Mauz's Activeworlds Pages: Help

Short Guide to Using the Activeworlds Browser

Downloading   Tabs   Docking   Avatar   Seeing   Moving   Talking   Contacting   Building   Events - Times: VRT   Abbreviations   Miscellaneous

You can get assistance e.g. from


Downloads window

Before you see any content in a new world, you must first download it to your computer. Downloading starts automatically when you enter. It usually takes a few minutes, depending on the speed of your connection. In the meanwhile, you see the objects as red squares. The next time you enter, you do not have to download them anymore.

To see which files are being copied at the moment, press F3, or select Downloads from the Show menu, to get the Downloads window. You can also see the number of objects left to download in the status bar, at the bottom of the browser.

If you cannot see anything even after many minutes, the world may be unbuilt or having problems, or your connection may be slow or faulty, or you are behind some kind of a firewall or proxy that is preventing downloads. See if my instructions for AOL users help you.


Docking tabs

There is Tabs pane to the left and Web pane to the right. They are auto-hidden by default. The window will slide open if you move mouse over it.

You can pin the pane open by clicking on the icon top right that looks like a sideways peg or corkboard pin. The pin turns upright. To auto-hide the pane again, click the pin so that it returns sideways.

To open or close Tabs pane, you can also press F9 or choose Tabs from the Show menu.
To open or close Web pane, you can press F7 or choose Web from the Show menu.


Inner docking arrows

The Chat, Tabs, Web, Downloads and Object Properties windows can be either floating over the graphics scene, or then docked to some edge of the main window.

If you grab the title bar of some pane with your mouse, you see a set of blue docking arrows. Keep holding down the mouse and move it over one of the arrows, to dock the pane there. Inner group of arrows dock it to the inside edge, outer arrows to the outside edge.

If you press Alt+Enter, you can define yourself a special full-screen view, where you can close as many windows and panes as you wish, to only see the graphics like in games. You can get back to the normal mode by pressing Alt+Enter again.


Avatar is your picture in AW, what you look like. It can be a person, animal, or about anything. Some avatars come with objects attached to them, like cameras or skateboards.

You can choose your avatar from the Avatar menu. Each world can have a different avatar list. If you registered a personal avatar for yourself, you can use it in any world that allows them.

You see a person's name over their avatar after they have typed something. The name disappears after a while. To get the names stay, take off the checkmark from Options menu, Settings, Chat, Use Comic style chat balloons.

You can do some gestures by clicking the buttons at the top of the screen, like Happy, Wave or Dance.


To see further off, you can increase the limit in the Visibility menu, up to 200 metres. You can set your minimum visibility from the Options menu, Settings.


You can move using the keyboard. If you want to move with the numeric keypad (numpad) arrows, take NumLock off first.

You can change key mappings to your own liking from Options menu, Configure Controls.

You can also move with the mouse: press F2, or click the picture of a computer mouse (Freelook mode) at the top of the screen, and point your mouse to where you want to go. To get away from the freelook mode, press F2 again.

You can teleport straight to certain coordinates by selecting To from the Teleport menu. In many worlds there are also teleporter objects, that you just bump into to go to a certain pre-programmed place.

If you press F11, or choose Position from Show menu, you can see your current coordinates on the title bar of the window. For instance, "10N 10W" means 10 coordinates to the north-west of Ground Zero (0N 0W). One coordinate equals 10 metres.

You can also teleport to a different world. There is a Worlds tab in the Tabs pane that shows the worlds that are online right now. The world you are in has a picture of a globe next to it. Scroll down and click on the name of a world to go there. To go to certain coordinates in another world, right-click the world's name on the Worlds list, and type in the coordinates.

You can go to any world that has a colored dot next to it. Grey dotted worlds are only for those that have been given the access by the world-owner. Some worlds may also not allow tourists.


Some worlds allow voice chat (VoIP). Otherwise you can talk by typing, or chatting, like this:

You can only hear and talk up to 50 people closest to you (see Options - Settings - Chat), and only to a distance of about 20 coordinates. Public Speakers can hear and be heard farther and by more people. They either own the world, or have been given the public speaking right by the owner. They may also have the right to eject people out of the world for a while.

If you want to have a private conversation, you can

If you do not want to hear someone, you can mute them: right click on their avatar, and choose Mute. After that you will only see the text "Muted" above their avatar when they talk.

There are also worlds where you can also speak in other languages than English, like French, Spanish, Russian and Norwegian.


Registered citizens can add friends to their Contacts list. To add someone, right-click their avatar and choose Add to contacts. Or right-click on the Contacts tab (press F9 to open Tabs), and choose Add new contact.

Registered citizens can send private telegrams to people in their Contacts list. To send a telegram, right-click on name in the Contacts list and choose Send telegram.

Registered citizens can also join people in their Contacts list. To join, right-click on name in the Contacts list and choose Join. The person to be joined with must be are online, that is, have a green check beside their name in the Contacts list. Or you can invite them to join you.

If you are not registered, then you can ask some registered citizen to locate your friend for you. If you are not registered and your friend is not either, your best bet is to just ask people if they have seen your friend around.


Citizens can build their own places, and even run whole worlds of their own. To learn how to build, see the Help menu or User Guide, or ask from the building tutors in the AWSchool world.

Building is basically copying an existing object and then changing it: Right-click the object to see the Object properties box, press the Insert key or the Duplicate button icon (third from left), and then move your object with arrow keys or the movement buttons to an empty place. To change the object's type, write a new name on the Object line, like mailbox1.rwx.

You can build in the worlds that have given you the building right, or in public building worlds like AWNewbie, AWSchool, AW, abc, Atlantis, COFmeta, Mars, Winter and Yellow.


To find out about events, meetings and other happenings:

Times: VRT

Meeting times in AW are usually represented in VRT or Virtual Reality Time (GMT - 2), developed especially for AW. You can see VRT time in the lower bar of the browser by checking "VRT clock" from Show menu. It is based on your PC's time, so make sure your Windows clock is on time and your time zone setting is right.

To help converting your own time to other times see my time zone page.


Some chatting abbreviations. See also my AW Glossary and Microsoft's guide to computer slang.

:) = smiling
:( = sad
:D = laughing
;) = wink
:p = sticking tongue out smiley
2 = to or too
A/S/C or A/S/L = age/sex/country (location)
AFAIK = as far as I know
AFK = (I am) away from keyboard
av = avatar
BBIAB = (I will) be back in a bit
BBIAF = (I will) be back in a few (minutes)
BBL = (I will) be back later
BF or B/F = boyfriend
BFN = bye for now
BOHICA = bend over, here it comes again
BRB = (I will) be right back
BTW = by the way
CS = cybersex
CU, CYA = see you (later)
D/L = download(ing)
NE1 = anyone
F2F = face to face
FCOL = for crying out loud
FWIW = for what it's worth
FYI = for your information
GAL = get a life
GF or G/F = girlfriend
GFY = good for you
GG or GTG or G2G = got to go
GM = good morning
GTGP = got to go pee
HAND = have a nice day
HB = hurry back
HTH = hope this helps or happy to help
HY = hi
IDK = I don't know
IIRC = if I remember correctly
IMHO = in my humble opinion
IMO = in my opinion
IOW = in other words
IPT = [after name] in private talks
IRL = in real life
IRW = in real world
JIC = just in case
J/K = just kidding
K = okay
LMAO = laugh my a... off
LOL = laughing out loud or lots of laughter
LTNS = long time no see
MYOB = mind your own business
N/M = never mind
NE1 = anyone
NJ = nice job
NP = no problem
o = [after name] engaged or married
OMG = oh my God
OTOH = on the other hand
Q/A = questions and answers or question answered
RBAY = right back at you
re's = welcome back
R U = are you
RL = real life
ROFL or ROTFL = rolling on the floor laughing
ROTFLMAO = rolling on the floor laughing my a... off
RTFM = read the "friendly" manual
RW = real world
TGIF = thank God it's Friday
Thanq = thank you
TIA = thanks in advance
TLA = three Letter abbreviation or acronym
TMI = too much information
TTFN = ta ta for now
TTYL = (I will) talk to you later
TY = thank you
U = you
VBG = very big grin
W/ = with
W/E = weekend
W/O = without
WB or W/B = welcome back
WTH = what the heck
YMMV = your mileage may vary
YW = you're welcome


If you want to have a world of your own for e.g. making your own objects and avatars, see my worldrunning page.

For technical support, send e-mail to

Fahrenheit/Celsius converter

Type temperature in the other field and then click on the other, or move with tab key.

F = °C

Meters/Feet etc. converter

from =

(I do not guarantee reliability or completeness of the information on this page.) 2008-02-17