After vis5d has opened/read your file/s, two windows will appear: a large window on the right containing one or more 3-D display windows and the current control panel on the left of the screen. The 3-D window/s are used to view and interact with the data. When there are multiple 3-D display windows a control panel is assigned to each. The current control panel will appear when ever a mouse event occurs in the associated 3-D display. In the upper-left corner of the 3-D display is a combination analog/digital clock which indicates the current time step. The control panel contains several groups of buttons.
Starting at the top, the first button group contains the following buttons:
|SAVE||RESTORE||GRID #'s||CONT #'s|
These buttons are used to control the primary functions of vis5d. Some of the above buttons are enclosed in brackets  to indicates that they may be blank upon starting vis5d. This will happen when the button does not apply to the current data set, because the button would conflict with a command line option, or because the feature is not available on your hardware.
The next group of radio buttons control the viewing mode which determines how the mouse is used in the 3-D window:
|Normal||Normal mouse mode is used to rotate, zoom, and pan the graphics in the 3-D window. See section 6.4 .|
|Trajectory||This mode is used for creating and displaying wind trajectories. See section 6.8 .|
|Slice||This mode is used to reposition horizontal and vertical slices. See section 6.6 .|
|Label||This mode is used to create and edit text labels in the 3-D window. See section 6.10 .|
|Probe||This mode is used to inspect individual grid values by moving a 3-D cursor through the 3-D grid. Using the right mouse button when clicking on this button will cause the probe to attach to the head of a trajectory. See section 6.11 .|
|Sounding||This mode is used to display a vertical sounding and SkewT at the location of a moveable vertical cursor. See section 6.12 .|
|Clipping||This mode is used to reposition the six clipping planes. See section 6.18 .|
These modes are mutually exclusive; only one may be selected at a time. To the immediate right of these buttons is the mouse button legend. It is there to remind you of the use of each mouse button in the 3-D window for the currently selected mode.
Next are buttons labeled:
Hwind1 Vwind1 HStrm Hwind2 Vwind2 VStrm
A wind vector slice (Hwind or Vwind) depicts wind values by drawing small arrows which point in the direction of the wind. The length of each line segment indicates its magnitude. The tails of the line segments are all anchored within a horizontal or vertical plane through the 3-D box. The horizontal wind streamline slice (HStrm) depicts wind values by drawing streamlines on a horizontal plane. The vertical wind streamline slice (VStrm) depicts wind values by drawing streamlines on a vertical plane. The location of slice planes can be changed with the mouse while in "Slice" mode. See section 6.5 for more details.
The bottom part of the control panel window may contain a 2-D matrix of buttons when a regular v5d file is loaded. Each row corresponds to a physical variable in your dataset. Each column corresponds to one type of graphical representation. By selecting the correct row and column you can view any variable as a 3-D isosurface, horizontal contour slice, vertical contour slice, horizontal colored slice, vertical colored slice, or volume rendering. This matrix of button is scrollable if there are more rows of buttons than will fit in the window. You can use the mouse to drag the scrollbar or press the up/down arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll the button matrix. If an irregular data set is loaded, another button matrix will be available. The buttons will contain the name of the irregular v5d data set. Only the Text Plot option is currently available. See section 6.22 on viewing text plots.
When multiple data sets are viewed in the same display a period and an index number will be appended to the end of each variable name. This will be a common notation seen in several display widgets when ever multiple data sets are loaded.
The display of any graphic is controlled by clicking on its widget button with the left mouse button. Each type of graphic also has a small pop-up control window which appears when turned on. The control windows are different for each type of graphic and are explained below. To bring up a graphic's control window without toggling its display, use the middle mouse button. When the graphic is displayed it will be the same color as the widget button, making it easy to distinguish and identify different variables in the display. To change the color of the graphic, click on its widget button with the right mouse button and a small window with four slider widgets will appear. By changing the levels of red, green, and blue you can make any color.
If the control panel window becomes obscured by other windows, you can bring it to the top by pressing the F1 key while the mouse pointer is in the 3- D window. This is especially useful when using the -full option.
When mutliple data sets are displayed in different displays there is the option of grouping these them together. This synchronizes the control of one display with the others. See section 6.19 for more information.