Text file hacking for fun and profit
• Morphography • Tutorials • Text file hacking •

Actually, I'm lying about the fun. I may also have exaggerated the profit element, to be honest with you.

Most of the files used by Poser are in text format; this makes them more enormous than they would be in some other format, but on the positive side they can be hacked if you know what you're doing.

This tutorial will serve as an introduction to the general concepts and methods. We won't try to explain everything that goes on within these files, for the simple reason that I can't explain things that I don't understand myself. We'll deal with some simple procedures that will nevertheless be useful in a lot of different situations:

• What you need

I now do most of my Poser file editing with a dedicated editor. They are safer to use, because they look after the matching of braces {} for you, and they're easier to use, because you can see the file in a hierarchical layout and it's easier to navigate to the various sections.

I mainly use Dimension3D's Poser File Editor. Free alternatives are:

If you prefer to get your hands dirty, you'll need a text editor capable of handling enormous files. Notepad won't do! I now use NotePad++, specifically the portable version from PortableApps.com for reasons connected with my own working preferences.

• Dire warnings

If you mess up editing one of these files, the object it controls almost certainly won't work properly, and Poser might crash. So take heed of these basic precautions:

• Down to business

Pick your destination:

• Morphography • Tutorials • Text file hacking •