There are many, many, many topics in the STK help system, and it’s no surprise to any veteran of STK that searching among those topics can be overwhelming when your terms are rather generic. For example, a search on the term “penumbra” returns over a hundred results throughout the STK help. The first thing you might notice is that many of those results are topics in the data providers reference and the Connect command library sections. But what if you just want to know how to apply a constraint or lighting effect based on the Earth’s penumbra? Scanning several pages of search results is no fun when so many of them have nothing to do with your question.
So, “say hello to my li’l friend” – the search filter. You’ll notice a down arrow and the label “All Topics” in the search bar, between where you enter your terms and the button that executes the search. That right there is the search filter menu. Click it and you’ll see a drop-down menu with all of the filtering options available for the STK help. The first item in the menu is the most commonly used filter, “All Topics Except Data Providers and Connect”. This filter simply screens out topics that are in the library reference sections for STK’s data providers and Connect commands. Select it and see what happens to the search results list – just 17 topics remain!
That’s certainly much easier to scan through, and you can clearly see topics relating to constraints and lighting effects, but we can do better. The other filters in the menu will search only within those specific subjects. Click the filter menu again and this time select “Visualization with 3D Graphics”. Now your list of results is just 7, all pertaining to STK’s 3D visualization. That’s one nice page at a glance.
As you have already just experienced, you can change the filter in effect on your current search terms without having to re-type the entire search – convenient! Unfortunately, you can’t apply more than one filter at a time to your search – the Rolling Stones have a song about that.
Next time you need to search the STK help, remember to filter your results and save time!