Many of you have noticed we have changed the shortcut file format in 3ds Max 2013 to a new one. The old *.kbd format has been superseded with *.kbdx
However, as this file format has changed it does not allow you to load the old format and re-use your shortcuts from previous versions of 3ds Max. Luckily as 3ds Max users, we know there is always a way, and below we look at how we can easily achieve this in 7 simple steps.
So why change the format?
Loading shortcuts from a previous release was something that was never officially supported and would ideally be avoided. If you’ve tried this in the past you will know that It may have loaded the keyboard shortcut file but it could easily create all kinds of other issues. As things often changed in the menu structures and hot key mappings. This new file format is meant to avoid this issue going forward and is more robust. The transference of shortcuts was designed to be used between machines running the same 3ds Max versions.
So how do I load past ones?
If you still wish to load the previous keyboard shortcuts, then follow the below steps:
1. In your prior version of 3ds Max, navigate to the main menu bar > Customize > Customize User Interface > and ensure you are in the ‘Keyboard’ tab layout.
2. From here save the the shortcuts you want to copy across to 3ds Max 2013, using the old *.kbd extension.
3 Now navigate to the same window in 3ds Max 2013. (main menu bar > Customize > Customize User Interface > Keyboard Tab)
As always, I recommend you save any existing settings before you start to load or edit any new ones, especially as this is an unsupported workflow. The easiest way to do this is Click on the “Save” button in the bottom right corner of the interface, and call it something like “MyDefaults”
In 2013 you will see it only displays files with the '.kbdx extension. Navigating to the drop down “files of type” box does not give you an extra choices, but ‘fixing’ this is easy.
4. Add *.* in the “File name” text field and press Enter. (As below.)
5. This will then display all the files in this location. From here you can locate your prior keyboard shortcuts, which you saved in Step 1.
6. Select the file and press Open/Load. You now have your previous shortcuts loaded and ready to go in 2013. However, this leaves one final step to complete:
7. Immediately save these as the new file format for future usage. Then your done.
Whilst we are in this window, it is useful to click on “Write Keyboard Chart…” as this creates a text list of all the shortcuts and keyboard assignments you just loaded. You can then print and keep these near to your machine.
Shortcuts in 3ds Max save me a huge amount of time, and remains an area I try to keep learning more and more of, as I know the time saving benefits are huge.
As a final point, It’s also worth noting and exploring the new *.musx file format, which allows you to save custom mouse settings.