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General Viewer Stuff

It is important that you get comfortable using your viewer. You should know basic functions, like Control-C for Copy and Control-V for Paste, or the Search bar on the top of your Inventory window.

The more you know, the faster you can fix an issue during a show. Also, you can reduce the load the viewer has on your computer during a show to reduce risk of crashes.

Firestorm classes

Firestorm teaches classes on a regular basis. They can teach you things about your viewer and make you more confident.

They have great video tutorials on YouTube. And check their website and calendar and group for viewer classes.

Reduce your graphics

(Credit: Brissy)

If you run your viewer on Ultra with shadows and huge draw distance, you will overheat your computer and crash. So, you want to reduce your settings to avoid crashing.

  • Turn off shadows.
  • Reduce draw distance.
  • Minimal reflections.
  • Reduce number of non-Importor avatars.

And so on. Ask others for a Gyazo snap of their settings for suggestions.

Extreme Derendering

(Credit: Geordie)

Because we perform indoors, you don’t need the sky, clouds, ground, trees, and grass.

  1. In the menu, click Advanced.
  2. Click Render Types.
  3. Derender Tree, Sky, Water, Grass, Ground, and Clouds.

Also:

  1. In the menu, click Advanced.
  2. Click Rendering Features.
  3. Derender Foot Shadows, Fog, Test, FRInfo.

After the show, be sure to render them again.

Graphic Presets

(Credit: Brissy)

Graphic Presets allow you to quickly change between graphics settings. That way, you can change to a Low setting in a busy venue. Or you can quickly change back to Ultra after the show for your usual photography or other activities.

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P).
  2. Click the Graphics tab.
  3. Set your graphics settings to reduce load on the system. I’d recommend dragging the slider to Mid, reducing draw distance to 64 or less, and turning off Shadows. But you can reduce and remove any other features you don’t need.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Give the Preset a name and click Save.

Then create another Preset with the full settings for general personal use (Ultra, Shadows, all the things you like).

Now you can click the little monitor icon in the upper-right corner of your viewer window to select a preset.

Confirm before I quit

Don’t you hate it when you click the X in the upper corner of the viewer by mistake and log off?

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P).
  2. Click the Notifications tab.
  3. Click the Alerts tab.
  4. Scroll to Confirm before I quit.
  5. Put it back in the Always show box.
  6. Click OK.

No more accidental closes!

Gyazo

Gyazo is a friendly utility that lets you quickly screen capture images and share with others.

  1. Go to gyazo.com
  2. Install the program.
  3. Run it.
  4. Use Control-Shift-C.
  5. Highight an area of the viewer.
  6. Your browser will appear with the capture.
  7. Copy the URL and paste it to chat.

Render Debauche

To ensure that we always render for you, perform the following steps:

  1. Click World.
  2. Click Avatar Render Settings.
  3. Click the plus button.
  4. Click Always Render a Resident.
  5. Click the Near Me tab.
  6. Select each of the Debauche Stars from the list.
  7. Click OK.

Toolbar Buttons

You can add and remove buttons from your viewer’s toolbar.

  1. Right-click your bottom toolbar.
  2. Click Toolbar buttons. A popup window will appear.
  3. Drag the desired buttons to the bottom toolbar. (You can also button a button on the top of either side of the Viewer.)
  4. Close the popup window.

To remove a button from the toolbar, right click it and click Remove this button.

If the buttons and labels take up too much room on the screen, right-click the buttons and click Icons Only or Labels Only.

Useful Toolbar Buttons

Here’s a few buttons I recommend that you can drag and add:

Area Search – Great for finding things and quickly zooming, touching, or sitting on them. It has it’s own page in this guide.

Favorite Wearables – Brings up a mini inventory window that you can fill with favorite HUDs or things you might need quickly. Drag items from inventory to here to add to the list. It has it’s own page in this guide.

Pose Stand – Puts you in a pose position, which is easier than sitting on a pose stand.

Show Friends Only – Derenders all non-friends. Speeds things up on your viewer. To re-render them, click the button again and change your active Group.

Grid Status – Opens a mini browser window with the Second Life Status webpage.

Group Titles – Turn on and off group titles over heads. Reduces viewer lag.

Resync Animations – If we get out of sync, quickly gets us back in sync. Or you can hit Control-S, but a triple-finger trackpad gesture is even quicker.

Useless Toolbar Buttons?

Having too many buttons can be confusing. And it takes up a lot of space at the bottom of your screen.

Some people prefer to use keyboard shortcuts instead of buttons or menu items. Here’s some useful ones:

  • Control-P – Open the Preferences window.
  • Control-I – Open the Inventory window.
  • Control-O – Open the Outfits window.
  • Control-F – Open the Search window.
  • Control-H – Open the Nearby Chat window.
  • Control-T – Open the Conversations window.
  • Control-M – Open the Map window.
  • Control-S – Resync animations.
  • Control-` – Snapshot to disk.
  • Control-Shift-H – Teleport Home.
  • Control-Shift-I – Open another Inventory window.

Firestorm’s keyboard shortcut list: https://wiki.firestormviewer.org/keyboard_shortcuts

Command Line Shortcuts

These allow you to type things in chat and quickly perform actions with your viewer.

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P).
  2. Click the Chat tab.
  3. Click the CmdLine top tab.
  4. Select the Enable usage of chat bar as a command line checkbox.

Look at all the cool things you can do from the chat bar!

If you type dd 64, you can change your draw distance to 64 meters. No clicking and finding a menu!
If you type tph, you will teleport home. No more hunting for a landmark or using control-alt-H!
If you type tp2 bee itamae will you teleport to Geordie’s location when he’s backstage!

So many useful commands! If they’re easier than pointing and clicking or asking for things, learn and use them!

Customize Quick Preferences

The little Phoenix button on the far right of your toolbar is the Quick Preferences button.

You can customize the items that appear in that window.

I’ll write up a separate post with that information.

Backups and Restores

Firestorm allows you to back up a lot of your settings. This is handy for upgrades or moving between computers.

To back up settings from a backup file, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P).
  2. Click the Backup tab.
  3. Click Set and a directory picker window will appear.
  4. Choose a directory to save the backup file in and click OK.
  5. Click Backup Settings and then click Save Backup.

You have now backed up your settings.

To restore settings from a backup file, perform the following steps:

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P).
  2. Click the Backup tab.
  3. Select the checkboxes of the settings you wish to restore.
  4. Choose the Backup Path of your backup file (it should default to the latest, otherwise click Set, navigate to the file, ).
  5. Click Restore Settings and then click Restore & Quit.

Your viewer will shut down, and you can restart it with the restored settings.

Dyslexia

I know this is a sensitive topic… some of us have issues with Dyslexia. Dyslexia is where letters and words shift around due to processing issues in the brain.

Helvetica, Courier, Arial, and Verdana are somewhat Dyslexia-friendly fonts. But the Dyslexia font is scientifically-designed to reduce shifting further.

Firestorm ships with a Dyslexic-friendly font.

To use it:

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P).
  2. Click the User Interface tab.
  3. In the Font Scheme drop-down pick list, select Dyslexia.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Restart your viewer.

The font will change in your viewer and help with your reading issues.

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