Main Window

When you select a theater or some custom paths on the previous window, you will see something like this.

Main Window

The window is divided in several areas, with controls that perform several functions. More in depth:

Undo Area

Undo/Redo Area This area provides functionality for Undo and Redo actions, pushing the corresponding buttons. The Undo action is activated only after you make some action to the Theater and of course, the Redo button is activated right after you make an Undo action. A separate buffer is maintained for normal edit mode and L0/ELV edit mode.

A restore point functionality is provided for creating a single restore point, which saves all the map data to a file. When the Create a restore point button is pressed again, the previous restore point is overwritten.

CautionThe Import function doesn't create an Undo entry to the undo buffer, that's why the restore point functionality is needed.
TipThe L0/ELV edit mode keeps a separate Undo/Redo buffer, completely independent from the normal one.

Map Options

Map OptionsThis area provides some functionalities affecting the appearance of some features.

Show Grid

When checked, it displays the grid around every tile on the map. When in L0/ELV edit mode, it displays a second grid displaying the L0 level. The button next to the checkbox is displaying the current color for displaying the grid and when pressed, it opens a color selection dialog to change this color.

Show Export Area

When checked, it displays either the last area that was exported, or the last area that was imported, whichever comes first. The button displays the drawing color of this area and when pressed, it opens a color selection dialog to change this color.

TipFor each edit mode (L0/ELV or normal mode) there is a different rectangle stored in memory and when entering each mode, the appropriate one is displayed.

Show Heights

This button displays the L2 tile heights on the map, or the L0 tile heights when L0/ELV edit mode is active. Pressing the Color button, you open the Height Color Selection Window where you can set the color of the height display according to it's value. The Font button opens a Font dialog to select the displaying font.

You have the option to display the values of Elevation either in feet or meters. The L0/ELV button allows you to display the L0/ELV elevations but with no L0/ELV functionality, all the functions are still for editing the L2 data. This button is only enabled when a L0/ELV file is loaded.

Show Segments

When checked, it displays the grid around the tile segments (16×16 tiles) on the map. The button next to the checkbox is displaying the current color for displaying the segments and when pressed, it opens a color selection dialog to change this color.

Show Areas/Paths

When checked, it displays the areas and/or the paths of every tile, as they are defined in texture.bin. These areas and paths can be edited with BIN Editor. The button next to the checkbox is opening the Areas/Paths Display Options where you can set what is going to be displayed and with what color.

TipThis checkbox and the corresponding options control the Areas/Paths display of the Tile Palette Window as well.

Apply Night Colors

When checked, it displays an overlay of the corresponding night tiles (*, over the normal ones.

TipThis feature is better viewed when the brightness is turned down. Refer to the Brightness section for more information.

Apply MAP Colors

When checked, it composes a semi-transparent overlay on top of every tile, filled with the index color of the MAP palette, which is stored in the tile. The slider next to it, controls the transparency of this overlay.

This is just a visual checking of these values, to make sure that the MAP palette color of each tile is matching the colors of the tile. In the opposite situation, the result in the sim will not be good, as these MAP palette colors are used for vertex coloring (not sure about all Falcon versions though).

Mask Overlay

When this option is enabled, the alpha channel of each tile will be visible, allowing you to check for errors in alpha (used in BMS for water effects). The slider controls the opacity of the overlay, while you can use custom colors by selecting the checkbox and defining the colors you want with the two buttons.

The default colors are black for transparent and white for opaque.


This slider determines how bright or dark the map will be (with left positions to be darker). It affects only the tile layer and not the Areas/Paths, Height, Grid, Segment, Objectives and Night Colors layers. The button in the middle top of the slider, reverts the brightness to the default.

L0/ELV Mode

This mode allows to load a L0 file or a ELV file containing the elevation values of the current map for the L0 level. The checkbox becomes availiable only when a file is loaded using the Load button. After the elevation file is loaded, when you click on the checkbox, you enter the L0/ELV mode. In this mode, you are still able to browse the map with the difference that you are editing the L0 or ELV file that you loaded. The Theater Window is divided into L0 tiles (four times the L2 tiles) and the only value you can access and change for a specific tile, is its elevation. You can switch between L0ELV mode and normal mode whenever you want, as all the data are maintained separately for the two modes. Another thing that you must expect to be different in this mode is the grid system. In addition to the normal lines of grid that wrap around each tile, now you have a secondary grid system which wrap around each L0 tile as well.

TipAnother clue that you are in L0/ELV mode is that the background of the main window will change from the default to a light yellow.

Grid Size

This area provides functionality for the size of the Theater Window. Pushing the + and - buttons, you can set the number of tiles displayed in the Theater Window (Width x Height). The number of tiles is always the same in both dimensions. By changing the value of Tile Size combobox, you can set how big each tile will be.

TipThe final size of the Theater Window is calculated by the value of the Zoom slider as well. All the above values are valid when the Zoom slider is set to 1.

Zoom and Position Area

The Zoom slider is controlling the zoom out of the picture in the Theater Window. By setting this slider to higher values, the total rows or columns of tiles displayed are changed using this type:

Total=GridSize x ZoomValue

CautionSetting the Zoom Slider to big values, may increase the time it takes for the Theater Window to refresh. This also depends on how many other features you have chosen to display as well.

On the lower-half of this area you can see and set the lower-left tile data that is currently displayed in the Theater Window. The range of the value that these text boxes can take are 0 to L2 map width (or height) minus one.

TipThere are others ways to navigate inside the Theater Window. Check the appropriate page to find them out
TipYou can move the focus between the two text boxes by pressing Tab (or Shift+Tab for backwards). Pressing Enter while having the focus in either text box, activates the GO button and changes the low-left tile position in Theater Window.

Save / Export / Import Area

This area handles all the file transactions for this part of the program. Depending on which mode you're working (L0/ELV or normal mode) the Save button will allow you to save (or save as a custom filename) the file you are currently working on (L2/O2, ELV or L0/O0 file).

TipHolding down the Shift button, the Save button will change to Save As…, allowing to save the file you're working on with a different filename. The button Export will change as well to Export TDFs , allowing you to export the Features of a selectable area (explanation below).

Hitting the Export button, you will be required to define two points by clicking on the Theater Window. These two points define the rectangular that includes the tiles to be exported. After defining the points, a window will be opened to specify the filename and the format of the export file. The same procedure must be done if the Shift key is pressed and you're exporting TDF's. After defining the points when exporting TDF's, you will be asked whether you want a single file with all TDF's together, or multiple files of TDF's, according the type of features.

CautionIf there are no Features in the selected area, or no Features are loaded via the Features Window a message will be displayed, announcing that no TDF's were exported.
TipThe order which you click to select the export area isn't a factor. You can click whichever points you want, in whichever order you want. The format of the exported file, depends also on the current mode you're working (L0/ELV or normal mode). The current exported area's coordinates, will be saved with the exported file, in order to use it later (if you want) and automatically import it in the correct position.

Hitting the Import button, you will be presented with a window to select the file you want to import. Then, you have a choice. Either answer Yes to the next question and use the position coordinates stored in the file, or, answer No and choose the lower-left position on the Theater Window, in which the imported block will be inserted.

TipThe available import formats depends on the current mode you're working (L0/ELV or normal mode). If you select to use the stored coordinates, the Theater Window will be automatically repositioned to these coordinates (the lower-left corner of the import box).
TipFor all Import-Export functions, when you have to select a tile in Theater Window, the mouse cursor will change to a simple cross.

Tile cache

This area control whether to use caching of tiles or not. This is a technique to increase the browsing speed in Theater Window by converting dds files to bmp files that are smaller and easier to load. The conversion is done the first time a tile is accessed for display and the bmp files are stored in the Temp folder in the install folder.

You can select the size of the generated bmp with the respective combo box. Lower values mean higher display speed but lower quality.

TipTemp folder is deleted every time the program exits.


Here you can enable or disable the appearance of a ruler in Theater Window. If the ruler is active, you can measure the bearing and distance of two points by clicking and dragging from one point to another. You can type in a bearing and range directly in the textboxes.

You can define the unit of distance that you want to use (either kilometers (km), nautical miles (nm) or feet (ft) and whether you want the ruler to snap on tile corners and middle points. When snapping is enabled, the direct input of bearing and range is disabled.


In this area you can see the coordinates of your mouse pointer when hovering over Theater Window or Theater Preview Window. There are three options controlling the display format of the coordinates:

  • Degrees°
  • Degrees° Minutes' D
  • Degrees° Minutes' Seconds'' D M S

You can select the appropriate checkbox to have the coordinate grid drawn on both Theater Window and Theater Preview Window and select the button below it to change the draw color.

TipTo distinguish between the source of the coordinates, the word (MAP) will be displayed if the cursor is over Theater Window and (PREVIEW) when over Theater Preview Window.

Other Tools Area

This area is holding the buttons for transiting to the other tools of TerrainEditor.

  • By clicking on the first button you will open the BIN Editor Window.
  • By clicking on the second button you will open the MAP Editor Window.
  • By clicking on the third button you will open the T3dView program. As input to T3dView program, will be the current view of the Theater Window (elevations and textures) and if you are in L0/ELV mode, the appropriate elevation data will be exported.
TipYou don't have to save your work when switching between tools. You can go back any time and save it later.

By selecting the Window menu you have these options:

Just one option here, to Exit the program. When you try to exit the program while you have made changes to L2, L0/ELV, MAP, BIN or tac file, a dialog will pop up, reminding you these unsaved files and giving you the chance to press No, in order to return to the program and save any changes you made.

TipYou can also exit the program by just closing the Main Window by any means that Windows OS provides (click on red X button, Task Manager etc).

You can find the following menus:

  • Make MEA File: Creates a MEA file with the current map information.
  • Make THR File: Creates a THR file with the current map information. The program will overwrite the theater THR file located in the Campaign folder (as defined in the theater TDF), unless there were no such file available during the startup of the program and opening of the theater. In such case, you will be prompted for a filename to save THR file.
  • Make Elv File from loaded terrain: Sometimes, when you have only L2 information, you need an .elv file (that holds L0 information) to use with other tools. This command will bring up a window, allowing to define a factor (or a factor table) to multiply current L2 elevation data, in order to produce the .elv file. The method to multiply elevation data is the same as described in Elevation Lab Window.
  • Make Fartiles.pal: Creates the file fartiles.pal by taking one tile from each set, making one image out of them and creating a 256-color palette.
  • Make New PAL TGA: Creates a TGA image, containing one pixel for every tile of the theater, and a palette of 256 colors. The process for creating this image is, firstly, getting the primary color of every tile by resizing it to 1×1 pixel, secondly, combining this info into an image file, and finally, converting this into a 256 color TGA image. This TGA image now, is important because, it contains a correct palette for the MAP File and palette info for every tile. This TGA image can be used as input for either ModTerrain or MakeTerrain program.
  • Save PAL info as TGA: Creates a TGA image, containing one pixel for every tile of the theater, and a palette of 256 colors. The process for creating this image is by just getting the MAP File palette and every tile's palette info and making the image. This functionality is provided by ModTerrain program as well.
  • Search Tiles: Opens the Search Criteria Window for a new search of tiles.
  • Replace Blocks: Opens the Block Replacer Window for a block replacement operation.
  • Random Replace Tile: Opens the Random Tile Replacer Window.
  • Save Map Screenshot: Saves a JPG or PNG image of the Theater Window and whatever else is displayed on it.
  • Stations and ILS: Opens the Station and ILS Window.
  • Make Terrain GUI: Opens the Make Terrain GUI Window.
  • Mod Terrain GUI: Opens the Mod Terrain GUI Window.

This menu is opening or closing the various windows of the program:

TipThere is a check mark in front of every menu item, in order to know which window is opened any time. If you open a window once and access the same menu item again, the window will close. Closing any window doesn't discard any changed data, but some features depended on each window, will stop being displayed on Theater Window.

This menu controls some presets in TerrainEditor settings that are called Favorites. The first option allows you to save current settings as a favorite, and a window will pop up allowing you to define the name for the favorite you created. After the creation, this name will be added at the end of this menu, allowing you to quickly selected it and apply it.

The Organize Favorites options opens the Organize Favorites Window to edit your list of favorites and the favorites values.

By choosing the Online Help item, your default browser will be launched and open this Online Documentation.
By choosing the About… item, an About form will be displayed with version information about the program.

TipThe Internet address of this documentation is dynamically updated each time you contact the update site, via the autoupdate feature. You can also edit it manually by altering the configuration file.
manuals/terraineditor/reference/temain/home.txt · Last modified: 07/12/2013 11:47 (external edit)
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