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CC2 Day 1: Doing the Tutorial


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Revision Log
5 April 2002fixed a mistatement
28 March 2002page first published

9,565 hits since 28 Mar 2002
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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When the program arrives in the mail, what you've got is a 172-page manual with a CD slipped in a rear pocket. Installation is a no-brainer if you know anything about computers, and then you run the software, and you get -

how Campaign Cartographer looks like when you first run it

Egads. It's kind of scary. Buttons everywhere, and a big picture right where you'd expect some kind of map to be. This is mapping software, right?

Then like the "power user" that I wish I really were, I started clicking on buttons in the theory that one piece of software is like another, and I should be able to figure this thing out. Wrong! I quickly found out that I had no idea how to do anything with this software, that it gave me cryptic messages when I tried to do things, and that I'd better read the manual.

You Gotta Read the Manual!

the User's Guide

Now it turns out that the User's Guide isn't actually a manual to the entire software package, but basically a tutorial that explains what you need to know in order to make maps with this program. It takes about an evening to work through it all, using the tutorial maps to learn how to make continents and plop down mountains and cities and roads and forests. I found it kind of fun, actually, though I kept thinking of things I wanted to do with my own maps when I got down with the tutorial...

pages from the User's Guide

The main thing you get out of the tutorial, sort of in-between learning how to make maps, is how the software interface works. In Windows, usually you select an object, then you do something do it. Object -> verb. CC2 works the other way around - pick an action, then pick an object, or maybe pick a dozen objects. Verb -> Object.

the bottom left corner is where the cryptic messages appear

The next epiphany comes when suddenly those cryptic messages at the bottom left aren't mysterious any more, and you understand that the program is prompting you what to do next (or telling you what you did last, in case you want to repeat it).

By the end of the evening, I was feeling pretty confident. I thought I had the software tools mastered, and I was ready to roll onto my first learning project on my own.

what you have on screen near the end of the tutorial process

Minor Speedbumps

I ran into one problem in the User's Guide, which I'll mention here just in case anyone else gets stuck (or maybe you're not as dumb as I was...):

On page 9, it explains this great business about how you can print your maps to any scale. You want 1" of your print-out to be 400 units of map distance? Just select Scale Factor, then enter Paper Distance and Drawing Distance.

part of the Print Drawing box

But I couldn't get it to work! All I was getting were boring sheets of plain green or grey tones. Then I figured it out - when you type the Paper Distance value, include the inch marks. You've gotta type 1" and not just 1. The manual explained it right, I just missed the quote marks...