Avatar Alternates w/SL & 3rd Party Viewers

Many of us have learned we have fewer problems if we use separate caches for each viewer. Going into Preferences, Network tab, and changing the cache location is a basic post-install step. What many of us miss is the idea of having a separate cache for each alternate avatar. Plus there are other settings we may want to change from avatar to avatar. Those changes have been an annoying part of the pre and post login process for those of us that need to have separate settings for an AV. However, there is an easy way to create a settings file to remember those changes and create a desktop icon to start your viewer of choice using different settings for each avatar.

This idea of controlling the viewer settings comes from oopaulino’s post in the Emerald Viewer forum.

The heart of the idea is using the viewer command line options. I have changed the method to one I think is easier. I am assuming you have viewer icons on your Desktop or Launcher Bar.

  • Right click you viewer’s icon/shortcut and select copy.
  • Paste the copy on your Desktop or Launcher Bar.
  • Right click and select Rename, name it something that suits you.
  • Now right click it again and select properties.
  • On the Shortcut tab look in the window labeled Target. Look for the option –settings.
  • Following ‘settings’ is the name of your viewer’s settings file, something like: settings_emerald.xml
  • Change the file name to indicate which avatar it serves. May be like: settings_emerald_avname.xml
  • Click OK and close the Properties dialog.

Now you can make a choice. If you stop here, the viewer will open using all the default settings. If you don’t mind going through and setting all your non-default viewer preferences,  just click the new icon/shortcut to start the viewer. Once running go into preferences and make your settings. You’re done.

If you have made lots of settings changes to your viewer it may be worth your time to execute these additional steps.

  • Open your Explorer and navigate to the settings file. Usually Start, Computer, and drive C.
  • If you are changing the SL viewer navigate to “C:\Program Files\SecondLifeViewer2\”. Otherwise navigate to the viewer’s install folder. Look for the file setting.xml or settings_emerald.xml or whatever.
  • Right click on the file and select Copy.
  • Right click again and select Paste. This should create a file named: settings – Copy.xml
  • Right click and select rename or press F2 and rename the file to whatever name you put in the viewer shortcut earlier.
  • Once renamed, you’re done, logon. Your viewer should now have the same settings as your original avatar. Now you only need to change the settings unique to the avatar.

You can do this as many times as you have avatars.

Additionally… this is a way to handle viewer setups if you have special settings for games you play in SL. Some combat games are so competitive you have to have everything tuned for the game. That usually means the rest of SL looks icky.

Also if you use a view on OpenSim and SL, you can use this method to make the viewer use different caches for SL and OS. This can save a lot of time for those with large inventories.

Viewer Command Line

If you have messed with changing your viewer shortcuts you’re aware the viewers have command line options. The problem is in knowing what options are available. There is a quick way to get a list of the commands.

Right-click a viewer icon on your desktop of launcher bar and select properties. Look in the Shortcut tab. In the Target window copy the Drive:\path\Emerald.exe part of the text. I’ve been using Emerald for some time so mine looks like this:

“C:\Program Files\GreenLife Emerald Viewer\Emerald Viewer Alpha\Emerald.exe” –help

Obviously if your changing a viewer other than Emerald, the Emerald.exe is going to be different. It will be something.EXE.

Click Start, Run and paste in the text you copied. Add –help to the end of it and click OK. This will open a window with a list of the viewer commands. This is a good memory jogger but not very explanatory. To learn more about the options see Viewer parameters.

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