At its most basic Aten’s main view acts as a visualiser allowing models to be rotated, zoomed in and out, and drawn in various different styles. By default, the right mouse button is used to rotate the model in the plane of the screen (right-click and hold on an empty area of the canvas and move the mouse) and the mouse wheel zooms in and out. Note that right-clicking on an atom brings up the atom context menu (which mirrors the functionality of the Selection panel). The middle mouse button translates the model in the plane of the screen – again, click-hold and drag.

These rotation and translation operate only the position and orientation of the camera, with no modifications made to the actual coordinates of the model. The view can be reset at any time from the View group, or by pressing Ctrl-R. The Appearance group of the Home panel and the shortcuts F1 to F5 allow the drawing style of models to be changed between stick, tube, sphere, scaled sphere, and individual. The last option allows different view styles to be set for different atoms.

The Ctrl key changes the normal behaviour of the rotation and translation operations and forces them to be performed on the coordinates of the current atom selection instead of the camera. The centroid of rotation is the geometric centre of the selected atoms.

Button Key Modifier Action
Left None Click on individual atoms to select exclusively
Click-hold-drag to exclusively select all atoms within rectangular region
Click in empty region to deselect all atoms
Shift Click on individual atoms to toggle selection state
Click-hold-drag to inclusively select all atoms within rectangular region
Ctrl Click on individual atoms to toggle selection state
Click-hold-drag to inclusively deselect all atoms within rectangular region
Right None Click-hold-drag to rotate camera around model
Click on atom to show context (Selection) menu
Shift Click-hold-drag to rotate view around z-axis (perpendicular to plane of screen)
Ctrl Click-hold-drag to rotate selection in local (model) space
Ctrl+Shift Click-hold-drag to rotate selection around z-axis in local (model) space
Middle None Click-hold-drag to translate camera
Ctrl Click-hold-drag to translate selection in local (model) space

Note that actions for the left mouse button listed above are for the Select tool, and will change depending on the currently-selected interaction mode. The actions of the current mode are always displayed in the Statusbar.