There is more than one way to use Blender without a number pad. One method is to use the View Menu. While this is easy to do, it’s not the most efficient way to work with Blender. Another method is to enable Blender’s Number Pad Emulation. This allows the number keys, at the top of the keyboard above the letter keys, to be used instead of the number pad. Both of these methods are explained below.
The number keys, on the number pad, are hotkeys for the various views. But you can also select the views from the View menu which is located in the footer of the 3D View window. By opening the menu, you can see the selections for the views along with their associated hotkeys.
Number Pad Emulation
By default in Blender, the number keys on the number pad work differently than the number keys at the top of the keyboard. Specifically, the number keys on the number pad select the different views, which is a very handy feature. On the other hand, the number keys at the top of the keyboard select the Visible Layers. But by enabling Blender’s number pad emulation, the number keys on the top of the keyboard will work like a number pad.
To learn how to enable Number Pad Emulation, you can watch this short YouTube video, or follow the instructions below.
Enabling Number Pad Emulation:
- From the File menu, select User Preferences.
- Click the Input tab.
- Put a check mark next to Emulate Numpad.
- Click Save User Settings to save the settings for the next time Blender opens.
After enabling number pad emulation, the number keys at the top of the keyboard will work as if they are number pad keys but they will no longer be able to select the Visible Layers. So as an alternative selection method, for the Visible Layers, you can use the buttons in the footer of the 3D view window.
You can use Blender without a number pad by either using the view menu, or by enabling number pad emulation. If you enable number pad emulation, then you can select the different views from the number keys at the top of the keyboard and you can select the Visible Layers in the footer of the 3D view window.