Touch Tips on Splash Screen

On the splash screen when starting TouchDesigner was/is a button TOUCH TIPS to give you a tip while-u-wait. Beginning with today’s Experimental you don’t have to open it each time you start - it’s persistent.

Those tips come one a time. Since we’re not trying to hide anything and this isn’t a game show, here they all are currently:

1 expressions in the Evaluate DAT: Put a python expression in the Expression parameter and see its results immediately. Even for doing calculator-type math like 16/9.

2 edit long parameter expressions: Click a parameter expression and Press Ctrl-e to bring up the expression in the text editor.

3 Middle Mouse Button not available?: Alt+Right-click is a substitute for middle mouse button, letting you get info on nodes, and zoom network or viewers. Better yet, get a 3-button mouse.

4 delete samples in a CHOP: Use the Delete CHOP’s Samples page to delete samples based on values in one channel being in a specified range.

5 Text DAT word wraparound: Turn the Word Wrap parameter On to make text in any DAT wraparound.

6 click where you want to paste nodes: When you copy/paste nodes, first click on the network where you want them to go. Otherwise it will be pasted directly under the copied nodes, which you may sometimes prefer.

7 see inside a panel: Put your cursor over any UI element and press F10 or F9.

8 send your one-liner tips: Send them to

9 CHOP Viewer dots: Press “d” over an active multi-sample CHOP viewer to show a dot at each sample. Zoom in (MMB) to see it in detail.

10 CHOP graphs expressed as sample number: The CHOP viewer X-axis is expressed in frames by default. To show X-axis as sample number, right-click → Units → Samples.

11 Replicator COMP throttle: You can create one replicant per frame with Incremental Update.

12 Replicator COMP without a table: You can specify simply the number of replicants you want.

13 affect only one TOP color channel: Use any TOP’s Channel Mask parameter to affect fewer than all four color channels.

14 edit DATs in the Textport: Drag a DAT into a Textport. It adds a tab so you can watch/edit the DAT.

15 refer to a parameter in a parameter: On a parameter, rclick → Copy Parameter, then rclick → Paste Parameter on another parameter to create a reference.

16 show a message box: Show a message in a dialog with ui.messageBox(‘Title’, ‘Message’)

17 OP Viewers momentary Viewer Active: Alt-a (Option-a on macOS) in a network puts all nodes in Viewer Active mode until you release.

18 Windows Explorer file extensions: In Windows Explorer, View → File lets you turn on file name extensions, a better way to work.

19 fast path navigation: On the path bar at the top of any network, right-click on any of the parts of the path to get the component menu for that level. You can get View… Parameters… etc.

20 Desktop in python: In python, app.desktopFolder gives your Desktop location. See other location shortcuts in the wiki App Class and Project Class.

21 Network Table Mode: See your network as a table of operators using Shift-T, making nodes easier to find. Click the box in the first column to make it current.

22 hide your palette: Get more space by closing the palette when not in use.

23 what’s going through a wire: Left-click on a wire to see what’s going through it.

24 use the Error DAT: The Error DAT helps you investigate intermittent Errors and Warnings on operators.

25 Deep Performance Monitoring: The “probe” component in the Palette lets you watch Operators cook and do live analysis of your networks’ time and memory consumption.

26 popup help for parameters: Press the Alt key (Option on macOS) and rollover a parameter name to get its help from the wiki.

27 pause | play: Press Shift-spacebar to pause and un-pause the timeline. When editing your networks, you can just press spacebar.

28 animating wires between OPs: If a wire is an animating dashed line, it means its source is cooking. Middle-click on the source node to see how much time it is taking.

29 go into Perform Mode: Press F1 to go into Perform Mode, and press Esc to leave Perform Mode.

30 compare two components: Use compareComp in the Palette to compare two components node by node.

31 create easy popup menus: search “popmenu” in wiki.

32 move a node while Viewer Active is on: Click/drag the text field at the bottom of the node. rclick there for menu. roller-wheel over it to enter a COMP.

33 Network viewed as a table of nodes: See your network as a table of operators using Shift-T, making nodes in networks easier to find. Click box in first column to make a node current.

34 RGBA outside 0-1 range: Change a TOP’s Pixel Format parameter to any floating point format. and see the Math TOP.

35 more noise: See the ‘noise’ component in the Palette for noise types beyond the Noise TOP.

36 see TOP alpha: On a TOP, make Viewer Active on, and press ‘a’ to see the alpha channel of a TOP. Press ‘c’ to return to color.

37 make a TOP opaque: Use a Reorder TOP and set Alpha to 1. Or in a Level TOP, set Alpha Low to 1. there are at least 5 other ways.

38 per-channel parameter values: In many CHOPs, me.chanIndex in a parameter gives you a different value for each channel.

39 search and replace text: Edit → Search Replace goes through all nodes in a tree and replaces text.

40 camera vs cameraViewport: cameraViewport in palette has interactive controls and can be used in place of Camera COMP.

41 Edit or Search a DAT: Right-click on a DAT and select Edit Contents in Textport - this is another way to edit DATs and search text in them.

42 why is my render black: search in wiki for “why is my render black” for clues.

43 OP menu on network path bar: Right-click on any name in the path bar at the top of a network pane to get the OP menu for that COMP.

44 3 Ways to Snippets: right-click on node, right-click on OP Create, Dialogs Help menu.

45 OP Menu: On the parameter dialog, right-click on the ‘i’ info icon to get the OP menu.

46 network comment: Shift-c creates a text comment box in the network.

47 network annotation: Alt-right-click drag a box to create a full-featured annotate box around nodes in the network.

48 troubleshooting and crashes: See the wiki page Troubleshooting in TouchDesigner.

49 useful TD python modules: find in wiki “tdu module”, “TDFunctions” and “TDJSON”.

50 one line try / except: look at tdu.tryExcept()


One of my favs is that you can drag from one OPs parameter name to another OPs parameter, even multi-field ones like RGB color.

Another one is: F10 in perform mode to get a quick network popup

Another one: Copy and Paste keyboard shortcuts work on the hovered network pane, not the last-clicked one.

1 Like

Maybe a hint about not forgetting to use the arrows on the right edge of fields. There’s a deceptively high amount of usability/features hidden behind them.


image < can save you a lot of typing, such as for example in Select CHOPs, when specifying a channel

image < critical when it comes to texture mapping