Tip of the Week #7: A deeper taste of the pie menu

The title is inspired by the many culinary video tutorials I’ve been watching lately (in my personal life, I’m learning how to cook)… WELCOME to Second Life Tip of the Week (SLTotW)… NUMBER SEVEN!

Just about all of us know what the pie menu is: right-click an avatar, object, or even the ground terrain and you get slices o’ options to choose from. Often, the pie menu provides an easy pathway to features also found elsewhere, yet sometimes, it provides the only pathway.

Today, I’m going to show you:

  • A basic refresher on how to use the pie menu
  • How to invite someone to a group from the pie menu (NEW!)
  • Inspecting object details via the pie menu (Resident requests!)
  • How make the pie menu come up as the default action when you left-click
  • Changing the appearance of the… you guessed it, pie menu

Have a looksee and learn the fun way!

And, BONUS! Since I didn’t get enough time to explore the wilder customizations of the pie menu, here’s a mini-tutorial for you to clip-‘n’-save:


  • In Second Life, press Ctrl-Alt-D on PC (some systems may need Ctrl-Alt-Shift-D) or Opt-Ctrl-D on Mac to enable Client menu. It’ll appear at the top of the screen next to the Help menu.
  • Go to Client menu > Debug Settings. It’ll look similar to this:
    Set 'PlayTypingAnim' = FALSE to silence those annoying clickity-clack sounds
  • In the top text box, type in “PieMenuBgColor” (it’ll autocomplete”, and press Enter. Click the downward-pointing triangle arrow next to that text box and you’ll notice 4 related choices: PieMenuBgColor, PieMenuLineColor, PieMenuLineWidth, and PieMenuSelectedColor.
    Customizing the pie menu
  • WARNING: NOTE that the “Reset to default” button doesn’t initially work for the colors, and appears to bleach your pie menu white! RELOG to fix this. And for reassured reference, here are the defaults:
    • PieMenuBgColor
      • Red = 62
      • Green = 62
      • Blue = 62
      • Alpha = 150
    • PieMenuLineColor
      • Red = 0
      • Green = 0
      • Blue = 0
      • Alpha = 128
    • PieMenuSelectedColor
      • Red = 183
      • Green = 184
      • Blue = 188
      • Alpha = 77
  • Select any of these options and begin customizing — the “Color” ones have a “Color” box in the lower-left which you can click and change via palette. “Alpha” is the transparency value (notice how you can normally see through the pie menu), so if you set Alpha to 255, that color will appear totally solid.

With a little practice, you should be able to get varied results like this (patriotique?):

Pimped-out pie menus 1

or this (sci-fi froggy kinda):

Pimped-out pie menus 2

what about this? (Inspired by iPod.)

Pimped-out pie menus 3

or EVEN THIS?!! (I need not explain myself.)

Pimped-out pie menus 4

Show me what ya come up with, k?

[UPDATE] Custom pie menu colors won’t persist across logins if you just edit them in Debug Settings, but Brent Linden has a handy tip here on how to make them “stick”. Thanx Brent!

Thankee for journeying with me, friends —

Sunset in "Second Life 1.18.3 (71444) Oct 10 2007 09:47:05 (Second Life WindLight)"
What is this?

tips on how to reduce common annoyances in SL are up next!


Torley Linden is a Product Manager & more who regularly contributes to the Official Linden Blog. Read Torley’s previous posts. Torley co-hosts the User Interface and Release Candidate Bug Triages, come on over!

About Torley

Who am I? See http://torley.com/
This entry was posted in Community, Creativity & Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Tip of the Week #7: A deeper taste of the pie menu

  1. once again great detailed tip of the week. Now if we could only learn how to make our traffic reports refresh daily. That would be awsome

  2. Dekka Raymaker says:

    OMG did someone mention pie?

  3. Kat Hynes says:

    I like cherry pies best !
    But nevermind that, lets do camera and movement controls.
    Every newbie I meet and love to help knows nothing of them and how much easier it makes things.
    So go to VIEW
    click movement controls
    drag the box with blue arrows to lower right corner out of the way works for me
    Go to View and click camera controls
    Drag the box once again
    Start movin’ & zoomin’ !
    It’s a lot of fun

  4. Chaz Longstaff says:

    OMG *nobody* give that guy any sugar!


  5. Redmoonblade says:


  6. Bobbyb30 Zohari says:

    So thats whose running SL?

    I’m scared. (@.@)

    Thnx for the tips, nontheless.

  7. Vincent Nacon says:

    …and so he still show off the windlight at the end again…. *sighs*

    Come on…. no more showing off Windlight till we can use it, please?

    Making my eyes want to bleed.

  8. nimrod Yaffle says:

    Wow, thanks for the tips to customize the pie menu. I usually skip over this stuff, but decided to read it.

  9. 3 Kat Hynes Says:

    October 11th, 2007 at 5:15 PM PDT

    …..lets do camera and movement controls.

    YES.. tip of the week next week should be camera and movement controls. Very nice yes.

  10. alf lednev says:

    hmmm My original post here seems to have disappeared into a black hole in cyberspace.

    Torely, “How to color a piechart”?? Please, Please do “How to oil my SL fishes bicycle ” next, I have so many sleepless nights worrying about that as well.

    The Camers one would be useful.

  11. Throwing a whipped-cream pie at the Governor’s face.

  12. Kat Hynes says:

    Thanks Torley! My favorite was cherry pie but now I’ve switched to blueberry . A little color in SL is always welcome. ( I see enough grey things as it is ) !

  13. Roxi Bingyi says:

    Thanks for the great tip Torley! If pie is involved, I’m all about it!:)

  14. Relentless Roux says:

    Hi Torley…

    thanks for the great tips, I find most to be very good!! And, I must say the tip from Kat Hynes was rather good too! Thank-you Kat!!
    (I thought only real gamers could walk in a straight line)
    When are we gonna learn how to put colour in our file folders, lol
    ….. just a wish

  15. Skygirl Kline says:

    Thank you for that add to Group tip I didn’t know. I work as a host and I was adding people the long way round …It was murder when the bar got crowded at a party! Thanks again

  16. Kyder Ling says:

    Hehe, I had no idea the pie menu was this complex! You guys really did pack in lots of nifty features in the debug menu huh? What next, you’ll reveal that the UI is actually alpha mapped and we can change the color bye tinting it?

    Thanks again, Torley.

  17. Pingback: All About the Pie Menu « The Grid Live

  18. Vin Houston says:


  19. mimi says:

    wow a great post again torley ^^
    I always enjoy your videos…

    I was a bit dissapoined at the “lights on the lab” reply though (why are the comments closed there?)
    It seems that linden labs do reads the replies, (even makes statistics about them) but simply chooses to ignore to reply to the parts they don’t like. 89% of the answers was no example, but several of them DO were a reply to the blog post, and were ignored again.

    26% Give us more information, give it to us faster, and give it to us at the right time.

    11% Communication is a two-way street, and you Lindens don’t listen.

    This part shows that while people may not have direct examples (or maybe too many like me) but they do feel it goes wrong at a certain point and can pinpoint exactly where. Why is an example needed for that?
    I’ll post my examples here, since you want examples, and other answers don’t seem to count:

    * Windows – it runs crap, but crashes less often than Secondlife
    * bol.com, neckerman.nl (dutch online shops): when you pay for a product it always delivers
    * Any house rental company, TV cable company, electricity company or other ive been with- when they raise their prices, or change the payment method which would cost us extra money it’s announced at least a month in advance
    * Any supermarket – workers there don’t irgnore you when you have a question even though they are not directly related to their department. they try to help even when its difficult and say sorry when they cannot
    * budgetmedicines.com, allmedspharmacies.com: even these illegal medicine ordering companies have better customer service than linden labs and give reply to what youve actually asked instead of closing a ticket with an asnwer that has nothing to do with the questions.
    * the police: this company takes theft seriously, and takes your stolen goods from you, instead of saying “hey its forbidden” then let you keep it and spread it. (this refers to the way the DMCA is handled here)

    Second what caught my eye was that they ignored “World of Warcraft, even COH” as examples. They are probably the best examples people could give. Why aren’t they in the list?

  20. Jayden B says:

    @3 – Kat…

    Rather than the camera movement onscreen joypad…

    Alt-LeftClickDrag to move away towards you
    Ctrl-Alt-LeftClickDrag to move left/right
    Ctrl-Alt-Shift-LeftClickDrag to move up/down … real fast.

    With my draw distance set to 512 I can scoot my camera up into someone’s sky box using these three combinations super-duper fast.

    And for a little fun… Alt-LeftClick on an Avatar or object and sit back to enjoy the ride.

  21. Byelka Houston says:

    Whats the point? The pie menu resets when i relog.
    please answer….

  22. Blinders Off says:

    If a user is a mathematician, does he geta PI menu instead?

  23. Blinders Off says:

    BTW, I agree with Mimi. When they updated the LIGHTS ON blog, they should have either made it a second blog, or turned comments back on. Because seriously, when 1/3 of your comments not only say that LL doesn’t work but are negative in an extreme way, it’s time to turn the lights on brighter and get a clue. People are ticked and it’s time to fix the platform.

    Example: today I was in a group chat. My own messages were being displayed in incorrect order. The chat eventually crashed. People were complaining about saying something and the chat displaying that text hours later.

    If a company can’t get simple text chat right, what hope is there? That’s almost laughable… if it weren’t so completely ridiculous.

  24. Abigail Merlin says:

    “tips on how to reduce common annoyances in SL are up next!”

    Cool we’re getting tips on how to make n00bs griefers and pervs *poof* from our PG areas.

  25. Karyn says:

    Once again a great video and tips from the Master Torley! 🙂

  26. Nate T. says:

    How to reduce common annoyances in SL – A tutorial by Nathan Tripp…

    Step 1: Uninstall Second Life
    Step 2: Have some cake

  27. Neard Harbinger says:

    Another great tutorial, and this one actually covered a lotta stuff I didn’t already know. 😛

    But, uhh, I’m gonna say this as nice as I can … please, please, never sing again. Thanks. 😀

  28. Lance Corrimal says:

    thats easy enough: turn damage on, get a gun with the right ammo. and a mystitool hud or psytek implant on top of that.

  29. SL Player™ says:

    #19 mimi

    They got forums to rant and rave about all your little hard aches and suffering, no need to deliberately throw up on the side walk in front of everyone and expect to get sympathy and a hanky thrown at your feet. See if we ever will invite you along on the field trip again!

  30. SL Player™ says:

    #24 Abigail Merlin

    You sound like one of those old disgruntled sinister neighbors with nothing else to do all day, but to peek out the windows just looking for anything or anyone that infringes upon your oh so pretty perfect world, fingers at the ready to AR anyone. How many AR’s you do a day about 100?

  31. mimi says:

    @ 29 my response was a serious one, not interded to get sympathy, but to communicate. somehow I still believe it should be possible to communicate *with* the lindens instead of talk to them.
    I just answered their questions of the previous blog, in the style they required.. (with some sarcasm)

    I am not somoene who just complains here, I usually post on JIRA, or request a live chat when I have a problem. The problem is though that serious issues on it often are ignored and there’s no possible way to get an answer on many questions. Lately ive been so tired of this, I started posting here, since here they at least will have to read it.

    For example one of our shop items was copied to a person full permissions because of one of secondlifes memory leaks. I posted it on jira, requested help at the live chat, we submitted a ticket. Its an item I earn a lot of money on (real life money) and linden labs didnt take it very seriously.

    The ticket was closed 3 times when we got a newbie standard answer, while the situation was not solved and the person replying to it obviously hadnt read it. In the live chat we didn’t get any answers, one din’t even know the bug existed (it was on JIRA) and they said it would be sent to the techinical team, of which we still havent heard any. Our items is sold by many other people now, costing us a lot of money. The DMCA is largely ignored it costs us lots of money and they don’t care.

    This kind of trouble doesnt just happen to me, similar problems have happened to bigger shops like me, for example Strokers (it was in the news on tv), and Naught Designs, X2 and FNKY have had similar problems with lindens not helping when it was about issues costing lots of money.

    Just because you don’t have trouble, you can’t judge about anothers situation. Losing money is a serious issue, for you it may not be, but for people who depend on SL for a (partial) real life job it is.

  32. zebadee says:

    Can we have a tutorial on how to avoid chat lag and crashing every 10 minutes next please?

  33. Lillith Yoshikawa says:

    Ooh hey… Does this mean it will finaly STAY changed now ? I’ve played with the pie colours befur and they always reset when i relog.

  34. Marina Mincemeat says:

    We hear ya zebadee, i second that motion, and still want to thank Torley for informative, helpfull hosting of tutorials, the Lindens could make us all read a book ya know instead of delivering little bits of information about our very complex Second Life world 😉

  35. Georgette Whitfield says:

    Torley, how the heck are ya?! LOL. Great post again and funny too. I’m glad you’re learning to cook. I will send you some of my recipes for you to try out. My wine flambé chicken is great (discovered by accident hehee)!

  36. Dekka Raymaker says:

    @ 32 zebadee

    Your tip of the week “get more ram” 🙂

  37. Tegg B says:

    Wow coloured pie, Awesome mate 🙂

  38. zebadee says:

    @36 Dekka

    2gbs 800MHZ DDR2, its not my setup, especially when everything else works amazingly 😉 “go figure”

  39. Cat Gisel says:

    Hey are we going to celebrate PIE day on pi day?

  40. Don Misfit says:

    Getting the Pie changes to persist:

    Curiously, LineWidth persists… the value is written into your settings.xml file and is used when you next login. As noted though, colors DO NOT persist.

    If you *really* want to change the pie colors, and get them to persist, you can edit them here:

    [application dir]\app_settings\colors_base.xml

    Note: As always, when editing configuration type files — make sure you understand what you are trying to do, and make a backup of the file!


  41. Aeper Jie says:

    Come To The Teen Grid for once. We cant go to where you find cool stuff :/ Ban the adult stuff!

  42. Pingback: “Stuffs” « Bits of Virtual Reality

  43. Redmoonblade says:

    Fun fact: 98% of tickets sent by non premium accounts are ignored or automatically answered by a bot.

  44. Pingback: Second Life Magi Take

  45. adammax Jie says:

    What I want to know is:

    1) How do you make the textures that u use to make sculpted prims? Is there a program that is built in to second life, is there a free one you can down load or some thing

    2) Is there a way to help the lindens get ride of objects / people who are purposely crashing or disrupting a sim IN REAL TIME! in other words is their a way some one can report some one of crashing a sim OTHER then going through the normal way of going through the help menu-> report abuse. And then having to fill out the long report and having to wait around 5 days for some one to get around to it

    3) are their normally and Lindens in the teen grid because I have been playing for around 9 mouths and the only reported sighting of a linden by more then 1 person was at some party they were sponsoring and then they were only there for around 5 minuets
    simply put we NEED at least 1 person who has the ability of returning peoples objects who are miss using them such as some one going around orbiting [orbiting: verb, to casing some ones AV to end up at around 214,4564+ feet in the sky in around .25 seconds] people in places like tutorial island which is a place founded by linden labs for new people to learn how to build. now I am not asking for a god like person who goes around declaring law, what I am asking for is some one who can return objects and at most freeze a persons account for no more then 1hr. is that to much to ask?

    4) Are their and volunteering/jobs form linden labs that some one under 18 years of age can do? If so what are they and how do apply?

    5) What is the official policy on religion in side the game because I am starting to be hassled by people trying to convert me and it is get very annoying!

    These are this some of the questions I have and have NEVER bean able to get answered by any one. As a suggestion maybe you should think about a QnA page on your blog some were. On which people can ask questions like this and view questions other people have. Maybe even have it so any SL resident can answer other resident’s question sort of like how http://qna.live.com/ is setup that I think would help fill the void left by the removal of the “Live Help feature”

  46. Berry Steinhoff says:

    Pie-tastic! Thanks Torley!

  47. Brent Linden says:

    You can keep your pie menu customizations (except pie line size) by adding the following to Second Life/app_settings/colors.xml on a PC, or right-click the Second Life application on a Mac and choose Show Contents. Then drill down to Contents/Resources/app_settings/colors.xml:

    Note that changes will not persist through a viewer update :-(. Copy your colors.xml somewhere outside the Second Life application folder for safe-keeping. When you update your viewer just overwrite the colors.xml in the new version. Colors.xml is a sort of patch XML file which replaces colors in colors_base.xml. Modifying colors_base.xml isn’t recommended.

  48. Brent Linden says:

    Aw drat, my XML was eaten by WordPress :-/ This is what you should add to colors.xml:

    <!– Menu that spawns on right-click –>
    <PieMenuBgColor value=”0, 51, 102, 128″/>
    <PieMenuLineColor value=”197, 217, 234, 128″/>
    <PieMenuSelectedColor value=”197, 217, 234, 240″/>

  49. D. Spitz says:

    1. i like this programm just for playing a bit with sculpted textures http://www.xs4all.nl/~elout/sculptpaint/ , but the http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Sculpted_Prims knows so much more than me, maybe u like to read that 😉


  50. As often is the case with comments, there’s more than I can reply to individually, but I see a number of my fave topics touched on. And I’d like to say thank-you and reply…

    * Thanxies Brent for the tip, I’ve linked to it from the original post! (Brent’s UI Guruism and aesthetic enhancements are always appreciated, he’s crafting art for our new Viewer Visual Refresh project, see http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Viewer_Visual_Update )

    * CAMERA CONTROLS!?? DID YOU SAY CAMERA CONTROLS!???? OF course you did, and you’ll be pleased to know I covered them in a previous video tutorial! http://youtube.com/watch?v=LU-NhMedmnk and more are @ http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Video_Tutorials Yes, camera controls are definitely handy. Without them, you’re very limited in what you can see!

    * I like Sculptypaint and PloppSL, I look forward to the continued maturation of easy-to-use sculptie tools because the process is often more unwieldy than it needs to/should be. I celebrate the joy in simplicity in a very Maedaesque way.

    * Re: me being a WindLight tease, no question about it… better to give you regular info than damn, scary silence.

    * Re: support issues; l can’t help you individually with those here but I know our Support Team does their best to reply to all actionable tickets.

    Stay tuned for Second Life Tip of the Week #8 next week, it’s definitely in response to popular demand.

  51. Btzaleil Freenote says:

    WOW! Thank you! this is very helpful.

  52. alexwarrior says:

    G’day Torley

    OMG – those shoes are to die for!!!!

    I am logging straight in and searching for Tesla Miles!!!


  53. (claps for Torley) Your informative tutorials always make my week! You are so upbeat & thats what we need. You don’t give us that “scary silence” & that is refreshing & wonderful. Thank you.

  54. Ron Crimson says:

    Fresh apple pie coming your way courtesy of yours truly, Torley!!! 😀

  55. Storyof Oh says:

    off topic but nowhere else to ask…anyone else crashing on tp? getting the usual awful lag? horrendous waits for items to rez? or is it because i downloaded the latest version fixing bugs??

  56. Nice to see you create informative videos.
    Its good you don’t worry about going over the 5 minute suggested time. I like the longer videos, more info. Good for helping new people to SL.
    Easy for me to point them to your video then type for an hour trying to explain to some one. Keep up the good work and hope to see you in world some day.
    ps. I know how well you play the piano, it would be so great to see you play a wild Jerry Lee Lewis song and post on you youtube page! Best of luck and keep up the fun you been promoting in SL ,,,=^_^=,,,

  57. well, thanks Torley to share infos and tips.

    But for many of us, videos are not the most practical mean for this. It takes time to look, we can’t take notes, and speech could be very difficult to understand for non-native english speakers.

    OK, videos can be cool for other persons, this is a matter of personnal taste, not to be discussed. But please:

    1) provide the relevant info in a text
    2) provide a link to the place where more info can be found. The support site is large, and sometimes it takes much time to find a tip or a reply to a question.

  58. David Hultcrantz says:

    I look forward to trying this out (i’m temp banned at the moment). Thanks Torley

  59. Tronix Dagger says:

    I’m more of a cake person myself. 🙂

    If I may request, you should post a SL URL on the blog so we can visit the places you do your “remotes” from. They look cool.

  60. Storyof Oh says:

    Pleeeeease LL keep a blog open-ended for connection problems….after a day of nightmare an explanaition appears yet COMMENTS CLOSED…………yet open-ended blogs are allowed when a bit of back slapping is expected.

    We ‘Europeans’ now pay an unfair premium to use SL yet the connection blog is closed. You want ‘Lights on’ …well enable comments so we can compare notes and know that systems seem to be ‘go’ again.
    All the bells, whistles and tutorials are worth diddly squat if we can’t LOG ON, STAY ON, TP, BUILD and basically navigate in SL.. That little bit of rusty wire crossing the atlantic seabed called broadband is no excuse for a substandard service charged at 15%+ more….

  61. Storyof Oh says:

    LMAO if they are routing internet via Paris there is no hope in hell the UK will get services restored properly after thrashing them in the Rugby world cup…..our internet will probably for redirected via Outer Mongolia…..

  62. Susannah Clary says:

    Yay pie! And yay Torley’s video tips! Always learn something even when I am convinced by the post title I won’t. Thanks for that! And thanks for keeping the focus on the FUN in SL – after all, it’s why we’re here – to have some FUN! Being October however, (and having inflicted this on everyone else I know) I had to share a bad joke with you: What do you get when you divide a jack-o-lantern’s circumference by its diameter? ………..Pumpkin Pi! Keep up the great work!

  63. Prim Oversized says:

    sorry if this is off topic Torley, but it´s on topic with the big prim problem one, which has unfortunately been closed after 150 comments.


    Whilst I very much appreciate that there is actually a clear question from you towards the community, i am not sure what the agenda behind this question is.

    Anyhoo, considering the de facto price increase (VAT) for a large number of residents, it would be de facto another hidden price increase for a very large number of residents. It´s simple math if you think about it. On parcels over 10000 or 20000 in size, you can cut down the prim count by 2 or 3, which brings an enormus potential for using prims on the entertainment side of things. Or simply not having to waste 10 prims for a 100×10 wall if 1 would do.

    I think this point has been largely neglected in the other blog, therefore just to point out the obvious again. We don´t really pay tier per square meters. It´s the tier per prim that worries me most. You could do basically anything with a 512m parcel if the prim count is unlimited.

    Now, I am sorry for everyone who suffered from whatever kind of griefing. There are plenty of ways out there on the grid, to make peoples secondlifes digital hell. But to punish everyone now who is simply using the (economic) advantages of these oversize prims would yet be another hit against peoples wallets.

    I remember what use i could make of 1024m, not knowing of the presence of oversize prims…Nowadays, these 234 prims simply wouldn´t be worthwhile buying land. I´d probably need up to a whole sim where i now need only half one.

    Looking at the upcoming introduction of IDV, which will cost sl between 25 & 75% of its already shrunk user base, then a removal of oversize prims but be the definete killer (if IDV not already is – not sure you realise this, but many many people don´t know what it is and are not expecting it)

    I have no idea if that´s technically doable…But may be 2 suggestions

    Currently my tier per sqm goes down the more i own. Now change that from tier per sqm to tier per prim. At least worthwhile thinking about a few models.

    On the other hand, limiting size seems not a bad idea. It doubt it would hurt a lot of people if no prim may be larger than a sim. I think it should still be doable to get along with max 100 each side. Personal preference of course. If you set the max to let say 20 each, then i presume the prim count of a lot of people will be x 1,5 or x 2 all over sudden. Probably hitting the people with the rather large parcels or entire sims.

    You should really consider the above. Removing the oversize prims or limiting them to harsh, will not result in people buying more land to compensate. Surely not at the fragile state sl is currently at and with the prospects of IDV making any form of running a business in sl totally pointless.

    Kind Regards

  64. Storyof Oh says:

    agree…on 512 parcels you can do hardly anything without going over 10 x10 but naturally by removing the big prims (had NO idea you could get larger than 40 x 40…) builders if still having will to live will need more land to achieve their dreams within prim count. More land = more tier = more $ and VAT for LL so no wonder they are considering it.

    Ban anything over 50 x 50 or 100 x 100 but how about a prim increase to compensate?
    Recently everthing we do seems to be costing more for less assuming we can even do it with crashes and lag….give something back?

  65. Btzaleil Freenote says:

    YAY! PIE TASES GOOD! anyways,Thnak you torely! That was Pie-Tasitc! Could you make a tutorial on scripting?!

  66. Btzaleil Freenote's Brother says:

    I must agree with my brother, (who may be the same person that i am) THAT WAS PIE-TASTIC

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