Turning on "Galactic Plane Mode" in the Windows client

I just wanted to write something down about a new feature, or really set of features, I discovered in the Windows client!

Some of you have noticed that the web client includes a toggle button in the “View” ribbon labeled “Galactic Plane Mode”, which causes the sky view to be oriented in galactic rather than equatorial coordinates. The Windows client does not have such a button — one of the few areas where the web client has more features than the Windows client.

Or does it? It turns out that you can also control this setting in the Windows client — it’s just not built into the UI by default. (As far as I can tell. Maybe I’m just missing it!) The Windows client actually has functionality to make it possible to add UI controls for some of its “under the hood” settings.

So, to make it possible to turn Galactic Plane Mode on and off in the Windows client:

  1. “Look at” the Sky.
  2. Click on the View button to open the View ribbon.
  3. Click the tiny plus sign to the right of the “Observing Time” frame. This will bring up a popup window named “Button Properties”. This window lets you add new controls to the View UI!
  4. Type “Galactic Plane Mode” for the “Name”.
  5. Select “Checkbox” for the “Button Type”.
  6. Select “Toggle” for the “Bind Type”.
  7. Select “GalacticMode” for the “Property”.
  8. Hit “OK”

You should now have a new checkbox in the View ribbon labeled “Galactic Plane Mode”, and toggling it back and forth should alternate the UI between equatorial and galactic coordinates!

The button doesn’t seem to persist across invocations of the program, so you’ll need to add it every time you want to control the setting.

The “Property” menu in this dialog has a big list of properties that can be controlled, so you can use this same general approach to play with all sorts of features!

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This is also a good technique to bring together a bunch of common features you need to have together in the same panel. You can also wire these to Midi controllers, XBOX controllers and access them thru the LCAPI via http!

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