Gridmonger Manual

Moving around

Gridmonger is a modal editor, meaning that a given keystroke often performs entirely different actions in different operational modes of the program. There is no great mystery in this — just think of how the state of the NumLock key affects how your numeric keypad functions. Modes work in a similar fashion.

There are four navigational modes, and as you’ll see, these different modes have implications on other shortcuts as well. Then there are a few further special modes for advanced editing; these will be discussed in the Advanced editing chapter.

Common navigation keys

The level-related navigational keys are the same in every mode.

You can zoom the view in and out with the = and - keys, respectively. There are 20 zoom levels in total.

To change the current level, you can use the drop-down above the level, or Ctrl+-/Ctrl+=, PgUp/PgDn or Kp-/Kp+ to go to the previous or next level.


When it comes to keyboard shortcuts, Gridmonger uses the US keyboard layout, regardless of the keyboard layout and language settings of your operating system, or what the key labels on a non-US keyboard indicate. This is very similar to how most games handle the keyboard. For the more technically inclined, the program only cares about positional scancodes.

Normal Mode

The most basic mode of operation is Normal Mode; this is what most people will use 90% of the time. When you start Gridmonger for the first time, you are in Normal Mode. This is indicated by a square shaped cursor.

Normal mode (square cursor)

Normal Mode (square cursor)

One of the defining features of Gridmonger is its Vim-inspired keyboard interface. This means that in addition to the standard cursor keys, you can also use Vim-style HJKL key navigation to move around. You might have already encountered this style of navigation in some text-based games originally developed on UNIX systems, such as the venerable Rogue and NetHack.

If this doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry! Just keep using the standard cursor keys or the keypad for now. But I do recommend you to read the About Vim side-note at the end; you might find it interesting enough to explore this topic further.

The following table summarises all the movement keys you can use in Normal Mode:

Arrow Keypad Vim
kp 4 H Left
kp 6 L Right
kp 8 K Up
kp 2kp 5 J Down

You can use the 8456 keys on they keypad for right-handed WASD style navigation.


NumLock must be off if you want to use the number keys on the numeric keypad for navigation.

To move in 5-cell jumps, hold down Ctrl while using the movement keys. Similarly, you can pan the level by holding down Shift. This can be combined with Ctrl to pan in 5-cell increments.

Note how the current coordinates change in right corner of the status bar as you’re moving the cursor. You can toggle the display of cell coordinates around the level with Alt+C. If you wish to change how the coordinates are displayed, you can do so in the Map properties or Level properties dialogs.

Changing the cursor location can be done with the mouse as well: left-click on a cell within the level and the cursor will jump to that location. You can even click-drag to move the cursor continuously.

Walk Mode

Walk Mode can be toggled with the ` key (that’s the grave accent or backtick key located in the top-left corner of the keyboard before the 1 key). The cursor is displayed as a triangle instead of a square in this mode. The triangle points to the walking direction and represents your avatar; you can turn, strafe, and move forward and backward, just like in a classic dungeon crawler.

Walk mode (triangle cursor pointing to the walking direction)

Walk Mode (triangle cursor pointing to the walking direction)

The cursor keys perform different actions in this mode, and Vim-style HJKL navigation is not available (it would be too confusing):

Arrow Keypad
kp 4 Strafe left
kp 6 Strafe right
kp 8 Forward
kp 2kp 5 Backward
kp 7 Turn left
kp 9 Turn right

Similarly to Normal Mode, you can use the Ctrl and Shift modifiers to perform jumps or pan the level, respectively, and you can also left-click on a cell to move the cursor there.


Certain cRPGs, typically dungeon crawlers with real-time combat, are best played with your left hand on the WASD keys for moving the party, and your right hand on the mouse for combat. Gridmonger’s WASD Mode was designed with players in mind who prefer to do the bulk of their mapping with the WASD keys and the mouse when playing such games.

WASD Mode can be toggled with the Tab key. You will see an indicator in the top-left corner of the window when WASD Mode is on.

WASD Mode (square cursor and WASD indicator)

WASD Mode (square cursor and WASD indicator)

When it comes to navigation, this mode is the same as Normal Mode, with the addition that you can also use the WASD keys for cursor movement. Editing, however, is a little different — see Editing in WASD Mode to learn more about editing with the mouse in this mode.


In WASD Mode, you cannot use the Ctrl movement modifier with the WASD keys for 5-cell jumps because that would interfere with other shortcuts. You can, however, use the Shift modifier with them, and both the Ctrl and Shift modifiers are available with the other movement keys.

As we’ll see in the Editing in WASD Mode section, the mouse buttons are used for editing actions in this mode, so you need to hold Shift while left-clicking to move the cursor.

WASD + Walk Mode

If you enable both WASD Mode and Walk Mode (yes, you can do that!), the movement keys become a bit more interesting:

Arrow Keypad WASD
kp 4 A Strafe left
kp 6 D Strafe right
kp 8 W Forward
kp 2kp 5 S Backward
kp 7 Q Turn left
kp 9 E Turn right

Admittedly, this is the most complex mode, and while some people might find it really useful, if it doesn’t click with you, don’t feel compelled to use it. In fact, yours truly pretty much only use Normal Mode, even when playing real-time dungeon crawlers with WASD controls…

WASD + Walk Mode (triangle cursor and WASD indicator)

WASD + Walk Mode (triangle cursor and WASD indicator)