IMPORTANT: Do not EVER overwrite retail VPs with your changes. You risk breaking your FS2 installation.
No changes are made until the Build VP button is clicked.
Loading VPs and Directories
At the top of VPMage is a text box labeled Source filename:. The name of any directory or valid VP file may be typed in here, and the contents (along with the directory structure) will be added to the current file list. The File... and Dir... buttons allow you to browse for a file or directory, respectively.
Wildcards may also be used in the path to add multiple VPs (but not directories).
Once you've entered in the directory or VP whose files you want to load, hit the Add source button. If you've chosen a directory, all the contents will be added under a top-level folder whose name is the same as the folder that's being added. If the directory itself is not named Data, a prompt will come up asking you if you want to rename the top level directory to Data automatically.
The VP sources list
At this point, if you've added a VP, its name will appear in the VP sources list on the left side of VPMage's window. If you want to, you can always delete all the files from a given VP by selecting it and clicking Remove. However, if you have modified any files in a VP you are removing, they must be removed manually.
Clicking Clear sources will clear the current file list. This includes any directories, files from VPs, and standalone files. It's like if you restarted the program without saving.
The Output windows
These give information on the file and what exactly VPMage is doing. The top box is for general status messages, the bottom box is for warnings. Note that the amount of info given depends on the version of VPMage used. Warnings are notifications of something that could be a problem, but VPMage is still able to continue normal operations. If a written VP is not compatible with FreeSpace 2, for example, a warning may come up.
The Clear Output button will clear both output boxes.
The Preview panel
The preview pane is pretty straightforward; it shows a list of the current VP structure. Underneath are five different buttons and a tally of the current file count.
|Right-click||will open the specified file for editing|
|Extract||will let you save the currently selected file or directory to the hard disk.|
|Edit||will open the selected file in the default editor and let you make changes to it.|
|Update||will let you select a new version of the file from the hard disk.|
|Delete||will delete the currently selected file or directory after prompting you.|
|Add File...||lets you add individual files to the VP in-progress|
|Add Folder...||will add a new folder under the currently selected one|
Building the VP
Again, no changes are made until you build your VP. To do that, enter whatever filename you want into the bottomost box labeled Output:. You can also use the bottom File... button to browse for a destination file.
If just a filename is entered, the file will be saved in the current working directory. This will be the same directory as VPMage, unless you have set it to be otherwise.
Finally, click Build VP: VPMage will freeze for some time and the hard drive will start working. This is normal. After awhile you should see a dialogue telling you that your VP has been built.
Currently, VPMage will automatically open a VP specified on the command line. This means you can associate VPMage with VP files.
As the name suggests, the Exit button exits the program.
Please remember that the application does not terminate properly on a Windows™ system. The tool will remain resident in memory even after closing it with either the Exit button or the standard "X" in the upper right corner of the application window. To terminate the application, you must bring up the Task Manager (most commonly by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete), choose "Processes", highlight the offending application and click "End process". The VPMage will remain resident in memory until you do the above. Re-starting the application without properly terminating it only produces a new copy in memory, thus you could end up with hundreds of VPMages running simultaneously, compromising system performance.