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Here, we will learn how to get and use Golly, the most used program for viewing Life.

Installing Golly

How to use Golly

Here we will cover basic controlls for Golly.

Drawing and running patterns

For your first simulation:
First, click the pencil icon. Next, scribble around or draw something. After you have created a masterpiece, click the green triangle at the top left to run the pattern (If you want to go one step, press space.), if you want to stop the simulation (Maybe you found something cool), either press the green triangle that has changed into a red square or press space. To rewind to the starting pattern, press the rewind button at the top left below the green arrow. There! You got the hang of it.

RLEs and pattern files

Just like with any editor, you can copy/paste in Golly. To do this, select an area by clicking the select button (looks like a dashed rectangle) and dragging the mouse to make a selection, now click Ctrl+C or your copy button. There you have copied a pattern onto your clipboard! But how does Golly copy an image? Try pasting (Ctrl+V) the pattern onto notepad or a text editor of some kind. You will see some code. That is called an RLE file. To learn more about RLE, go to the RLE page. So now you know how to copy, but how to paste? Simple, just press Ctrl+V in Golly and if the RLE is correct, it should paste a pattern where you click. Try pasting the following into Golly (You should know if it worked):

x = 37, y = 30, rule = B/S012345678

You can find a lot of patterns on the forums to try out. But before posting anything there, make sure to read the rules! In the next lesson, we will learn more about Golly and some features it has.

Next Lesson!