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Fundamentals for Trainz Trainees
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 Mouse use

Content Manager Hotkeys


Unlike the interactive GUI world's of Trainz Driver and Trainz Surveyor, hotkeys in Trainz's various Content Managers don't select any active tool tip or tool mode or change the operating parameters of a struggling locomotive on the one hand, but do have a small set of file related operations effects. The Primary hotkeys are actually Microsoft Windows and standard product editing keys with a sprinkling of CM/CMP dedicated keys—all of which launch (and replicate) actions list in the various pop-up and drop down menus.

To add insult to injury (meaning the Mac-centric program and assets production team) the current generation of programmers and managers often make decisions apparently in total ignorance of the user interfaces, both the way Trainz 1.0 through TS12 operated with hotkeys, and even with nomenclature as they launched Trainz: A New Era[note 1] (TANE). The result following is two sets of active hotkeys; for pre-TANE and TANE and later Content Managers.

Ctrl, F2, ... , F7 select the active tool tab, which when pressed will toggle the tab and tool panels open or closed, as do mouseclicks as indicated.



TRS2006 introduced an integrated data base manager, uploader, download FTP manager, data base searching, and archiving capabilities all within a single EXE. Now the popular TRS2004-SP4 and predecessors had most of the same capabilities implemented as sometime finicky stand-alone executables. The new Content Manager was similar to a 3rd-party product TrainzObjectz.EXE which was much preferred in its day, and still useful to those running TR04 and TR06 occasionally.

CMP for TC1&2 and TC3


The stability of CMP in the many variations of TRS2006 was quixotic. Some claimed it would crash to the desktop at the wrong sideways look, in any event, the big improvement with the TC's CMP was enhanced stability. It also packed in the first jump in Fault finding, and began to enforce enumerated tags and became less tolerant of some corner-cutting practices.

CM 2.0 for TS09


Content Manager 2.0 is the version name N3V gave an enhanced toolset within a new CM, which ran rings around the plus behind CMP. Some major improvements were Boolean logic tokens added to the search manager, this let complex combinations of asset selection criteria be very discriminating to an exact degree. It was far more stable so with multiple versions running, each showing different search results, it would play nice and enable editing in Surveyor concurrently. They would also allow downloading and Surveyor operations at the same time, and new assets would soon appear once that tool was closed and revisited after such a new addition. This was not CMP, which could not do that, and only allowed ANDing and negating the second of two search criteria. Another key new feature was support for third party tool utilities to launch from the work horse popup R-Click-drag menu on an asset or group of assets listed out by that fancy smarter search and display capability.

This was entirely configurable by nesting utility calls within a batch file wrapper, and in general CM would open a file in Windows Explorer, decompressing it and extracting the meshes, animations, textures and texture.txt files into the ..\UserData\editing (main edits folder or root for open items) subfolder of the install then pass the folder path to the batch handler which in turn passed the folder parameter to external routines. Peter VIllemai (PEV) wrote various tools specifically aimed at helping users update and repair faulty and obsolete assets, after CM vetted the files, listed out complaints (faults and warnings--each gated to the TBV of the asset, which is to say its tech level [needs]) in a popup window, which the user could refer to whilst editing the folder for deficiencies. Peter published five main tools aimed at aiding the community repairs:

  1. Images2TGA.exe -- the workhorse of the bunch, this utility transfers the .texture graphics files into TGA files with accompanying texture.txt files with apropos instructions.
  2. PM2IM.exe -- Allowed conversion of older Progressive Meshes (.PM file format)
  3. QuickShadows -- Created shadow meshes of four main selectable types.

Peter licenses the PEVSoft software for free to all Trainzers, and it is free from several websites in the 3rd party web pages.

References and Notes