How to Zoom, Pan & Rotate the Scene/View in FormIt

February 3, 2021 Tom Tobin

I was recently involved with a project where I received FormIt files.  I haven’t had much opportunity to work within the FormIt environment and was looking forward to it.  However, I quickly found that just navigating the scene was just not as straight forward as I thought it would be.  Therefore, I had to learn, or I should say relearn for the FormIt environment, how to use basic tools like Zoom, Pan & Rotate.  They are very much like those in other design packages you just need to be very aware of what you are doing and where you are at in the scene.

Because I had to go through and hone my FormIt navigating skills, I thought others might benefit from my experience.   

In this BLOG I will be focusing on how to use the Zoom, Pan & Rotate tools within a FormIt scene.  If you are a keyboard shortcut type of user, your options for these tools are the following:

  • Orbit:
    • Key-in O + hold IconDescription automatically generated with low confidence(left-click mouse button) and drag around model to orbit scene. 
  • Zoom:   
    • Key-in Z + hold IconDescription automatically generated with low confidence(left mouse button) and drag up to zoom in and down to zoom out within the scene
    • Key-in ZA = To zoom entire model in the scene
    • Select element + key-in ZS to zoom fit selected elements within the scene
  • Pan:
    • Key-in P + hold  (wheel mouse button) and drag to pan around the scene


auto_tip_iconNote: Like Revit and unlike AutoCAD when keying in a shortcut you do not need to select the enter key to issue the command. You also don’t use a command line, just start typing the command.

But for me the reality is, and my preference, is to do any one of the three navigation tools by just using my mouse.  You start all three options by placing your mouse inside the scene then do one of the following:

  • To Orbit all you have to do is right-click + hold mouse button and drag the mouse around the scene.
  • To Zoom, simply roll the wheel mouse button forward to zoom in and roll it back to zoom out.
  • To Pan just press and hold the wheel mouse button  and you can Pan the scene. 
    • Just be careful when panning not to roll the wheel button or you will find yourself zooming in or out very quickly and could lose your place in the scene.

Like anything else inside an Autodesk product, there are many ways to access the same commands.  I’ve just shared two. The key-in and just using the mouse.  You can also access these navigation tools using either the “Floating Navigation” or “Navigation” toolbars.  These two toolbars can be turned on and off by checking them on or off through the ribbon Windows tab.

Window drop down menu

When you turn on the Navigation toolbar its display location may verify depending on how many tools bars are already on in your interface.  The toolbar is displayed below.  Once you locate where the toolbar displayed, you can relocate it, or any other toolbar, to any location you like, even another monitor just by dragging and dropping the toolbar.

Navigation Toolbar

The Floating Navigation tools are on the right hand side within the modeling scene window itself.  This toolbar can’t be relocated but Remember… If it’s not on or you don’t want it on, simply go to the “Windows” tab on the ribbon and check on/off “Floating Navigation Toolbar”

There are of course more ways one can successfully navigate a FormIt scene as you will find out.  We only talked about Orbit, Zoom, & Pan, to change how you look at the scene and move around it.  As show in the image to the right, the full “Floating Navigation toolbar”.  It contains additional tools not discussed in this BLOG.

About the Author

Tom Tobin

Applications Expert, Building Solutions. Tom is an experienced BIM/CAD/project manager who leads teams of design professionals in the highly competitive field of architecture and building systems. An early adopter of CAD in the 1980s, Tom has strong technical qualifications built on a track record of more than 27 years of hands-on CAD use and implementation of technology in many diverse production environments. His background in industry helps him optimize the use of design technologies to improve workflow and ensure a positive return on technology investments. Tom holds professional certifications in AutoCAD Architecture and Revit Architecture. He is also an Autodesk Certified Instructor. He has spoken/taught at Autodesk University from 2006 to present.

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