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Menus & Buttons : File > Open...

Open your project files and troubleshoot problems.

Probably the first thing you will want to do is open one of the example projects and have a look. Project files contain most of the settings for SimSAGS4.1 relevant to your model. Your preferences (e.g., program behaviour and window locations) are stored elsewhere and do not change when another project file is opened. Project file handling is very simple in SimSAGS4.1. Just use the File > Open menu command on the Main Control Panel and navigate your way to the desired project file using the standard dialogue box. Your example projects are installed in the projects folder below your main application directory (default is C:\Program Files\SimSAGS4.1\Projects)

Use the Open dialog box to load an existing project, form, unit, or text file into the Code editor.

Opening a file does not add it to your current project. You can have only one project open at any time. Your current project will be closed beforehand, prompting you to make any changes, depending on your preferences for exit prompts. To add a file to the current project, follow the Inserting Partial Modules guidelines below. Operate the Open dialog box as follows,

  • Look InLists the current directory. Use the drop down list to select a different drive or directory.
  • FilesDisplays the files in the current directory that match the wildcards in File Name or the file type in Files Of Type. You can display a list of files (default) or you can show details for each file.
  • File NameEnter the name of the file you want to load or type wildcards to use as filters in the Files list box.
  • Files of TypeChoose the type of file you want to open; the default file type is the Project file (.SGS). All files in the current directory of the selected type appear in the Files list box.
  • Up One LevelClick this button to move up one directory level from the current directory.
  • Create New FolderClick this button to create a new subdirectory in the current directory.
  • ListClick this button to view a list of files and directories in the current directory.
  • DetailsClick this button to view a list of files and directories along with time stamp, size, and attribute information.
There is another way to open files, through the Most Recently Used (MRU) list that is generated at the bottom of the File menu once some projects have been opened and closed. Click on the project file name to automatically open it.

Inserting Partial Modules

SimSAGS 4.1 project file format is identical to the Windows operating system's registry file and is compatible with both win98 and winXP (and possibly still with win95). Because of this it is possible to partition the parameters stored in the project file ad nauseum but if you do pursue this possibility you may prefer to group parameters by the main modules in your model; Time, Climate, Soil, Plants and Animals, but there is nothing stopping you from extracting subsets of the parameter list shown in the Parameter View window. For this purpose, there is a selector for the parameter scope when saving your project files included in the Parameter View window. Switch it from the default "Save All"
which saves the entire project to file, to "Save Selected Branch"
to literally save just the parameters currently selected in the tree hierarchy in the lower portion of the window. The resulting project file will only include the current parameter branch and branches stemming from it, so be careful not to overwrite your entire project files!

Inserting these partial module project files is less well supported in this version of the model software, but the simplest way is to navigate to where they are in Windows Explorer, rename them to *.reg files and double click them to get them inserted into the registry. Refresh your Parameter View and you will see those parameters newly appearing in your model. Now go ahead and "Save All" your entire project and you have a model constructed from partial modules. A bit tricky at present, but nonetheless, a very flexible and powerful method for combining parts of separate models. It is on the wish list.

Another complexity may be the internal naming of plant and animal types used within the project files (e.g., annual_grass_1 and herbivore_3). You will need to make sure that any imported parameter sets do not clash with current parameter sets in your current model (unless you really want to overwrite the current settings with the new ones) and also that the numbering in those internal names for the plant and animal types are continuous, i.e., annual_grass_1, annual_grass_2, annual_grass_3, perennial_grass_1, herbivore_1, herbivore_2, etc. It is on the wish list. Most text editors have a search and replace utility that can be used to prepare your project files.


You should be aware of an inconvenient Microsoft modification to registry file format since win98. If you get this type of error message in win98 "Registry Editor cannot import drive:\path\filename.reg: The specified file is not a registry script." then you need to manually edit the sags4.sgs file (or whichever sgs file is causing the problem) in your installation directory (default is C:\Program Files\SimSAGS4.1) using the following steps:
  • Open the sgs file using Notepad, and then change the header from Windows Registry Editor Version 5.0 to REGEDIT4.
  • On the File menu, click Save

    • If you are using a Microsoft Windows NT-based OS, clear the Save as Unicode check box.
    • If you are using Windows 2000, change Encoding to ANSI.
  • Exit Notepad.exe.