibility options to maximum visibility and focuses the display on the center of the protein. This may drastically change the display. For example, the visible portion of the electron density cloud may be moved out of view.

Technical detailsEdit

Hotkey settings are stored in the configuration file hotkeys.txt. Foldit reads the settings from this file at startup, and then overwrites the file at normal shutdown. Changes to the file made while Foldit is running are ignored, then overwritten if the game shuts down normally.

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