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Using the Second Life Viewer

Second Life Icon
If you successfully installed the viewer, you have a SL icon on your desktop. Double click it.
SL Viewer
The viewer should open.
find system requirements link under Downloads
If it fails to open, check system requirements.
avatar name sign in
If it opens, enter your avatar's First Name, avatar's Last Name & Password. Then click "Log In."
Help Island ca. 2007
You should find your avatar standing on Help Island.

Help Island is a boot camp for new avatars (newbies, or noobs). Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life, have set up software to teach newbies how to use the viewer to move, to communicate, to search, etc. Unfortunately many people still find using the viewer confusing. Not to worry, Flash will want to answer any questions you have about using the viewer.

camera controls

Start with the camera controls toward the top of your screen

minus sign
Click the minus sign to zoom out.
plus sign
Click the plus sign to zoom in.

pan arrows
Click an arrow in the right hand circle to pan your camera's view.


pivot arrows
Click an arrow in the left hand circle to pivot your view.

By default, when you pivot your camera it revolves around your avatar as the focus. However, you can change the focus to another avatar, or object: hold down the "Alt" key and click on the avatar or object you want to revolve around. Then click one of the pivot arrows.

default position
You can return your camera view to the default position of looking over your
shoulder by moving your avatar.


movement controls
The movement controls allow you to move via mouse clicks.


In some cyber worlds you click a spot and your avatar moves mechanistically toward it. Here you control the exact path your avatar walks, which is why the avatars you see walking around you look more natural than avatars in cyber worlds run by Flash animations.


up arrow
Click this up arrow to move forward. You can also move forward by pressing the up cursor (arrow) key on your keyboard.

backwards arrow
Clicking the down arrow has you walking backwards. You can also walk backwards by pressing the down cursor key on your keyboard
left arrow
Click this arrow to move left. You can also move left by pressing the left cursor key on your keyboard.
circle right arrow
Click this arrow to circle right. You can also circle right by pressing the up cursor key, and the right cursor key simultaneously.

In the same manner, you can use these movement controls to fly.


Click flying on, then...


click this arrow to fly up. You can also fly up by pressing the "Page Up" key on your keyboard.

Click this arrow to fly down, or press the "Page Down" key on your keyboard.



When flying is on click this arrow to fly forward, or press the up cursor key. The other arrows and cursor keys control your direction as they do when walking.

Practice walking along the pathways on Help Island. Try to keep on the path. Hint: place one finger on the up cursor key, another finger on the left cursor, and a third finger on the right cursor. Hold down the up cursor, and while holding it down, tap the right or left cursor to correct your path as you walk.

If Help Island is crowded, the server running this simulation gets very busy and the result is "lag." It may take several seconds after you press a key before your avatar moves. Then after you stop pressing the key, it may take several seconds for your avatar to stop moving, which can result in walking into walls, colliding with other avatars, etc. Therefore, if you experience lag, try to adjust your responses. Don't hold the cursor key down, rather press it for a second, then wait for your avatar to move and stop, then press it for another second or so, trying to gauge where your avatar is going to stop, and only moving safe distances at a time.

Sometimes when there's a glitch in the server, your avatar just keeps walking, out of your control. Just wait; the server may correct the mistake, and you'll find your avatar moved back to the spot where you lost control.

Once you've learned to walk, you're ready to learn to talk. There are several ways to communicate in SL, however we'll just practice "chat" for now, because that's how we'll communicate at the ASCI meeting.


Click in this "chat" bar, and then type, "Hello!"

The letters you type will be seen in your chat bar, but nowhere else.

Click "Say." The letters disappear from your chat bar,

and are seen by avatars around you.

By default, chat text appears in the lower left corner of your screen. In a situation with many strange avatars around, it can be hard to figure out who is saying what. Try switching to "chat bubble" mode, where each avatar's chat appears in a bubble over her/his head.


Click "Edit."


From the drop down menu, click "Preferences."

In the "Preferences" pop-up window, click the "Text Chat" tab.

Click "Show chat bubbles" on.


Click "OK."


Now you see chat in a "bubble" over each avatar speaking.

Click "Local Chat" to see a transcript in case you miss something that is said in chat. Have fun chatting with other avatars. Learn what you can on Help Island, it will save you asking questions later. When you're ready to move on, click the link below to find Quat Gallery.


I can not walk or talk,
I need Flash's help.

I've learned to walk & talk in SL, now
I want to find Quat Gallery.


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