Plug-ins







Q: What the heck do I do with this file?

A: Download it and put it into Resources\Plugins under the X-Plane directory.

First, find the directory that contains X-Plane. There should be a shortcut to X-Plane on your desktop.

Right-click the icon and select Properties from the context menu that pops up.

In the properties window click the Find Target button. That will open a browser window with X-Plane.exe selected.
This is an example; yours might look slightly different.

(You may now close the properties window if you wish, we're finished with it.)

Double-click the Resources directory. Under that you'll find a Plugins directory; double-click that in turn.

Save the plug-in file in this directory. If you saved it someplace else you may now drag-and-drop it into this window. If it asks you to replace an existing file, choose Yes.


Q: What operating systems are supported?

A: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

It may work under other version of Windows but we have not tested them.
This will not work under Apple OS X, Linux, Unix, or any other non-Windows operating system. We may support other operating systems in the future.


Q: How do I tell what version of X-Plane I have?

A1: Quick mouse-over (Windows XP)

X-Plane version 9.31
Move the mouse cursor over the executable (X-Plane.exe) and hold it steady for a second or two. A small window will pop up with information about the file.
X-Plane version 9.40RC7


A2: File Properties

Right-click the executable (X-Plane.exe) and select Properties from the context menu that pops up. Select the Version tab and then File Version.

Note: Windows Vista apparently does not support this.

A3: Run X-Plane

When X-Plane first starts it will show a window in the bottom left of the screen that includes the version of X-Plane that is running.

If you're in a hurry and don't want to run X-Plane, running Plane Maker will give you the same information.

A4: X-Plane "About" Menu

If you're in the IOS: first click the "X" on the top bar to clear the screen.

Move the mouse to the top of the screen until the menu bar appears. Select "About" at the left.


Q: How can I tell which plug-in I have, and which version of X-Plane it's compatible with?

A1: Windows XP File Properties

If you're running Windows XP you have it easy. Right-click the plug-in file (USBHidPlugin.xpl) and select Properties from the context menu that pops up. Select the Version tab.
The file version shows in two places
The Description has more information than 'Product Version'



A2: Windows Vista or Windows 7 File Properties: DLL

Unfortunately Windows Vista and Windows 7 no longer allow you to see the version details of any file that is not named something.dll or something.exe. It doesn't matter if it's an executable file — what matters is the file extension.
No useful information for our purposes


The safe but irritating way to see the information you need is to rename the plug-in file to have a .dll extension, view the properties, then rename it back.

Select the file and hit the F2 key or right-click and select Rename.

Highlight the .xpl extension and type .dll over it. The file should now be named USBHidPlugin.dll.



Right-click USBHidPlugin.dll and select Properties. Select the Details tab.

Now you can see the details we need — the File Description and the File Version.
When you're finished you need to rename the file back to USBHidPlugin.xpl so that X-Plane will recognize it.

You will have to do this any time you want to see this information for a plug-in file.


A3: Windows Vista or Windows 7 File Properties: Registry Import

Unfortunately Windows Vista and Windows 7 no longer allow you to see the version details of any file that is not named something.dll or something.exe. It doesn't matter if it's an executable file — what matters is the file extension.
No useful information for our purposes


The more risky but convenient than renaming is to load in some new registry values. First the legal stuff:

Note: Editing the Windows registry may have adverse affects on your system and even potentially leave it unusable. Precision Flight Controls, Inc. is providing this registry file for information purposes only and provides no warranty or guarantee regarding its use. Apply it at your own risk.


That said, I created this file myself and saved it in the old REGEDIT4 format, which is a text format and can easily be examined. All it does is add some information that tells Windows to allow files with the XPL extension to show more information in the Details tab of the file properties window, just like a DLL file. I have used it myself, of course, which is how I got the following screenshots.

First you'll need to download this file. It's very small, less than 500 bytes.
When the dialog box asks to Open or Save, click Open. Another dialog box will warn you that "A Website wants to open web content...". Click on Allow. Within seconds you should see something like this:

If you want to examine the file you'll have to save it to a regular folder; you can just drag it onto your desktop if you wish. (It will of course give you another warning.) Then right-click the copy and select Edit (and click through the warning dialog). Here is the information you'll see:
REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PropertySystem\PropertyHandlers\.xpl]
@="{66742402-F9B9-11D1-A202-0000F81FEDEE}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.xpl]
"FullDetails"="prop:System.PropGroup.Description;System.FileDescription;System.ItemTypeText;System.FileVersion;System.Software.ProductName;System.Software.ProductVersion;System.Copyright;*System.Category;*System.Comment;System.Size;System.DateModified;System.Language;*System.Trademarks;*System.OriginalFileName"
"InfoTip"="prop:System.FileDescription;System.Company;System.FileVersion;System.DateCreated;System.Size"
"TileInfo"="prop:System.FileVersion;System.FileDescription"

To merge the information into your Registry simply double-click the file. First you'll see a UAC dialog box:

Click Yes. Then you'll get a warning:

Click Yes. Then you'll get a confirmation.


Now you're all set! Right-click USBHidPlugin.xpl and select Properties and you should see something like this.


The beauty of this method is that once applied it will work forever, on all XPL files. And with a bit of judicious editing you can add other file types.