Monday, December 12, 2011

Navisworks Keyboard Shortcuts for blazing fast clash reviews

Navisworks is a powerful tool and a very important part of our workflow, but as we dove deeper into Navisworks I realized it was an incredibly slow process working through all the unimportant clashes to focus on what really matters. 

I knew I wanted keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process but Navisworks does not allow you to create new keyboard shortcuts, so I decided to hack my own using Autohotkey; which is a simple programming language that is used to automate tasks in windows.

These shortcuts are specifically aimed at making the clash review process as effecient as possible (I have a feeling this going to make a lot of people VERY happy).

First off all the shortcuts are based on the number pad on the keyboard (if you don't have one you can buy an external one like pictured) or you can modify the included autohotkey source code. Note that the Num Lock must be turned off for this to work!

Navisworks Keyboard Shortcuts

Included in the zip file is the executable, the autohotkey source code if you want to customize this to your liking and a pdf that shows what the shortcuts are.


Most of the shortcuts are self explanatory but they do some very handy things.

0 - sets the clash to 'Reviewed' and brings up the assign to dialog (assign is a great tool to organize your clash reports and add comments for sending out to subs)

1 - sets the clash to 'Reviewed' and then automatically moves on to the next clash (my clash reports only contain clashes set to 'Reviewed', in my world 'Active' means it still needs to be reviewed)

2 - moves to the next clash in the list without changing the status

3 - set the clash to 'Approved' and moves to the next clash

4 - selects the clashing object in the left side of clash detective and zooms to that object

5 - full screen (if you have 2 monitors I recommend putting Navisworks on the second monitor, this way when you use full screen it puts the full screen view on the left monitor and leaves all you tool palletes open on the right monitor)

6 - selects the clashing object in the right side of clash detective and zooms to that object

7 - selects the clashing object in the left side of clash detective and turns on the select filter (the select filter is a great way to quickly slim down the number of clashes, if you don't use it then go learn it now!)

8 - moves to the previous clash without changing the status

9 - selects the clashing object in the right side of clash detective and turns on the select filter

. - focus on the overall clash (this is great if you get lost in your model)

/ - Sets navigation to classic walk mode

* - sets navigation to classic orbit

- - sets the clash view to 'Dim other'

+ - sets the clash view to 'Hide Other'

Keep in mind this is truly a 'hack' way to do this, so there will be times this doesn't work as expected and is provided as-is. Remember to close this application after you exit Navisworks as it might mess with other programs that may have 'Autodesk Navisworks Manage' in the window title. If you use other programs while using Navisworks you can simply turn Num Lock back on and this shouldn't affect any other programs.

I hope this proves to be useful for everyone and I hope it inspires others to share the tools they have developed. I believe sharing is important to move us all forward as a group. 

Please provide feedback and any other ideas you may have to improve the tool. 


  1. ARRRGGHH!! The link isn't working!!

    Must..... have... numeric... keypad shortcuts....

    Shoot me an email when you get the link back up or if you can, just shoot me a copy of the file.

  2. Hmm that's odd, does it work for anyone else? Try this one

  3. First off, great idea!

    However, I'm not able to get these functioning in NW2011 except for the keys / * & 5. Any idea why?

  4. Wanted to try this to speed up workflow. Seems like a fantastic idea. The only key that seems to be working is 5 (full screen) cant open the file to modify the others. Can you post it again? maybe an error occurred or am I the only one?

  5. David,
    It is off, I read that in the initial post. Yet still the same issue.

  6. Are you using a separate number pad keyboard or some other fancy keyboard?

  7. standard integral keyboard with separate number pad.

  8. Sorry, I'm not sure why it doesn't work. What version of Navis are you using?

  9. Hi David, This works perfectly for me, really useful tool, I'll spread the word! Thanks for the good work!

  10. I love the idea, but the most useful buttons don't work properly. When I hit the select filter buttons, it fails to select an object and all I get is a blank screen with no clashes. I purposely tried the buttons on objects that I knew had multiple clashes, like a concrete slab, but still nothing is selected. This would be an awesome tool if the select filter buttons worked. Let me know if you have any fixes or suggestions.

  11. thanks for sharing the key board shortcuts

  12. I've got this working very well for Navis 2012. Has anyone got it working on Navis 2013?

    Cheers, and great tool.




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