Browsing through the FSX.cfg file (located in your “documents and settings/[username]/application data/microsoft/fsx” directory) reveals a host of interesting options for the simulator that aren’t available in the standard on-screen menus. Here are a couple of tweaks you can perform directly in the cfg file to alter the on-screen displays:
1. Status Messages
These are the messages that appear in the corner of the window, announcing such things as parking brake/brake status, slew mode, pause, etc. They’re helpful, but some ‘simmers like to turn some of them off for the sake of realism — like the parking brakes notification, for instance — preferring to look around the plane and get cues from the state of the cockpit instead. In FSX, messages for Brakes, Parking Brakes, Pause, Slew, Stall, and Overspeed can be switched off individually using the following lines in the fsx.cfg [DISPLAY] section:
To tell FS not to display one or more of these messages, simply change the “True” to “False”. It’s a lot easier than a resource hacking tool.
2. Info Text Blocks
FS displays a succession of information blocks in the upper-left corner of the screen when the shift-Z combo is pressed. Entries in the cfg file enable you to change what information is displayed and in what order. For instance, the first block of data that is displayed by shift-Z by default is Lat, Lon, Altitude, Heading, Airspeed, and Wind Direction/Speed. This is controlled by a block of lines under the [TextInfo.1] entry in the cfg file as follows:
After each item to be displayed, the two comma-separated numbers represent a the line number on which the item is displayed (for multi-line blocks), and the order in which to display it relative to the other items in the line/block. To change this first block to just display Alt, Lat, and Lon (in that order), you would change the entry to read:
(The slashes – // – are comments that stop the line from rendering in the game.)
The second and third entries ([TextInfo.2] and [TextInfo.3]) are the blocks that are displayed by pressing the shift-Z combo a second and third time, and each block can be edited this way. The blocks are different for slew mode, and are described in the [SlewTextInfo.1] sections, and so forth.
The best use I can think of for this tweak is to remove the ability to show frame rates altogether for now, and just enjoy the flying! 😉