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The Viewport window displays the scene which is rendered by the Engine, but viewports are more than passive observation points. This is where a large majority of the level design tasks take place, such as object placement, terrain editing, and in-editor play testing. They are also dynamic and flexible tools for a user to understand the 3D relationships among objects in a level.


Table of Contents

Moving in the Perspective Viewport Window

Viewport Movement

You can control the camera movement with the standard WASD control system commonly used in First Person Shooters.

  • W to move forward.
  • S to move backward.
  • A to move (strafe) left.
  • D to move (strafe) right.

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When the mouse pointer is within the window, hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse pointer to rotate the view.

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Hold down the middle mouse button and move the mouse pointer to pan the view.

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Roll the middle mouse button wheel to move the view forward or backward.

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Hold down Shift to double the speed of the viewport movements.

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Viewport Movement Speed Control

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The Speed: input is used to increase or decrease the movement speed of all the movements you make in the main Perspective Viewport.

The 3 buttons to the right of the Speed: <input> are shortcuts to the .1 1 and 10 speeds. You can also manually set the speed by typing into the box, or by using the two arrows to adjust the speed up or down.

Terrain Collision

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The button after the three speed settings, turns terrain collision on and off when in edit mode.

Viewport Header

The Viewport Header displays the name of the active viewport, allows you to open the viewport context menu by right clicking, use the Viewport Search, toggle helpers on/off or maximize an active viewport.


You can right click on the Viewport Header to access the The Viewport Context Menu.

Viewport Search

The Viewport Search provides an accessible search field, allowing user to quickly find interested objects and filters out the rest.


  • You can hide/freeze not-matched objects or just select matched ones.
  • By clicking the 'x' button, you can clear the input field and quickly restore the viewport to the original state.

Viewport Resolution

You can pick a Viewport Resolution from this menu or set your own Custom resolution by manually entering values:

Helpers Toggle

This button allows you to hide all helper objects or turn them back on (Shift+Space).


You can also toggle helpers via the Display menu with Show/Hide Helpers.

Show Pivots

With show helpers turned on, holding the spacebar key and hovering the mouse over the object will show all the pivots for the object. If you hold down the spacebar key, you can also easily select objects.

Maximize Viewport Toggle

The Maximize Viewport Toggle switches any active viewport between its normal size and fullscreen size.

Viewport Context Menu

The Viewport Context Menu provides numerous options for configuring the viewport, such as activating wireframe, showing icons, camera selection, etc.


Menu Option



Renders the scene in wireframe mode.

Point mode

Renders the scene in point mode.


Displays object names on objects close to the current camera view.

Show Safe Frame

Displays a Target Aspect Ratio frame to show what is visible in game mode.

Show Construction Plane


Show Trigger Bounds

When helpers are enabled, show Trigger Bounding Boxes of certain entities, even when they're not selected.

Left: Default behavior, BB only visible for selected entities. Right: BB always shown.

Show Icons

When set, helper icons for objects will be shown.

Show Size-based Icons

Alternative method of rendering helper icons. Icons will dynamically scale size based on distance.

Show Helpers of Frozen Objects

Option to hide helpers completely for frozen objects, as opposed to the default icon dimming.

Target Aspect Ratio

Sets the target aspect ratio which can be used with the Show Safe Frame function.

Create Camera from Current View

Create a Camera entity based off the current perspective camera position and rotation.

Default Camera

Selects the default perspective camera, as opposed to cameras created by the Camera entity.

Sequence Camera

Selects the sequence camera for the active Trackview.

Lock Camera Movement

Locks camera movement for Trackview cameras.


Sets the current view to the view of a Camera entity within the level.


Maximizes the currently selected view for multiple viewports.


Contains various view options. See below for more information.

Configure Layout

Choose from one of several preset layout configurations.



Note that only the 'active' viewport will update in real time. To update a viewport, simply select it by right clicking inside the window.

The View Menu

The View menu allows you to turn various windows and toolbars on or off as well as open the various Sandbox Editors and the Database View.

If you close a window and want to open it again, you can use the View -> Open View Pane menu.

Menu Items


Shows a top down view of your level, consisting of bounding boxes and line based helpers. Terrain Geometry will not be shown.


Shows a front view of your level, consisting of bounding boxes and line based helpers. Terrain Geometry will not be shown.


Shows a view of your level from the left side, consisting of bounding boxes and line based helpers. Terrain Geometry will not be shown.


Shows a view of your level using the default camera perspective, showing all level content. This is the most commonly used view mode.


Shows a overhead map of the level with helper, terrain, and texture information.

Docking Windows and Tools

Scaling and Moving Tools

Scaling and moving tools works the same way as in Windows. Move the mouse pointer to the edge of the window so that it turns into a double-ended arrow. Click and hold the left mouse button and move the mouse cursor.

Docking Tools to the side of the Viewport

Docking helpers will automatically appear whenever you drag a window over another window, or the Sandbox Editor itself.


Now, the window is docked. To undock it, drag the title bar again and move the selection window away (make sure that you don't accidentally re-dock it by moving it over a different button).

Docking a Window within another Window

Open up the View menu and open another tool (for example, the Flow Graph editor).


Now, as before, drag the title bar of the selected window away to un-dock it.

Docking a Window as a Tab in another Window

This is a great space saver, especially if you have only one monitor.