Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How to stop the Tools menu from Hiding

No Tools Menu
The tools menu gets automatically hiding in the 1.20 release of the Second Life viewer. This was done to reduce the number of menus presented to the (new) users. It only becomes visible when the 'Build' window is open.

I like the idea of removing menu items, to make SL looks less daunting for the new User. It seems though that the change is unpopular with and it is going to be changed back in the 1.21 viewer. For the people who can't wait to have it back, Jacek explained on her blog how to have the Tools menu back permanently with just some simple copy and paste.

This trick is a simple one. Since SL looks for the Tools menu by name to find which menu to hide, all you have to do is change its name, and SL won’t find it, and it’ll stay visible all the time!

The really easy way (download the replacement file):

  1. Download my pre-chewed XML file to “Second Life/skins/default/xui/en-us/”, replacing the existing one. On OS X, go to Applications, ctrl-click on “Second Life”, choose “Show Package Contents”, then put the file in “Contents/Resources/skins/default/xui/en-us/”.
  2. Restart SL, enjoy.

The slightly less easy way (edit the file yourself):

  1. Open up “Second Life/skins/default/xui/en-us/menu_viewer.xml” in your text editor. On OS X, go to Applications, ctrl-click on “Second Life”, choose “Show Package Contents”, then open up “Contents/Resources/skins/default/xui/en-us/viewer-menu.xml” with TextEdit (or your favorite text editor).
  2. Search for: name="Tools" (it’s on line 590)
  3. Change name="Tools" to name="Toolz" or some other non-Tools word.
  4. Save the file, restart SL, enjoy.
Voila, your Tools menu will now be visible all the time. Piece of cake


  1. Frans, do you think you can help me with the oposite?
    I use Linux, and the SL viewer does not work in full screen for me, neither does CTRL-ALT-F1 to hide the UI, but I would love to be able do hide the whole UI for a better experience. I seldom use the top menu bar, so I wish it were transparent or at least hideble (is that a word?).
    I would apreciate any help in finding these options inside all the xml files.

  2. Hi alroger,
    I can't help you but maybe you can ask jacek here: