SL'ip#2 An Introduction to Viewer 2

Time for another Second Life Tip and this time we take a general look at Viewer 2 in preparation for our upcoming orientation session on June 16 at the DEN.If you are fairly new to SL (maybe you decided to jump in after the “getting started” post) you have already installed Viewer 2. For some of you seasoned veterans who have been clinging to the old viewer, we are here to pry your fingers from the ledge! Don’t worry…you do NOT need to delete your old viewer. Both can reside on your computer and you can even go back to the old one if you need to for a while (although it is recommended that you don’t keep switching back and forth a lot, and we will get into that another time.)

Step 1: If you have not already done so, go to and in the lower right click “Download Second Life”. What is a viewer? According to Linden Labs: The Second Life Viewer is 3D browsing software required to enter Second Life. It is spyware free. Viewer 2 is now actually Viewer 2.0.2 – In its second revision after input from users. Remember this download will not replace Viewer 1.23.

Step 2: After the download, start the viewer. You may want to watch the Torley Linden video below before you start. It is an overview of the basic transition from the old viewer to the new and where to find some old things in new locations.

Step 3: Refer to the Quick Start Guide for Viewer 2. This is a complete reference to all menus and toolbars. Go through it page by page from the beginning or use the links below to hit topics you are most interested in.

Interface Overview – top, bottom, and side bars

Contextual Menus – what you get when you right click on yourself, other residents, or objects

Inspectors – avatars and objects

Moving – how to walk, fly, sit

Seeing – camera controls and keyboard shortcuts for viewing

Appearance – objects and clothing in inventory

Local chat – both text and voice

One on one communication – IMs and voice calls

Voice set up – settings in Preferences for enabling voice chat

Friends – making friends and accessing your friend list

Location – using the World Map, creating and using landmarks, teleporting and SLurls

Help – how to use the help browser

Keyboard shortcuts

Some extra hints:

1.  With the new web browser interface, the backward and forward arrows take you back and forth in your teleport history, but be careful! When you use the back arrow you are immediately teleported to your previous location without being forewarned where you are headed or asked if you want to go there.  There is also a Home symbol which will immediately transport you to your designated home location. NOTE: Clicking the Places (Globe) symbol on the side bar will also make teleport history available and you have a clearer look at where you are going or where you have been.

2. The location which appears in the address bar can be customized. By right-clicking on that location you get the full parcel coordinates which you can then copy and share with someone as a SLurl. You also can turn on parcel properties which will show you things such as whether buildings, scripts, or flying are allowed. The parcel coordinates and properties, once checked in the sub-menu, will appear each time from then on if you desire that option. Clicking the ‘i’ (the Inspector) in front of the location name will open the place profile to give you further info about that location. The inspector option pops up next to objects, individuals, and just about everywhere.

3.  There are two options for viewing Nearby Chat. The new version shows a thumbnail of the avatar speaking, and by mousing over to the right you get the Inspector option which will open their information and show the options that formerly appeared in a pie menu such as IM, add friend, teleport, etc. You can also revert to the standard text only chat by choosing that option in Preferences- Chat.

Remember that on June 16 we will be providing an orientation session at the DEN in SL on becoming familiar with the features of Viewer 2. (8 pm Eastern, 7 pm Central, 5 pm Pacific) Experiment with the top and bottom bars, customize them by right clicking and eliminating what you don’t use. See what you can discover on your own, and come for additional tips at our Viewer 2 session.

See you in world!


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  1. Rick said:

    I enjoyed your post on secondlife. Would you mind telling me what grade level you are currently using secondlife with and if you are using the teengrid or just having teachers monitor students on the main grid.

  2. Patti Ruffing said:

    Hi Rick,
    I am a K-8 teacher so I personally do not use Second Life with students at all. The Terms of Service indicate you must be 18 or older to have an account. There may be some high school teachers who use it directly with their classes but again, even in 12th grade not everyone is 18.
    You can find out about using it with students at The Teen Grid is for students ages 13-17 but for adults to access the Teen Grid there is an extensive authorization process for the purpose of keeping students safe. Some schools who do use the Teen Grid purchase an island and restrict their students to working on that island. You can read more about it here:
    You may also be interested in these blogs:
    Chris Smith (shamblesguru Voom in SL)
    Scott Merrick (Scottmerrick Oh in SL)
    Noreen Strehlow (Norma Underwood in SL)
    There is also a series of interviews with Peggy Sheehy (Maggie Marat in SL) regarding the use of the Teen Grid with students.
    A number of educators have been exploring Reaction Grid for use with students. It is the same interface as SL so being comfortable in Second Life will make the transition to Reaction Grid easy for educators. Check out the post by Scott Merrick on his work in Reaction Grid
    and also resources posted by Shamblesguru.
    DEN in SL will be exploring Reaction Grid in the near future. I am looking forward to possible use of Reaction Grid with my students. Check back for posts on that topic.
    Keep in mind that Second Life is still a fabulous way to expand your Personal Learning Network and collaborate with other educators, even if you can’t work it into the curriculum you teach. I know that I have gained so much by my professional associations here.

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