Learning with Etoys Imagine, Invent, Insprire

Quick Tips

Loading, Saving, Quitting

When you open Etoys, three clouds suggest places to start:

"Gallery of Projects" will take you to a selection of twenty-two projects that you can view and explore to learn some of the many things you can do with Etoys.

"Tutorials and Demos" will take you to three projects that will help you get started with learning Etoys.

"Make a Project" will bring you to a blank Etoys project page, where you can create and manipulate your own objects.


To load an existing project into your Etoys application, click the find-icon   in the navigation bar.

If you click and hold the mouse button for several seconds, there will be a menu with more options for loading projects. These options differ in the places where you will look for the project and in the kind of files you can open. The first option "find a project" is the same that happens if you just click on the icon. It will open the default Etoys folder on your computer (or the folder on your USB drive if you are using Etoys-To-Go) to load your project. Here you can also choose "My Squeakland" and "Squeakland Showcase" to open a project directly from the Squeakland website. Keep in mind that you need internet access to do this!

The second option "find a project (more places)" lets you search throughout your whole directory structure.

The third option "find any file" allows you to load images into your project. The currently supported formats are .jpg and .png. 


Once you have a project, you'll want to save it so that you can work on it again and pick up where you left off. Saving a project is different on the XO than it is on a Macintosh or Windows computer.

Saving to an XO

If you click the X on the top right corner of the menu bar, your XO will automatically save to the Journal. You will know it's saving because you'll see a stick figure doing jumping jacks.

To retrieve a saved file from the XO, click on the folder with the arrow pointing up. Choose the project you want to work on and it will load into Etoys. (It's a good idea to name your projects so that when you go back to work on them, you can distinguish them from one another.

Saving to a Macintosh or a Windows computer

Near the right corner of your Navigation Bar, you'll see the "Publish (save)" icon.

When you are ready to save a project, click on the Publish icon, and you will see a screen waiting for you to "describe this project." You need to fill in a project name, and can optionally add a description, your name, and tags, too, then click OK.

The next screen you see shows options where you will be saving the project. You have two choices of places to save your project. Choose one and then click "save" to finish saving.

If you save to "Etoys" you are saving to your local computer, or to your USB drive if using Etoys to Go.  It's a good idea to save locally until you feel you are ready to share your project. If you save to "My Squeakland" you will be saving to the Squeakland website, where you can choose to make your project public so that others can view it. You will need to create a Squeakland account if you want to save to My Squeakland.  Login, and click "Save" to upload your project to the Squeakland website. Don't worry, Squeakland doesn't sell or rent your information.

Whether you choose to save to "My Squeakland" or to "Etoys" you will be able to retrieve and edit your project to make changes.

Quitting Altogether

To quit Etoys, simply click on the X on the top right of the navigation bar. You will be prompted with "Are you sure you want to quit Etoys?" Select Yes, and your Etoys window will disappear.

Caution, clicking on the X does not automatically save your work. 

Using Viewers:

To open a viewer for an object: Open the halo for this object and click the "Open a Viewer for me" (eye-like) icon.

Each viewer has a small tab with the object image  on its left side.  A click on the tab will change the flap of the viewer status: from open to close; from close to open. The tab stays visible most of the times.

If you lost sight of the Viewer's tab, go back to this object's halo and reopen the Viewer from there.

Adding a tile to a script:

The tip of the cursor is the precise point of contact between the cursor arrow and any object in the Etoys world. This is useful when opening Halos and dragging tiles into their proper place in the script. If you are trying to place a tile somewhere and you cannot get the bright green "insertion place" to appear, it is probably because the tip of the cursor arrow is not positioned in the correct place. 

The best way to drag non-assignment tiles is by their upper left corner. 

Trash Can

Drag objects into the Trash Can to discard them. Double click on the Trash Can to open it and retrieve discarded objects from its inventory. If you don't make the Trash Can disappear, and don't explicitly empty the trash, you will be able to recover accidentally discarded objects.

Retrieving "lost" objects

When you can not find an object, one easy place to get information about it is in the Players object in the Supplies.

Drag the "Players" object from the Supplies into the world. It will open a list of all objects and a menu icon at the left of each items on the list. Click the menu icon of the lost object to get the needed information.