Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials for Solar Fire Gold
Updated February 15, 2012
Important Notes: To see any of my video tutorials, please click on the underlined title of the tutorial. This will redirect you to YouTube where it will be shown in the highest resolution.
Also, some people have found the narration to be a bit quiet. In my latest tutorial, I used a new headset and it is louder. In any case, make sure that your speaker volume is set at maximum. For those of you with quieter speakers, you can also purchase the excellent sound enhancement utility called SRS Audio Sandbox for the PC, which will enhance all of your computer's sound functions, by clicking here. (Note: I have no financial relationship with them.)
An Introduction to Solar Fire Gold New!
Chart Animation in Solar Fire Gold
Extra Point Wheels in Solar Fire
Time Maps in Solar Fire
More tips and tricks:
1. A recent update to Solar Fire Gold added the ability to toggle between Heliocentric and Geocentric coordinates simply by pressing Control-K (i.e. holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the "K" key).
This feature works on the Main Screen to instantly toggle back and forth between both, much like the program can do between Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs and between True and Mean Nodes.
2. Arrange Solar Fire windows for optimal use. Solar Fire offers the full features of the Windows Graphical User Interface more than most other astrology programs. You can open many different windows at once (e.g. astromap, chart page, transit list, graphic ephemeris, reports, data screens, etc.) and resize each window, and position them onscreen exactly where you want. You can also design screens just the way you want, for different purposes. And Solar Fire Gold remembers where you positioned each window and what size you made them so it's easy to use them the same way each time you run Solar Fire.
To see an example of this, click here. A new tab will open showing a page I designed for doing predictive work. It has a natal chart with chart data on the left, Solar Fire's superb Time Map transit graph on the upper right, and a graphic ephemeris page for the year on the lower right.
3. Clone Charts. When looking at a Time Map, Astro*Carto*Graphy map, bi-wheel, aspect grid, or graphic ephemeris screen, it would be very useful to be able to view one or more birth charts (or event charts) onscreen at the same time.
The latest update to Solar Fire Gold does exactly that. It's new "clone chart" feature works by clicking on the name of a calculated chart to select it, and then pressing Cntl-O (holding down the Control key and pressing the letter O key) OR right-clicking on the name and selecting Clone.
What this does is to place a copy of the person's chartwheel onscreen. You can resize the cloned chart to any size you want, and move it around (i.e. reposition it anywhere on the screen).
You can open as many cloned charts as you want (imagine, for example, having all of your family members charts displayed.) You can also click on each cloned chart's Keep on Top checkbox to have the chart always visible onscreen.
You can also select which chart wheel form is used when displaying cloned charts, by going to Solar Fire Gold's main screen, and right-clicking on the Current Chart Preview and clicking on the bottom option Preview Wheel Style, and then selecting the wheel style you want.
I created two additional examples of screens you can use for your own work.
The first screen, which you can see by clicking here, is for Astromapping work. To explore the effect of moving to a new place for a client, you can place six different relocated charts onscreen as well as an Astro*Carto*Graphy map. Neat!
The second screen, which you can see by clicking here, is for Compatibility analysis. You can place two people's birth charts, and a Composite and Davidson chart, and a page showing an interaspect table, biwheel with both charts, two 30 degree dials, etc. In other words, everything you need for assessing how two people mesh can be placed on one screen.
(Side note: with the price of computer monitors dropping sharply, I highly recommend you purchase a 24" computer monitor. It will allow you to place more charts, graphs, and tables onscreen at the same time, and boost your productivity and capabilities.]
4. How to Create Your own Chart Art pages. It is actually relatively easy, and very worthwhile, to create your own Chart Art Pages for Solar Fire Gold. You can see my step-by-step instructions, with graphical examples, by clicking here.)
5. Installing Solar Fire Gold on a Windows 7 System. If you are trying to install Solar Fire Gold on a new Windows 7 PC using an Solar Fire Installation CD you purchased before November 2009, during the installation process, when it asks "Do you want to check for updates?", click on No, and the installation will work perfectly.
6. Useful Keyboard Shortcuts in Solar Fire Gold (Thanks to Stephanie Johnson at Esoteric Technologies for this item.)
There are three important keyboard "toggle" combinations in Solar Fire Gold, which may be useful to a number of users:
Ctrl+Z = Toggle Zodiac
Ctrl+L = Toggle Lunar Node
Ctril+K = Toggle Coordinates
When you open or enter a chart and that chart is highlighted on the "Calculated Charts" list, simply apply the two-key keyboard combination to change (toggle) the relevant item, as follows:
Toggle Zodiac: When you apply the Ctrl+Z keys, the Current Chart Preview wheel changes not only the zodiac (from tropical to sidereal or vice versa) but also the house system assigned to that zodiac. You can see the resulting change of these values on the top right corner of the "Current Chart Preview" where the new value is shown in black instead of grey.
The assignment of the default sidereal zodiac is done in Preferences / Edit Settings / Zodiac tab and on the dropdown box "Ayanamsa for Sidereal Charts", select the zodiac you want to use. "Lahiri" is the most common one used in India for sidereal charts. The assignment of the default house system is done in Preferences / Edit Settings / Houses tab. For both the tropical and sidereal zodiacs, you can select a default house system in the selection boxes for each of the zodiacs.
Toggle Lunar Node: When you apply the Ctrl+L keys, the Current Chart Preview wheel changes from True to Mean and vice versa. You can see the changed value in the top right corner as it changes from grey to black and back to grey depending what the default setting is in the Preferences. The default Lunar Node can be changed in Preferences / Edit Settings / Calculations tab
Toggle Coordinates: When you apply the Ctrl+K keys, the Current Chart Preview wheel changes from Geocentric to Heliocentric and vice versa. You can see the changed value in the top right corner as it changes from grey to black and back to grey.
To save you from having to remember these keyboard combinations, you can also use the menu system to make the changes. For the currently highlighted chart on the "Calculated Charts" list, click on Chart / Edit menu items and on the resulting sub menu, you will see not only a menu item to perform the action but also the two-key keyboard combination. Similarly, you can also right-click on the highlighted chart on the "Calculated Charts" list and click on the "Edit" menu item to see the same sub menu.
7. Installing Solar Fire Gold on a Netbook. Netbooks have gotten very popular, and many astrologers are using them in the field.
Astrolabe states that "you'll need a 10-inch netbook screen with a bare minimum of 800 pixels in height by 600 pixels wide. Better, a 1024x768 or 1280x768 display."
And they offer suggestions on how to install Solar Fire Gold on netbooks (since most don't have a built-in CD reader) which you can read by clicking here.
Remember: to read my full review of Solar Fire Gold, as well as to purchase it at a discount plus free Priority shipping (or get an update) and receive over 60 extra beautiful Art Chart pages free, click here.
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