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As a beginner it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the (View Unit - Preferences - Labor) submenu, the Query buildings menu, the Designate menu, and the Build menu.
There are 5 menus for gaining more information about the map and the creatures that inhabit it. When used a yellow X-shaped cursor appears which you can move around the map using the numberpad to gain information.
 Look Around, k
 View Units, v
The dwarf, an animal, a goblin, etc. You do not need to place the cursor directly over the creature, information is given on the nearest creature. If multiple creatures are the same distance from the cursor (usually due to occupying the same tile), use to cycle through them.iew command gives detailed information on creatures: a
This command has several different menu views:
- attributes and skills. General - Name, occupation,
- Inventory - Shows all the items the creature is carrying. Also shows the bloodstains, mud and goo that accumulates on creatures.
- Wounds - Shows the creature's health. Bright white means the body part is unharmed. Effects like "Thirsty" and "Unconscious" are also listed here.
Preferences - This menu includes a number of sub-menus:
- jobs the dwarf will accept. Very important for controlling their behavior. Labor - This lists which types of
- trained dogs to this dwarf. Work Dogs - Assign
- weapon and armor choices. Soldering and Hunting - Change the dwarf's
- military. Activate/Deactivate dwarf - Draft the dwarf into the
- thoughts and preferences, view his relationships, and give him a custom nickname or profession title. (see also Technical tricks.) View Profile - Views a dwarf's profile. From here, you can view
- Royal guard, or remove him from the guard if he already is one. Royal Guard - Make the dwarf a
- Fortress guard, or remove him from the guard if he already is one. Fortress Guard - Make the dwarf a
 Query Rooms/Buildings, q
Theuery command allows you to uspend construction of a room or object, mark it for emoval, or interact with its specific functionality.
- If you query a workshop you can change what tasks are being worked on, set a particular task to repeat or be suspended, or change who is allowed to use the workshop.
- If you query a piece of furniture you can define a room from it (e.g. a bed into a bedroom, a chair into an office, etc.). Depending on the type of furniture there are additional options (e.g. a door can be locked, a coffin can be used for either pet or citizen burial).
- You can also assign a room to belong to a specific dwarf.
- If you query a farm plot you can change what crops are being planted.
- If you query a stockpile you can change what types of objects are stored there, how many barrels are used, etc.
 View items in buildings, t
 Squads, x
This command is used to control your military squads. The options are:
- Lock on squad - Instead of selecting the squad nearest the cursor this squad will remain selected.
- Add a patrol route - Add a series of points and the squad will walk around them.
- Delete patrol route - Self-explanatory.
- Station squad - The squad will congregate around the point you define. This is overridden if they have a patrol route.
- Zoom to commander - Self-explanatory.
- / Lock on another squad - change which squad you have selected.
 Order your Dwarves
These commands affect what your dwarves do. These also use the cursor.
 Build, b
 Designate, d
 Stockpile, p
 Zones, i
activity zone for drinking water, fishing, dump, a pit or pond, meeting hall or sand collection. This interface is the reverse of designate and stockpile commands: you mark out the rectangular area first, and define what it does afterward.Mark an
 Fortress Information
These commands take you away from the map, to an informational screen. Some of them also let you give orders.
 Announcements, a
This screen logs the announcements that appear at the bottom of the screen. Use it to see any you missed, or scroll up the early history of your fortress.
 Civilizations, c
 Unit List, u
tame animals, then hostile creatures, then wild animals. Even dead creatures are listed here, so you can track your fallen dwarves.A list of every creature on the map. Dwarves are listed first, then
- View Creature mode, with the cursor centered on the selected creature. Zoom to Creature This takes you to
- View Profile
- building associated with the dwarf's current task. For hauling tasks, this is the destination stockpile. Zoom to Building Takes you to the
- job manager screen. Manager Takes you to the
 Military, m
This one looks a lot like the Unit List screen, except
- Weapons Changes a soldier's weapon & armor preferences.
- Promote Changes to the promotion/organize unit mode. Be careful! It's hard to tell that you're in a different mode.
 Room List, r
 Artifacts, l
artifacts your fortress has produced.A list of the
 Nobles & Administrators, n
 Fortress Overview, z
This screen is filled with useful information, like your fortress's net worth, and how much food and drink you have left.
- Animals A list of all tame animals in your fort.
- Kitchens From here you can specify what foods can cooked or brewed.
- Stone Controls the use of ores and economic stones
- Stocks This is an in-depth listing of every item, down to every rotting rat corpse. The accuracy of the your item count depends on your bookkeeper.
- Prices The prices of items in the economy
- Currency The amount of copper, silver, and gold coins you have
- Justice Shows the details of the dwarven justice system, once you have one.
See Status for more details.
 Options & Orders, o
 Hot keys, h