Maya by default comes with shelves that contain various tools for different divisions of works like Animating and Modeling.

If you prefer to have your own shelf with the tools you prefer, that are not already part of any of the shelves, you can add tools with a simple keyboard shortcut or by using MEL scripting.

Adding custom shelves lets you add tools that you prefer, in a place where you can access them faster, it saves time and helps in being more productive by reducing the number of times you have to get into the menu and navigate across the tool.

I personally recommend using custom shelves as it lets you have your own personal and preferred toolset, which does not disturb existing Maya workflow and interface setup.

You need to click on the gear icon to the left of the shelves panel.

Click on the Shelf Editor, this will give you the shelf editor window that lets you manage the shelves.

You can rename the shelf to whatever you like.

After typing the name, you like all you must do is hit Enter

Adding new tools to the newly created shelf is really easy, all you need to do is go to the menu you want to and press CTRL+SHIFT and click on the tool you want to add, your cursor will have a small plus icon, that will let you know that you can add this tool to the shelf.

It should look something like this.

The cursor does not appear in the screenshot because the native OS X screen capturing module does not capture the cursor.

Once you have followed these steps you should see the newly added tool in your newly created shelf.

Thank you for reading, if you have any questions leave a comment below.

I compiled a list of software and services that I use to improve my workflow, here is the link to the list.

Darryl Dias

I’m Darryl. I’m a 3D Artist, Programmer and Linux enthusiast. On this site I share my insights, tips and tricks, tutorials, methods and best practices.