Tutorials: Step by Step

The Step by Step Tutorials are meant to be viewed in order. They help walk a completely new Maptool user through the features of MapTool, starting with the most basic features and then advancing.

Starting MapTool:  Downloading and starting MapTool. Yes an easy thing, but you may find the memory allocation options useful and those are also covered. A couple simple troubleshooting techniques are also, if you are having problems with MapTool.

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Feature Location: Before jumping in and having all the fun with this new program, take a look here. It will probably save you some time. This tutorial covers where you can find various features, settings, and tools.

Resources:  Building a large image library will help you a lot in MapTool. Here is where to start and how to add images to MapTool for use. Where to find written documentation for MapTool. Where to find game system specific frameworks for MapTool.

New Map: Getting that first map started. Setting the correct background. Zooming. Moving around the map. Adjusting the grid size, color, and alignment.

Layers:  Layers is a basic concept that needs to be understood to make and manipulate maps in MapTool. Also, there are a couple layer specific rules that are helpful to know.

Images: Dragging images onto a map. Resizing. Rotation. Player visibility. Notes. MapTool makes images easy so it goes quickly.

Drawing Tools:   The different types of drawing tools and examples of them in use.

Introduction to Tokens:  Creating tokens with TokenTool. Circle, square, and topdown tokens. Moving them around. Facing. States and halos. Resizing. Portraits and character sheets.  Some information needs updating.

Vision and Light part1:  General vision settings. How vision and light interact. Fog of War.

Chat Window and Die Roller:  How to communicate using the chat window and some of it’s basic commands. Also, the basics of how to roll dice in MapTool.

Introduction to Macros:  Meant for those of you with absolutely no coding experience.  First Watch the Chat Window and Die Roller tutorial.  That tutorial combined with this one, should give you enough of a foundation to begin to automate certain aspects of your game.  More in depth tutorials will be coming in the Beyond the Basics series.

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Connecting Computers:  Starting a server. Connecting to the server. Forcing players to the GM’s current view or map. Firewalls and Routers.

Entire Step by Step collection! In one big zip file.  Double click on the files that end in .html to view the videos.


  1. Luna says:

    I’d love to view these tutorials, but the videos refuse to load. Doesn’t anyone believe in text anymore?

  2. Dave says:

    I would like to use your tutorial. But I’m unable to read it because the font is too scripty. As a graphic artist, I humbly suggest using a different font for your design. Something like baskerville, or helvetica. They’re both very clean and easy to read.

  3. Michael says:

    I am having some problems with the token tool – I can put a picture in to the left side of the screen, but nothing appears on the right, and I don’t see any options for borders or anything. Am I doing something wrong?

  4. RRS says:

    I have Maptools up and running and I am trying to move the the resources into different folders to make them easier to find. How do I do this. In fact I cannot find the resource folders on my hard drive to move them around.

    • brad says:

      What exactly do you mean by “resources” that you are trying to move around? Do you mean images that you have added to your Resource Library window in MapTool? Do you mean Campaign Files that you are creating using MapTool? Do you mean the default images that come with MapTool?

      • RRS says:

        I mean the images in the resource library

        • brad says:

          When you add the images to your resource library you are not actually adding any new files to your computer or MapTool. You are just having MapTool index the locations of those images on your computer and create a convenient list of shortcuts you can grab and drag into MapTool. If you move any of those images from their locations on your computer MapTool would no longer be able to find them, unless you move them to another folder that has already been indexed by MapTool in which case they would appear there.

          I have all of my images for MapTool in a “images” folder and then categorized into other folders. Then I just add the main “images” folder into MapTool and everything shows up. Though do realize that you don’t actually need to do this. You can just drag images directly from your computer into MapTool. When making more complex maps or looking for not normally used images I often just use Windows to look through and grab the images, as it has a better search function.

          Did all that make sense?

          • RRS says:

            Yes, thanks, it just seems in some of the videos that the folders are well organized.

          • brad says:

            Oh yeah. I started with the CSAUC, which is fairly well organized into folders and sub-folders to start with. Then I renamed and deleted and added new stuff to my taste. It takes less time then you think, but saves you a whole bunch of time in the long run.

  5. Steven says:

    I can’t save! Whenever I try I can’t re load it, it appears as grassland with a red x!

    • brad says:

      Go to the rptools.net forum for this question. Post it in the MapTool section and give more details like what build of MapTool you are using, what you have on the map, maybe some specs of your computer, and attaching the campaign file might be helpful as well. They usually respond very quickly and have more tech available over there.


  6. Washington Dias says:

    Hey guys. I’d like to know if i can put gifs as tokens in maptools.

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