My Viewer

This page is very outdated in the meanwhile. As of December 2015, I use Firestorm, As Firestorm has a save&restore function in the meanwhile, most of the below settings can be saved and restored after an update very easily. Besides that I was too lazy to update this page there are very good Manuals available on the net. For updating your viewer I recommend to watch the tutorial about clean updates. It is easier than you might think (there are also a support groups inworld in most every language, so don’t hesitate to join these, when you have a question or a problem (I got help and a solution for any problem there always!).

Since I first found SL there has been a lot of changes with regard to the viewers used to log in. First I used Marine’s RLV add-on for the SL viewer. I never had any problems with that, nor had I problems when updating was necessary. I do however know some people who had problems adding the right files at the right places in the viewer folders. Then most of the community I spent my time with in SL changed to the Emerald viewer. That was a real progress. It was written independant to Second life by the people that use it. I could tell that I felt everyone used Emerald. In fact that wasn’t true as there’s was and is also the cool-viewer, mostly made for apple computers but also for windows. There came a time when  Emerald was banned as a third party viewer because it was not secure and some were concerned which viewer to use instead.  We then had the Phoenix viewer that was developed as a true successor to Emerald by some of their better programmers. I know many spent a lot of time developing it and they did a great job!   With SL viewer 2, Marine’s SL viewer 2 with RLV, cool viewer, Phoenix in its latest version with mesh objects and with Firestorm as the successor of Phoenix you do have lots of choices. I personally use now the Firestorm Release with the current verison number v4.6.1.40478. Some of my friends aren’t content with it and yes it has its downsides. But overall I am very happy with this viewer and got used to it. For me has enough “Phoenix”-feeling inside.
I am writing this page for
– myself. So that I can remember my viewer settings when I do set up my pc from the scratch
– for my friends in SL to show them how I chose the settings instead of long explanations
– for those not familiar with the details of the viewer software to give them hopefully some useful hints
– for all “non-experts” like myself. I don’t understand a lot of the things I do, I simply try (and fail often enough)
– and last but not least I hope to get comments and hints what to do better and how to improve my viewer settings. I will update this page if needed.

What is coming below is from an older version (most probably v4.0.1.27000). There have been changes since that version and there are more possibilites to adjust. Yet, I’m too lazy to update and the basics are still valid. With my latest update on 2014, March 13th, I lost all my settings and I found the notes that I made here are still worth keeping as they helped me to get back to the skin and overall look of my viewer as I’m used to it. In addition the firestorm team has a lot of videos and manuals, so no need to repeat that here. Anway, here is what I saved:

There has been a major update to the viewer just recently. From a users point of view, who cares most about the appearance of viewer and less for improvements inside the most important change in this last update is the ability to customize the position of buttons and which buttons are shown on the viewer page. I strongly recommend to view the introductional video provided by the Firestorm team under

So how do I start? I made screen shots of my viewer settings. Before you login you have to make some a basic selection for the default settings. For me that is “V3”

Once you started the software you’ll find them under “Avatar – preference” or you can get them by hitting ctrl-P on your keyboard.  A separate window will pop up with a lot of settings to make. I’ll list them here as they are listed on this pop-up windows. Some have several tabs
Chat   General   Notifications   Firestorm   Radar  Keyword Alerts   Text Input
Custom Colors

Graphics   General   Hardware Settings   Rendering  Depth of Field
Sound & Media  General   Voice settings
Network & Cache
Move & View  View   Movement   Firestorm
Dialog Alerts
Privacy  General   LookAt   Autoresponse
User Interface   General   Font
Firestorm   Firestorm   Protection   Avatar   CmdLine   Windlight   Build   Tags

First of all this is how my screen looks like when I’m on SL:

Quite empty isn’t it? Well usually it is covered with IM windows leaving not much space for me to see the environment. If you click the picture you can see all details as there are: In the Top row of the screen
– the menus for the program
– the place where I am together with some icons (here indicating: no rezzing, no voice, daytime)
– my account (wow, I am rich!)
– a button to buy Lindens
– the drawing range (here set to 544)
– actual SL time
– start button for music, video, mute button
– lag indicator

Just below of that in the second row there are my favorite landmarks. Hey, now you know where I go to, I assume you’re not surprised.

On the button line you’ll find symbols for the most important separate windows of which most are hidden on my screen:
– chat line. Well I don’t use that. With the symbol right next to it you’ll get the separate chat window that is opened on the screen.
– about land
– preferences
– gesture button
– movement window
– camera (I have that opened)
– people nearby (i have that opened)
– appearance (of my avatar)
– search (people, landmarks, groups, etc.)
– world map
– places (favorites, teleport history, landmarks)
– mini-Map (that is opened)
– snapshot
– inventory
– animation (I use the build in AO)
– avatar (usefull to adjust the height above floor, so that you don’t sink into it or hoover above it)
– the little envelop on the right (not in the picture) indicates if there are messages waiting for me
– some other little icons will appear for my open IM windows together with numbers of lines that I haven’t read yet.
Remember that you can select which buttons appear and where they appear. It is explained very easy to understand in the video mentioned above.

On my screen you see the open windows for chat, people nearby, mini-map and for the cam control. You also see (surprise surprise) the gear that I use as there are:
My Hug&Kiss animator,
a channel lister (the green circle on the lower right).

I use the StarLight skin with the Starlight CUI with the Custom Light scheme. So now you have an impression of how my screen looks alike. And what settings do I use? Here they come in the order I listed them above:

I think that’s quite self explaining. Important for me is that pressing letter keys affects movement (i.e. wsad). That is set in the little box at the upper right. If you don’t switch that on getting to mouselock by hitting the key M won’t be possible. As I use gear that needs mouselock sometimes I need it switched on. Although it has the disadvantage that when I hit a key and am not in chat command line my avatar jumps of joy (you certainly saw that happening to me before).
In addition be sure to uncheck the checkbox on the upper right edge “Use web profiles by default”. That box is checked by default and the web profiles do really look odd in my personal opinion  and load very slow (for me). With the box unchecked you’ll get the profiles in the familiar look.
Chat General

I recommend to switch off the typing animation as well as the shouting gesture as it annoys me sometimes seeing that. Important for me is also removing chat headers (convert to V1 style) as it destroys the main chat in my personal opinion. I love the feature to see little dots in the tag when someone is typing. What a great idea! Also important for me is the vertial Chat Tab Mode orientation as i can see incoming IMs much easier this way. The Tab begins to blink when a new message is sent. I usually open a separate window for every chat as I am too slow to switch between the tabs and as I can easier follow the different IMS – but sometimes I can’t see anything anymore as my screen is filled with IM windows. Then I become slow –  and it is my firm will to slow down in order not to spoil my SL experience.
Chat Notifications

Chat Firestorm

In this window you can replace the /me by a (shorter) “:”. I also use the automatic closure of ((OOC)) brackets. In addition I like that emotes are shwon in italic font and thus I can differentiate them better from normal chat.
Chat Radar

Keyword Alerts

Chat Text Input


The colour window is the most important to get the main chat readable. As I included messages like friends going online/offline or avatars entering/leaving chat range or other messages to my main chat it is important that I can differentiate between imporntant and unimportant content. You certainly need your own color scheme. The above is mine. In the skin that I use I can also adjust the transparency of the windows not actually active. It took a long time for me to find out what suits best for me. Just try yourself.
Custom Colors

The custom color tab is to adjust the colors of your button, of your windows and bars and backgrounds and only works with the Starlight CUI skin that I use. And these are my colors, so you have to find your own settings. Again, this it described in the tutorial video mentioned above.
Graphics General

There is a lot that can be adjusted under Graphics. I am not at all familiar with it. I only use the general setting to “high”. I appreciate all comments and advice on how to set my graphics better.
Sound & Media General

Network & Cache

Under Network & Cache you’ll find the destination folder for your cache and can readjust it if you like.
Move & View  View

Move & View

Move & View

Dialog Alerts

I think dialog Alerts is pretty self explaining and everyone has to adjust according taste. These are my settings.
Privacy General



This tab is self-explaining again. Put in the autoresponse texts you want to send to answer IMs.

Under Advance you switch on two menus in the software. These menus are helpful when you get an expert explaning something to you or if you simply need something particular. I have them switched on for me – although I very rarely use anything from them.
User Interface General

User Interface


The skin is very important for my “Phoenix”-feeling. This skin is very similar to the skin I used for Phoenix, so its best for me. What annoys me is that the Favorite bar on the top of the window is only shown when used together with the Nsvigation bar. And it doesn’t keep its settings – so I have to minimized the navigation bar everytime when I log on – or I don’t use the favorite bar (but I got sooo used to*sighs. That’s so annoying!

The most import check-box for those into bdsm-related SL-Fun. Here’s the box to switch on RLV. Also a nice feature is that objects are rezzed under the land group, if possible.
Firestorm Protection


If you like to play with the particle beam that indicates that you work with an object – here’s where to adjust the color and where you can turn it on/off.
Firestorm CmdLine




As far as I know the tag feature (to see who uses which viewer) doesn’t work anymore because of LL TPV rules. So I didn’t change anything in this tab. Well, that’s all I collected so far. What else I like with the new Firestorm Release is the texture refresh – it is in the pie/context menu for those textures and avatars that refuse to load. Also you can inventory search that lets you search multiple words at once. And the adjustments for the individual colors and buttons and the individual alignment for them is also an improvement. As mentioned above I look forward to feedback regarding my settings and to any improvements that you can provide to a normal non-expert like I am. For those who like more information I recommend to view these video tutorials:
How to adjust the inbuilt AO:
Furthermore the complete menu tree of Firstorm can be found at[]=fly

See you in-world, no matter which viewer you prefer.

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