Basic Concepts

This file introduces some basic concepts about using FRED2. The sections are:

Cartesian Coordinates


The position of each object (ship, jump node, etc.) in FRED2 is given by three numbers, called X, Y, and Z. When you first start FRED2, the default ship is at position (0, 0, 0). This point is called the origin.

From the starting point of view, X indicates how many meters to the right of the origin an object is. If an object is to the left of the origin, it will have a negative X value.

Similarly, Y indicates how many meters up the object is, and Z indicates how many meters it is back into the screen.

The coordinates of the camera are shown in the upper right of the FRED2 window.

Movement Commands

The following commands move the camera:

Key Effect Key Effect
1 (keypad) Move left 4 (keypad) Turn (yaw) left
3 (keypad) Move right 6 (keypad) Turn (yaw) right
A Move forward 8 (keypad) Turn (pitch) up
Z Move backward 2 (keypad) Turn (pitch) down
- (keypad) Move up 7 (keypad) Roll left (ship view only)
+ (keypad) Move down 9 (keypad) Roll right (ship view only)

There are several modes which make these commands do different things: Current Ship view, Rotate Around Object, and Control Object mode.

Selection and Marking


Many commands refer to the currently selected or marked objects. The difference is subtle, but important. Only one object can be selected at a time, but several objects can be marked.

The currently selected object, if any, gets a white outline. Other currently marked objects get gold outlines. In the picture at right, the GTC Curly is selected. The GTCs Curly, Larry, and Moe are all marked. The GTC Shemp is neither selected nor marked.

When more than one object is marked, many commands (including movement and rotation) affect all of them as a group. If you just want to move one ship, make sure nothing else is marked!

The words "selected" and "marked" are not used entirely consistently throughout FRED2. For example, the Select List button should probably be called Mark List.

Mouse Commands

The mouse commands within FRED2 are shown below. The list may seem long, but don't worry; the mouse generally does about what you'd expect.

Mouse Action Effect
Click on an object Select and mark object under pointer. All other objects become unmarked. (This behaves differently if the Selection Lock button is pressed.)
Click in empty space Clear all selection and marking. (This behaves differently if the Selection Lock button is pressed.)
Lasso (drag a rectangle around some stuff) Mark several objects and select one.
Shift click / Shift lasso Mark object(s), and select (one) if nothing else is selected.
Ctrl click Create a new object of the type indicated by the Selection Box.
Drag an object Possibly move or rotate the currently marked object(s), depending on the Mouse Drag Mode. If the object under the pointer is not marked, this also selects it and unmarks everything else.
Ctrl drag Copy marked object(s)
Right click on an object Pop up a menu, which allows opening one of several Editors on the object under the pointer and any other marked objects.
Right click in empty space Pop up a menu, which lists some choices from the View Menu and the Selection Box.

If you're having trouble placing things precisely, you might want to use the Objects Editor. Also, remember that you can move the camera to see things from a better angle, and use the Speed Menu to change the camera speed.

The Status Bar


The status bar is at the bottom of the screen. It tells you how many objects you have marked, how the Viewpoint is set (in the View Menu), whether you have made any modifications to your mission since last saving it, and how far across the small squares on the grid are. (The large squares are ten times as far across.)

You can turn the status bar off in the View Menu.