From FSDeveloper Wiki
This article is the user manual for ObPlacer XML. This tool allows you to place objects while you slew through FS. It provides you a graphical user interface to the creation of an XML scenery file. You can place library objects, effects, generic buildings or MDL objects (exported from GMax).
You might think the features of this tool sound very similar to the Rwy12 Object Placer tool and that is true. After Rwy12 was released I have considered if I should continue developing ObPlacer XML. But because I think there are some difference between these tools I have continued the development (as you can see from this new version).
Rwy12 is a great tool if you are not really a scenery designer and want to place a few library objects around your favourite airport. But for a scenery designer who just wants to place an object he has made in GMax and which is unique for a certain airport I think Rwy12 is not really efficient, as you would have to make a special XML file for Rwy12 first, while ObPlacer XML is able to read your BGLComp library XML or add the MDL object directly.
If you feel you are more comfortable with placing objects from a predefined library, I advice you to take a look at Rwy12 instead. If you by now still think this could be the tool for you, please continue reading the rest of this manual.
The installation procedure of ObPlacer XML depends on the version you have downloaded. If you have downloaded one of the installers, then you only need to run that installer and you are ready to go. If you have chosen to download the ZIP file version, you need to unzip the content of the file to a folder of your choice.
Before you can start using ObPlacer XML there are two things that you need to check. First you need to make sure that FSUIPC is installed on your computer. FSUIPC is the module that ObPlacer XML uses to communicate with Flight Simulator and to read or write the position of your aircraft. If you do not have FSUIPC installed yet, you can download it from the FSUIPC homepage
Without FSUIPC you can still use ObPlacer XML to place your objects, but you will have to type in the coordinates manually. So it is strongly adviced to use FSUIPC, as you can then just slew around in FS to get the correct coordinates.
To make use of the dynamic preview of the GenericBuilding objects, you will need to install the latest version of the graphical DLL files by Martin Wright as well. Without these files the dynamic preview will be disabled (but the rest of the tool is still working). You can get these DLL files from his homepage.
The first time you start ObPlacer XML a configuration file will be made. If you are updating ObPlacer XML and you get crashes at startup, please remove your current config.xml file and let ObPlacer XML create a new one for you.
To get preview pictures with most default library objects, it is also adviced that you install the additional picture pack that is available from FsDeveloper.com. Just unzip all these pictures to a subfolder called
If you ever want to uninstall ObPlacer XML, you can run the uninstall program that is located in your ObPlacer XML folder. You can also start this uninstaller from the "Add or remove software" section of the control panel. If you used the ZIP file distribution you can just delete the folder you placed the files in.
This section describes the components of the graphical user interface. As the interface is totally new compared to the previous versions of ObPlacer XML it is advised that every user reads this section.
The interface consists of the following main elements:
Below you find an image of how the interface of ObPlacer XML can look. Besides the main elements, which will be described in more detail later, the interface also contains a menu bar and a status bar.
 The dockable forms
One of the main features of the new interface is that the forms are dockable. So you can arrange them in a way that suits you. The object tree, the object properties and the preview form can all three be placed either at the top, bottom, left or right side of the screen. You can also change their width and height. All other space is filled with the list of placed XML objects. Your current layout of the forms is saved when you export ObPlacer XML, so it will have been remembered the next time you start again.
For example, when placing library object I prefer to have the object properties and the preview form on the right, as you need quite some space to display the tree of available objects. When placing GenericBuildings on the other hand, you need a lot of space for the properties (as I hate to have to scroll through them). So in that case I prefer to have the preview on the left, together with the available object tree.
You can also undock the forms and use them as floating forms. If you have a multi monitor setup you could even place the preview form full screen on your second monitor.
 Menu bar
The file menu gives you access to the usual things you would expect there.
The edit menu gives you the option to undo recent changes your made to the XML file. This can either be adding or removing an object, adding or removing a local MDL object or changing the parameters of an object.
Temporarily files are created in your ObPlacer XML folder for each undo state. So during runtime this could take a little harddisk space, but these files will be removed once your close ObPlacer XML.
The number of undo steps that you can perform is almost unlimited. The counter of the undo list has a maximum value of 32767, but I doubt someone will make that many changes to a single XML file.
Besides the undo functionality, the edit menu also gives you access to a Coordinate conversion tool and a SHP file import option. These two options only work correctly if you are using the Dutch RD coordinate system, so they are probably not of much use to most users.
The Object menu is also available as a right click menu in the available object tree, its functions will be described in more detail when that form is discussed.
The view menu allows you to enable or disable the display of the three dockable forms. So if you don't need the preview at the moment for example, you can hide it to get more space for the other forms. Clicking the option again will bring back the form at its last location.
At the bottom of the screen you find a statusbar. In the left side messages can be displayed, for example when you add new objects. On the right you find two buttons, each with a special function.
 Placed objects
The center part (this depends a bit on how you arranged the dockable forms) of your screen is reserved for the list of the objects you have placed in your XML file. When you click on an object in this list, its properties will be displayed in the object properties form (this form is discussed in more detail later) and the tree view will move to this object as well.
If you right click on an object you will get the menu as shown above. This menu gives you access to the following functions:
The letters between brackets behind the function name are the keyboard shortcuts that you can also use the perform that function. So if you press the Z key, your selected object will be moved downwards.
 Available objects
The available objects tree gives an overview of all objects you can place in your XML file. This tree consists of the following categories:
Once you have selected an object in the tree list, you can right click to get a menu with functions you can perform. If you want you can also access these functions using the File, Objects menu. If a function is not valid for the object you have currently selected, it will be greyed out. The available functions are:
The two placement functions also have a keyboard shortcut, which is indicated with the letter between brackets. And when you double click on an object in the tree view it will also be placed at the end of your object list.
 Object properties
The object properties form allows you to change all the parameters of your object. For example its location or heading. When you click on a value you will enter the editing mode where you can change the value. Once you click on the next grid cell the new value is stored in the XML file (you can undo your change with the undo function if needed).
Some parameters will get a textbox to change the value, while others will have a dropdown list or a spinbox. In all cases you are limited in the characters you can enter. For example only numbers or a dot are allowed when you enter a heading. This makes sure you can only added a valid value.
There is also a faster way to navigate through the grid and that is by using the keyboard. If you press the Enter key you will enter the editing mode for the selected parameter. And if you press Enter again the new value is stored. By using Tab and Shift-Tab you can move to the next or previous grid. If you move to another field while still in editing mode, you will remain in editing mode in the new field as well.
If you right click on either the latitude, longitude or the heading you will get the menu as shown above. This menu gives you some functions to read or write values from or to Flight Simulator using FSUIPC. So the connection with Flight Simulator should be active for these functions to work.
The functions to read and write the total position can also be access with a keyboard shortcut. The letters are given between brackets.
When you place a new object, ObPlacer XML will by default try to read the total position from Flight Simulator. If this is not the position you want, you can edit the values manually.
The preview form can give you a preview of the selected object (as the name already suggests). If you click on a library object, ObPlacer XML will try to load a JPG or BMP file with the GUID of the object as name from the pics subfolder. If such an image is found the preview is shown, else the preview forms remains empty. When you select a GenericBuilding, you will get a rotating dynamic preview of how the object will look in Flight Simulator. When you change the parameteres of your object, this preview will also adapt.
If you right click on the preview, you will get a popup menu where you can stop the rotation of the object. Sometimes this might make it easier to enter the correct parameters for your building.
This last version of ObPlacer XML should be rather stable and it do no longer call it a beta version. But as the GUI has been totally reworked since the last version, there is always a chance that some problems are still there. That is the reason this version is (not yet) called v1.00. So if you found a problem, or if you have comments or suggestions on how to improve this tool, please let me know. You can reach me either by email or through the forums of my website FsDeveloper.com.
 Thanks to
 Version history
0.14 beta 25/04/2005
v0.13 beta 10/01/2005
v0.12 beta 08/01/2005
v0.11 beta 31/12/2004
v0.10 beta 29/12/2004
 Users license
(c) 2004-2006 SceneryDesign.org / Arno Gerretsen
This software program is distributed without charge to other scenery designers, redistribution of the original installer EXE file is allowed. You are NOT allowed to sell this software program or ask money for its distribution. BGL files created with this software program can be used in commercial scenery projects if you wish.
The copyright and any intellectual property relating to this program remain the property of the author.
The software distributed in this way may represent work in progress, and bears no warranty, either expressed or implied.