Configuration - Making it Work

  Intel Macintoshes

  Getting Joysticks to Work

  Hacking Joysticks - Salvaging old stuff and other creativity

  Flying X-Plane with a real GPS

 Where are X-Plane's preferences?

  Video Cards and Monitors

  Performance - Frame Rate and Memory

  Bugs and Other Misbehavior


Other Stuff...

The Fn keys don't work on my Macintosh

Newer Macintosh computers (laptops, iMacs, and systems with the new aluminum keyboard) need to have their Fn keys enabled. Open System Preferences, select the Keyboard and Mouse settings, and check the "use all Fn keys as standard function keys" option.

V8.60 (and later) won't launch on MacOS 10.3.9

You need the OpenAL sound drivers. These are included in MacOS 10.4 but not 10.3.x. You can download them from the Apple Developer web site.

I've installed global scenery and now I get an error when I start X-Plane (V8.x)

I get an error message like

Unable to Locate terrain definition
lib/g8/terrain/cliff_temp_ew.ter
(C++/design++/HLutils/Files/io-dsf.cpp line 380)

You've tried to install global scenery into an incomplete V8.50 or later X-Plane install. Either you started out with a demo download, or you tried to manually merge an 8.50 demo install with an earlier version full install (like 8.40). X-Plane updates after 8.40 modify some scenery resource files, while other files are still available only from the base kit DVD. Manually merging the files is too complicated to explain, and it's unlikely you'll get it right. The only way to get this to work right is to first install the base X-Plane DVD, then scenery DVDs, and finally update to the latest version. See the global scenery page for details.

X-Plane can't open its component files even though they're present

This may occur with aircraft files or others, and happens on Win2K and WinXP systems with NTFS. The cause is usually that you've set up the file system or X-Plane folders to enable data compression. Turn data compression off.

How can I find out how to operate the controls from the keyboard?

In V8.60 and later, from the menu bar select Settings->Joystick and Equipment and select the Keys tab.

Prior to 8.60, look at the file Instructions/keys/X-Plane.txt. It lists all supported keyboard commands. (In older versions of X-Plane (prior to V7.50), the file is in Resources/keys/X-Plane.txt.)

How can I change the keyboard commands?

In V8.60 and later, find the function you want to assign a new key. Click in the left hand box containing the current key name and just hit the key you want to assign. If you don't see the function you want to assign, you can create a new keystroke assignment if the function is available. Click the Add New Assignment button at the top of the menu. Then scroll down to the bottom where you will find a new entry named "none". Click the gray center button and work your way through the folders to find the function you want to assign. Then click the box on the left to assign the desired key.

Prior to 8.60, edit the file. (Note - far as I know, the entries are positional. Change the first letter in a line to change the keystroke for that function, but don't reorder the entries.)

Can I fly using the keypad for control input?

Look... This isn't MSFS or some video game. If you absolutely must, you can, but you'll probably find the result very unsatisfying. The X-Plane flight model requires delicate control inputs and trim adjustments to keep the plane flying straight and under control. Control inputs with the keypad are simply too coarse. If you insist, here's the control layout:

KP1: Left rudder
KP3: Right Rudder
KP5: Center all controls
KP8: Down elevator
KP2: Up elevator
KP4: Left aileron
KP6: Right aileron

Note: As of V8.50, X-Plane auto-coordinates rudder control if you don't have a yaw axis assigned in the joystick setup. This overrides keypad rudder control. To get rudder control with the keypad, open Settings->Joystick & Equipment and assign an idle axis to Yaw.

Note: The keypad must be in Num Lock mode. If it isn't some of the keypad keys will give you wierd external views instead of operating the controls. How you get the keypad in and out of Num Lock mode depends on your keyboard. Most have a Num Lock key. The embedded keypads on laptops are especially squirrelly.

How do I get Real Weather to work?

I've downloaded metar.rwx and put it in the X-System folder like I'm supposed to, and the weather setup screen still tells me Real Weather is not detected.

This is a known bug in X-Plane. Just click the "Use Real Weather" button on and exit the Weather Atmosphere menu. It will start using the Real Weather file. Next time you open the menu it will tell you Real Weather is detected.

When I reloaded a saved situation I ended up with bogus results

If you have Stuffit installed you may have run afoul of a naming conflict. ".SIT" (used for X-Plane situation files) is also the default extension for Stuffit archives. Stuffit can be configured to automatically "stuff" files whose names are set to end with ".SIT". Either turn this feature off, or leave the ".SIT" off the filename that you enter in X-Plane's Save Situation menu.

How do I view X-Plane movies? (V6)

X-Plane moves are not movies in the usual sense. Rather, they are saved replays. You can only play them with X-Plane. To play a movie, load it up with File -> Open Movie. (Make sure you have the aircraft that is the subject of the movie in a folder with the right name. The movie incorporates the aircraft by name and if it's not there it won't play.)

X-Plane V7 and later can record real movies in QuickTime format if you have the QuickTime authoring features installed. The old replay style movies are referred to as "Situation Movies" in V7 and later.

When I open a movie, I get a long pause and then just go back to where I was.

The movie is probably an old version. Since movies are saved replays, their format may occasionally change as X-Plane's internal data format changes. It may also be the case that you're missing the aircraft in the movie (unverified).

I've finished playing the movie. How do I get out?

Select Viewpoint -> Toggle Replay Mode to return to normal operating mode.

When I record a Quicktime move or take a screenshot, it comes out all black.

This is a known problem with ATI video cards and drivers. You need to turn off anisotropic filtering in your ATI control panel and/or in X-Plane's Rendering Options.

I'm bored with hearing the same ATC audio clips over and over

See LiveATC.net for real time ATC audio feeds and archives.

How do I fix X-Plane ATC so that "wind" does not sound like "whined"?

Speech engines have problems with pronunciation. The English langauge is very confusing in that regard as the same word had more than one meaning and is pronounced differerently. Take wind for example. The roads wind down the hill. Wind 250 at 10 knots.

The speech engine has no idea about the differences.. in essence it is a sound generating process with no clue as to the meaning of words. So it looks up wind and pronunces that using the default pronunciation..

ILS for example. This is an abbreviation, but engine thinks it is a word. So it pronunces it as "iels".

There are a couple of methods to solve this. The best method is to use speech engine meta tags in the text string that is to be spoken. These tags contains hints and commands that assist the engine in pronuncing the words correctly. Unfortunately, X-Plane is not using this.

An alternative method is to change the pronunciation of the speech engine and make everything aviation specific. Make sure that wind is pronounced as "wiend" and not "whined". Change the pronunciation of ILS to "eye-el-es" and so on. This can be done using a very small program avaiable for Windows users at http://www.x-plane.org under the Utilities Section.

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