1. Isaac Sim Interface

1.1. Learning Objectives

This tutorial introduces the most commonly used user-interface buttons, menus, and controls in Omniverse Isaac Sim. After this tutorial, you should be more confident in navigating and discovering content in the Isaac Sim interface.

5-10 Minute Tutorial

1.2. Getting Started


Begin by adding a cube to the scene. Go to the top Menu Bar and Click Create > Shapes > Cube.


There should now be a Cube in the center of the Viewport. The Cube is Selected (highlighted in orange), and the Move (W) command is enabled by default.

Practice transforming the Cube:

  1. Hover over and then click the Move Gizmo to drag and move the Cube.

  2. Press “E” to switch to the Rotate Gizmo, and then click and drag the gizmo to rotate the Cube.

  3. Press “R” to switch to the Scale, and then click and drag the gizmo to rotate the Cube.

  4. Press “W” to switch back to the Move Gizmo.

  5. Press “W” again to toggle Move with Local Coordinates. Click and drag the gizmo to move the Cube on its local axes.

  6. Press “ESCAPE” to Deselect the Cube.


Moving, rotating, and scaling the Cube in the Viewport also updates the Transform Properties of the Cube in the Property panel on the bottom right of the Workspace.

Now, practice transforming the Cube through its Property panel:

  1. Select the Cube to populate the Property panel.

  2. In the Transform > Translate field, click and drag the X value left and right to move the Cube along the X-Axis.

  3. Double Click the Y value and type “100” to move the Cube to Y=100.

  4. Click the blue square all the way to the right of the Z value to reset the Translate value to its default setting (0,0,0).

  5. Reset the Rotate and Scale values to their default setting.

  6. Set the Cube Translate to {X: 0, Y: -200, Z: -50} and Rotate to {X: 0, Y: 22.5, Z: 0}


1.2.1. Toggling Local & World Coordinates

  • Press “W” multiple times to toggle between Move Global and Move Local.

  • Press “E” multiple times to toggle between Rotate Global and Rotate Local.

  • Pressing and holding the Move/Rotate Icons in the Toolbar can also be used to select the coordinate system.

  • Each Toolbar Icon will turn Orange when the Local coordinate system is active.


1.4. Using the Stage and Properties Panels

Objects can be directly selected in the Viewport or in the Stage—the Panel at the top right of the Workspace. The Stage is a powerful tree-based widget for organizing and structuring all the content in an Omniverse Isaac Sim scene.

There is a lot to learn about this tool; these steps will take you through the basics:

  1. Go to the top Menu Bar and click Create > Xform. There should now be an empty Xform prim in the Stage panel, nested under World.

  2. Select the Cube line item from the Stage, and drag and drop onto the Xform. Then, select the Xform and drag and drop it onto the Sphere.

    • Nothing changes in the Viewport, but you have just created a Parent-Child relationship betweeen the Sphere and the Cube.

  3. Select the Sphere, press “W” to enable the Move Gizmo, and grab and move the Sphere.

    • Moving the Sphere now moves the Cube, since child objects inherit the transforms of their parents.

    • This is an important concept for how Omniverse Isaac Sim constructs articulated objects, such as Robots.

  4. Now select just the Cube. Notice that its Transform Properties in the Property panel are the same, no matter how you move the Sphere.

    • An object’s Transform Properties are a local transform, relative to its Parent.

  5. Unparent the Cube by selecting the Cube from the Stage, then dragging and dropping it onto the World line item. Right-click on the Xform and click Delete.

    • Notice that the Cube’s Transform Properties now reflect the world transform.


We have been exploring the Transform Properties inside the Property panel. However, this panel has a lot of useful UI inputs for interfacing directly with geometric, material, visual, and USD properties.

  1. Select the Cube from the Stage and Scroll through its Property panel. Clicking the header of each sub-panel will collapse or show it.

  2. Select the defaultLight from the Stage. Scroll through its Property panel and note the different information it shows compared to the Cube.

  3. Select the World (defaultPrim) from the Stage and note how its Property panel differs.

The data in each Property panel differs because World (defaultPrim), Cube, and defaultLight are all different data types in Omniverse Isaac Sim (see the USD Prim for more details). As noted in the right-most column in the Stage, the World is an Xform, the defaultLight is a DistantLight, and the Cube is a Cube.

The details of these different data structures are covered in a later tutorial.

1.4.1. Raw USD Properties

The most important sub-panel in the Property panel is the Raw USD Properties sub-panel—which is always last. The Raw USD Properties sub-panel contains every active USD property for the selected object. This sub-panel is a very useful reference when developing more advanced applications in Omniverse Isaac Sim.

Note that information in this sub-panel is ordered alphabetically.

1.5. Customizing the Workspace

The workspace in Omniverse Isaac Sim is very customizable. It is easy to resize, dock, undock, add, and remove panels in the user interface.

Begin customizing the user interface by adding another Viewport to the workspace:

  1. Go to the top Menu Bar and click Window > New Viewport Window at the very bottom of the dropdown menu.

    • There should now be a new viewport called Viewport 2 floating in the workspace.

  2. Click and drag the top header of Viewport 2 to the activate the Docking widget. Drag and drop to the right of the original Viewport to place the viewports side-by-side.

  3. Click and drag the left side of Viewport 2 to the left to make the viewports equal sizes.

  4. In the button overlay area in Viewport 2, click the Perspective camera button in the top left and change the camera to a Top View.


We can dynamically hide/reveal Viewport 2 using the Window dropdown.

  1. Go back to the top Menu Bar and Click Window.

    • Viewport 2 (with a check mark next to it) should now be at the top of the Window dropdown.

  2. Click Viewport 2 to hide the new viewport, and click again to turn it back on.

  3. Look at the other items in the Window dropdown. The items with check marks are already visible in the Workspace.

  4. Click a few items off and on to see what happens in the workspace (e.g. Console, Stage, Property, Profiler)


1.6. Running the Simulation

To use any simulation features in Omniverse Isaac Sim, like joints, scripting, or collision meshes, the simulation must be running.

  1. Press the Play button in the Toolbar to begin the simulation. At the bottom of the screen, the timeline marker will begin to move, and will loop over the timeline.

  2. After pressing it, the Play button turns into a Pause button, which can be used to stop the simulation temporarily but allow it to continue from its current state.

  3. While the simulation is running or paused, the Stop button is also visible below the Play/Pause button. The Stop button ends the simulation and resets it, allowing it to be played again from its starting configuration.

  4. The simulation’s start/stop progress can also be viewed on the Timeline at the bottom of the default layout.

1.7. Summary

This tutorial covered the following topics:

  1. Adding Content to the Scene

  2. Navigating the Viewport

  3. Navigating the Stage and Properties Panels

  4. Adding, Docking, and Removing Window Panels

  5. Starting/Stopping the Timeline and Simulation

1.7.1. Next Steps

Continue on to the next tutorial, Environment Setup, to learn more about getting the environment ready for your virtual world.

1.7.2. Further Learning

For a more in-depth look at the concepts covered in this tutorial, see the following reference materials:

Adding Content to the Scene

Navigating the Viewport

  • The video tutorial Navigation Basics in Omniverse introduces navigation and controls in Omniverse Kit application viewports. It shows the combinations of mouse, scroll wheel, and keyboard commands you can use to navigate through scenes. Note that the Hotkeys that use Modifiers (Ctrl, Alt, Opt) may be different for Linux than this Windows tutorial.

  • The following table highlights the most commonly used Inputs for Viewport Control and Navigation. We recommend getting comfortable with these hotkey combinations to effectively navigate the Viewport.







Select + ‘F’

Zoom Camera to Selected Object(s)

Deselect + ‘F’

Zoom Camera to All


Orbit about the Viewport Center



Scroll Wheel




RMB + ‘W’

Move Forward

RMB + ‘S’

Move Backward

RMB + ‘A’

Move Left

RMB + ‘D’

Move Right


Move at Double Speed

RMB + ‘W/S/A/D’ + CTRL

Move at Half Speed

Navigating the Stage and Property Panels

Using the Extension Manager