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[TIP] Different ways to do the same thing (and save you time)

Torley Linden


Saving a couple seconds to do a task in Second Life may not seem like much — until you multiply that by dozens, hundreds, even thousands of times. Minor disruptions to workflow make for severe pain, I know! I've noticed many of the more effective paths have been stumbled across or discovered by experimentation, and while I heart serendipity, it tends to take too long to get consistent results, leaving people going: " AUGH! I wish I knew that earlier!"

I've been creating various "utility help pages" covering repetitive steps — I do the work so you don't have to — and my latest one, fittingly enough, addresses "Different ways to do the same thing" as this featured video shows:

  • A new Resident looking to see if there's an easier way to do basic essentials like moving your avatar
  • An advanced Resi making sure you have the bases covered
  • In a situation that requires adaptation, like running the Second Life Viewer on different platforms (there's a link to PC and Mac shortcut key differences, too)
  • Simply curious about what your options are, so you can make the best choice for your personal preferences

These types of questions come up so often in our forums and elsewhere, and if you spot a hot omission, go ahead and let me know in the comments, or add it to the wiki help page directly (login to wiki.secondlife.com and click the edit tab on the page — I

, too). Here's the jumbo link so ya can't miss it:

Different ways to do the same thing


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Interesting to note that I know a few users who use the "view" and "camera" control panels on laptops, because they are without mice and it provides a little more control for them.

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Thanks for the tip! I didn't knew about keyboard shortcuts. For editing objects or building something, I use Ctrl, Alt and/or Shift keys (on my PC) and my mouse to move the camera angles. I have never used the W, A, S, D, E, and C keys on the keyboard to move my avatar or vehicle wheras I use the arrow keys or pageup/pagedn keys, but I may try that.

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F makes you fly, or land if you are already flying. You step into the air and just hover until you move with your choice of WASD or arrow keys.

This is often very convenient compared to using Page Up to fly, as that tends to make you overshoot, and have to fly down again, possibly landing accidentally and having to start over.

If you always use arrow keys and rarely use mouselook, it's worth pointing out that WASD is better for mouselook if you are using the mouse with your right hand. Mouselook is sometimes a better way of getting around in confined spaces.

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You can add, change, or delete any shortcuts you want by editing the file named "menu_viewer.xml".  At least you can in the 1.23 based TPVs, I'm not sure about v2 viewers.

If you decide to make changes to any XML files, I suggest making a backup copy FIRST, just incase you make a typo or create a conflict.

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Still I don't like the UI of the Viewer 2. But it is certainly a very useful feature the many possibilities or "right clik".

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  • Lindens

@Vick That's entirely appreciated, THANKS!

@Ghosty Yup! And some laptops have more usable arrow keys than others. Of course, when given desk space, some laptop users prefer to plug in a USB mouse.

@Alisha Yeah, like @Nekololi if you open "menu_viewer.xml" in the Viewer's skins > default > xui > en (or another language) folder, look at all the places where it says "shortcut=" and change those. It's still true in Viewer 2. Oh, be sure to (1) BACKUP FIRST and (2) watch out for conflicts with other shortcuts. If you have problems finding that file, I recommend http://www.voidtools.com/

Also, there external macro programs like QuicKeys (Mac, Windows version is kind of behind) or PhraseExpress (Windows) that can trigger menu items. The Second Life Viewer uses a non-OS-specific windowing system, though, so that may still be unreliable (it was for me before).

@Aquarius That's a key one (ha) that definitely should be included. Thank you.

I used to use arrow keys to navigate more, now I use WASD because arrow keys make my left hand cross over to my right side too much.

UPDATE: added "Mouse-steering, run, and arrow key movement options" video to the "Different ways" help page.

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Wow! Thank You Nekololi and Torley =D

I had no idea such things were so simple.  It only took me a few minutes to track down the Edit Linked Parts area.  I cheated!  I simply moved Shift G(a Shortcut I've never used) from code above.  Aaand Zoom! i can toggle in and out of Linked Parts =DD Joy!

Now that i see what is possible, i plan to rename all the buttons to silly LOLcats names and add Shortcuts all over the place. =P

Thank you both so much for passing on such neat knowledge.

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Great info here.  Thanks.  I was wondering is there a way to edit or straighten my inventory without having my avi logged on?  If not, do you have any tips for sorting and filing?  I love to shop and my inventory is always a mess, making me crazy.  8(


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