P-12C Pilot

The Flight Simulator experience and other tangential thoughts

Customizing Shift+Z Information

Customizing Shift+Z Information

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I've been meaning to blog about this forever, and now I finally will. In FSX we implemented the ability to customize the information shown at the top of the screen when you press "shift+z."

In the [CONTROLS] section of fsx.cfg there are headings of [TextInfo.1] [TextInfo.2] [TextInfo.3] and [SlewTextInfo.1] [SlewTextInfo.2] [SlewTextInfo.3]. These sections define what will be seen each time you press shift+z when in normal or slew modes. You can create as many of these as you can stand to cycle through.

Under each of the sub-sections described above are variable names followed by =X,X where the X's are numbers. These numbers define the line and placement on the line. So -

[TextInfo.1]
Latitude=1,1
Longitude=1,2

means that on the first press of shift+z the latitude will be displayed on line one in the first spot on the line and Longitude will be displayed on the same line just to the right of latitude.

In the example below, on the third press of shift+z, there are six different values on the first line and four values on the second line. 

[TextInfo.3]
Latitude=1,1
Longitude=1,2
Altitude=1,3
Heading=1,4
AirSpeed=1,5
WindDirectionAndSpeed=1,6
FrameRate=2,1
LockedFrameRate=2,2
GForce=2,3
FuelPercentage=2,4
 

You can have as many lines of information as you want on any given press of shift+z, but you do need to be aware of how much horizontal space a given line will take up across the screen.

Below is the list of variables you can display using shift+z. Using the format described above, you can put them in any order you want. I personally am using "HeadingTrue" on my slew info because occasionally we want to aim with the aircraft to help define an appropriate heading for something in a mission and all the mission objects are based on true heading instead of magnetic heading (the variable of just "Heading" is actually magnetic heading and is displayed as MAG on-screen). I also find TrueAirspeed and AltitudeAGL helpful on occasion as well.

Latitude

LatitudeDec

LatitudeHex

Longitude

LongitudeDec

LongitudeHex

Altitude

AltitudeAgl

Heading

HeadingHex

HeadingTrue

Airspeed

TrueAirspeed

WindDirectionAndSpeed

WindSpeed

WindDirection

FrameRate

LockedFrameRate

GForce

FuelPercentage

FuelRemainingGallons

FuelRemainingPounds

VerticalSpeed

AngleOfAttack

VideoDevice

AverageFrameRate

 

Comments
  • Been wanting to know for quite a while what type of controlers/joysticks you use to get good smooth flying.  My joystick sucks and it makes FSX unenjoyable for me.

    Thanks

  • Well we can't officially recommend hardware as vendors get upset if you don't recommend whatever they are selling. Internally many of us use the discontinued MS joysticks.

  • I've heard good reports about the Saitek Aviator:

    http://www.saitekusa.com/usa/prod/av8r.htm

    Also, many people use the Saitek X52:

    http://www.saitekusa.com/usa/prod/x52.htm

    Best,

    Owen

  • Thank you.  I forgot about the fact that you would be needing to recommend Microsoft equip.  Thanks Owen for the quick reply.  

  • Jon Patch (why is this bloke not a MVP yet) pointed out that Phil’s and Paul’s useful FSX

  • I'm so bad, it's been forever since I maintained my blog!

    I had a few people ask questionsa about the Shift Z stuff.

    One questiosn was why can't you show more than 4 vertical rows of data. Actully I thought you could, but I never tried to, so I'm not sure why you can't. Sorry, maybe I can find out what the deal is with that.

    Another questions is whether or not you can change the font size for folks that are running in high resolutions. The answer is that you can't. The data on these lines was intended for the team to use to facilitate debugging and was never a documented feature until recently. As simple debug text it wasn't architected to be scalable.

  • Where is the fsx.cfg file located?

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