Grab is the term used for picking something up and moving it without putting it into your inventory.
The default activation key/button is:
- The Z key on the PC ( In Skyrim this has changed to holding the E key )
- Hold A on the Xbox 360 ( In Skyrim Hold A, even on PC with Xbox controller )
- The L2 button on the PS3 ( In Skyrim, hold X )
To use grab, you must point at the item to be moved, then press and hold down the "grab" button.
It should be noted that grabbing an item while the hand icon is red will usually be considered "theft", even though you haven't added the item to your inventory. Merchants don't appreciate it when you attempt to move their items.
Grab works similarly to Telekinesis, allowing you to manipulate objects in the game world. However, unlike Telekinesis, you are unable to move things closer or farther away using attack or block; objects remain at a fixed distance. The distance between you and the object is set at the moment you "grab" the item; therefore, for more fine control, stand closer to the object before grabbing it. However, the distance can be changed by object collision (e.g. with the floor or a wall, or with a shelf or bookcase).
There are several uses to the grab function - you can use it to decorate your house, drag bodies, etc. Practically anything that is affected by the physics engine can be grabbed. One of its most useful functions is using it to carry heavy items around, such as an extra cuirass or two, although attempting to move more than one object can be time-consuming. It is also useful for stealing; grabbing the item and moving to a hidden spot then stealing it will not be noticed.
Using grab to pick up items and place them precisely can be frustrating. The grabbed object will appear to dangle from an invisible thread. This connection point seems to be based on the location of the cursor at the moment you initiate the grab. If you pick up an object and it's not facing the correct way, try "shaking" it by moving rapidly in one direction and suddenly stopping. The object will swing from its "thread" and may rotate into the desired location.
Technical Information (information on the Havok physics system)