Menu Commands

This file describes the various items on the menubar at the top of the FRED2 screen. The Editors Menu is not described here; it's complicated enough to justify its own file.

Many of the menu items have hotkeys, which are listed in the menus.

The sections of this file are:

File Menu

This is a typical File menu, as found in most applications. New creates a new, empty mission file. Open opens a previously saved mission. Save saves the current mission and Save As saves it with a new name.

The most important thing to remember in FRED2, as in any other editor, is SAVE EARLY AND OFTEN! There are few things more frustrating than losing hours of work to a crash, power failure, or editing error.

Missions must be saved in the data/missions subdirectory of your main FreeSpace 2 directory; otherwise the game will not be able to find them.

Revert cancels any changes made since you last saved the mission. If you're not confident in your ability to do something, save the mission first and then Revert if you mess up.

Run FreeSpace runs the FreeSpace 2 game. This is useful for testing your missions.

A list of recently-edited missions also appears on the File menu. Clicking on one of these will load that mission. (Clicking on the name of the current mission has no effect.)

Finally, Exit quits FRED2.

If a mission file becomes corrupted, you might be able to recover some of your lost work. In Windows, open the data\missions subdirectory of your main FreeSpace 2 directory. You will see files named Backup.001 (most recent) through Backup.009. Try renaming these (with .fs2 extensions) and opening them in the FRED2.

These backup files only get updated when you Save. If you started a fresh mission, worked for two hours without saving, and then had your computer crash, there's no hope of recovery; you'll have to start over.

Edit Menu

The first item on this menu is the ability to Undo your most recent action. This action will be named; in the picture at right, the most recent action was the creation of a new object.

If you Undo, you can then Undo your second most recent action, and so on. (There is no redo.)

There are many actions that cannot be undone. If you're going to do something tricky, save first!

Delete deletes all currently marked objects. The hotkey for this (Del, reasonably enough) is probably worth remembering.

Delete Wing deletes the selected ship and any others in the same wing.

Disable Undo makes it impossible to Undo. This may seem like a rather strange option. It is there because Undo has to keep track of a "stack" of previous actions, which takes up memory. When editing a complicated mission on a slow machine, disabling Undo may make FRED2 run faster.

View Menu

This menu contains many options for controlling what you see in the main FRED2 window. If something is checked, you can see the specified information. There are three reasons for turning anything off:
  • Some information is useful so rarely that it's not worth the clutter.
  • Not displaying some objects can make it easier to manipulate others.
  • On a slow machine, turning off some options (especially Show Ship Models) can make FRED2 run faster.

You can show or hide the Toolbar and the Status bar.

Display Filter is a submenu that lets you show or hide various types of objects. (Show Player Starts shows ships which are flown by players.)

Hide Marked Objects makes all marked objects invisible. To see them again, click on Show Hidden Objects.

Show Ship Models renders ships in all their 3D texture-mapped glory. This is a great way to get a close, detailed look at FreeSpace 2's gorgeous models.

Show Outlines shows colored wire-frame outlines of ships.

Color Meaning
Green Player
Dark Blue Friendly
Red Hostile
Light Blue Neutral
Orange Unknown
White Selected
Gold Marked

If you have Show Ship Models selected, ships which are marked or selected will have wire frames even if this option is turned off.

If both Show Ship Models and Show Ship Outlines are turned off, each ship will appear as a large, colored dot. The dot indicates the center of the ship. FRED2 still "imagines" that the model is there, though, so you may have trouble clicking on a nearby object; the invisible ship model is "in the way".

Show Ship Info displays the name of each object, as well as a code indicating its type.

Show Coordinates displays the X, Y, and Z coordinates of each object.

If Show Grid Positions is checked, a line will be drawn between each object and the grid. This makes it easier to tell where objects are located in three-dimensional space.

Show Distances is just like the Show Distances button on the Toolbar.

Show Model Paths displays the paths used by ships which are approaching a ship to dock with it or attack a particular turret.

Show Model Dock Points displays the locations on a ship where another ship can dock with it.

Show Grid displays a lattice of white lines that makes it easier to "eyeball" coordinates. There is an item in the Misc Menu for adjusting the grid.

Show Horizon displays a line all the way around the sky. This will be invisible if the grid is on in its default position.

Double Fine Gridlines and Anti-Aliased Gridlines make the grid lines look a bit nicer.

Show 3D Compass displays red, green, and blue lines in the upper right corner of the screen, below the camera position. The red line shows the direction of increasing X values, green Y, and blue Z.

Show Backround displays the starfield and anything that has been added with the Background Editor. This feature is a little flaky; if it fails to update properly, try saving your mission, restarting FRED2, and reloading the mission. Also, most background features (such as planets) look better during the mission than they do in FRED2.

Viewpoint lets you view the mission from the point of view of a particular ship. This is nice if you want to set up a majestic opening view for the player.

In Current Ship view, the camera movement keys will move the ship. Also if you have Show Ship Models on, your view may be partially obstructed by parts of the ship you're "in".

Speed Menu

This controls how fast the camera (or selected ship, if using the Current Ship viewpoint) moves. Turn it up when you have to cover a lot of ground, down when you need precision.

Groups Menu

This menu lets you define a group consisting of the currently marked objects, or mark a previously-set group. These groups exist only within FRED2, and have no effect when playing the mission.

Misc Menu

This menu contains a collection of miscellaneous items.

Level Object makes the camera (or object if in Current Ship view) level with the grid. Align Object makes it parallel to the grid axes with as little rotation as possible.

Mark Wing marks all ships in the same wing with the currently selected ship, and selects the leader of that wing.

Control Object makes the camera controls move the marked object(s) instead of the camera.

Next Object and Previous Object cycle the selection through all objects in the mission.

Adjust Grid brings up a dialog box for changing the orientation of the grid. Newly placed ships will appear on the grid. (With the setting shown at right, all newly placed ships will have an X value of 1000.)

Next Subsystem and Prev Subsystem cycle through the turrets on a ship; this is a very good way to figure out which turret is which. Pick Cancel Subsystem when you no longer need this option.

Mission Statistics shows some useful information about your mission as a whole.

The Error Checker checks the mission for various problems, such as wings with too many ships in them. Ths is run automatically when you Save the mission, so you might as well just do that.

Help Menu

Help Topics opens this file. About FRED displays the current version number.

Show Sexp Help describes (within the Editors) any currently highlighted SEXP. This should almost certainly be checked.