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Foldit has two different styles for its game view:

  • original or "classic" interface
  • selection interface

Both interfaces show the protein in the same ways, but they differ in how players do certain things. The settings found under "General Options" also affect the look-and-feel (and -hear) of the game.

In the intro puzzles, players see a simplified version of the original interface.

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Intro puzzles[]

Compared to regular puzzles, intro puzzles have limited options in the lower menu bar. The settings under "General Options" may help make the intro puzzles easier to work with.

Key general options for intro puzzles.

To access the settings, click Menu > General Options on the lower menu bar. The options include turning off background music and sound effects, and changing the display to "colorblind mode".

Tip: General Options will also show you the version number you have installed and the Update Group: main or devprev. You can turn on the Advanced GUI in intro puzzles but it will have no effect.

Original or "classic" interface[]

The original interface has menus in fixed locations. The menus have triangular "dropdowns" that show or hide each menu.

If the score shown at the top of the screen is an integer (no decimal places), the Foldit client is the "basic" version of the interface.

Score display in basic mode.

Compared to the intro puzzles, in a science puzzle, the original interface has extra items available from the lower menu bar: Social, Modes, Behavior and View. Check out tools for details.

In addition to selecting from menus, there are many shortcut keys (also known as "hotkeys") available to control the game.

Tip: If you lose your protein on the screen – the Q or Home key will move it back to the centerof your screen. Mac users who have no Home key (and if Q key does not work) try Fn plus left arrow key.

Another feature not found in design puzzles is the scoreboard, which lets you see the players and groups who are playing the puzzle.<

Tip: Click a player or group name in the scoreboard to go to the player's or the group's page.

Selection Interface[]

The selection interface is available via Menu -> Selection Interface. You can return to the original interface by opening Menu using the "p" keyboard shortcut, or simply typing "1".

In the selection interface, most menus become floating windows which can be moved around the screen. For example, the cookbook is in a fixed location on the left side of the screen in the original interface. In the selection interface, the cookbook window can be displayed or hidden using the "c" keyboard shortcut. The cookbook window can be moved around inside the game window and resized as needed.

In the selection interface, clicking on the Foldit icon in the lower left corner (or typing the "h" keyboard shortcut) displays a set of vertical icons that are similar to the horizontal menu bar in the original interface.

The horizontal menu bar is replaced by a varying set of options, which change according to which functions are available at the moment.

As the name implies, the selection interface involves selecting groups of segments. Left-clicking on a segment selects that segment. You can extend the selection using shift-click, and you can select and deselect individual segments using control-click.

Most key Foldit functions, including shake, wiggle, and rebuild, work only on the selected segments in the selection interface. (If nothing's selected, the functions work on the whole protein.) This is very similar to how Foldit recipes work internally.

The selection interface also allows you to select segments within a certain distance. If you hold ctrl-shift and then click on a segment and drag, more additional segments are gradually selected. Many recipes do something similar, selecting segments within a given "sphere", meaning within a certain distance of a starting segment.

The selection interface is a "modeless" interface, compared to the original interface, which is a "modal" interface.

The options available in the original interface depend on the mode selected from the "Modes" menu. For example, the secondary structure can only be changed in "structure" mode.

In the selection interface, most functions are available at any time. For example, to change secondary structure, select some segments. The "Secondary Structure" icon and the "l" keyboard shortcut become active. Clicking the icon or typing "l" brings up the secondary structure options for helix, loop, and sheet. The "auto" option is also available in this case.

Show advanced GUI option[]

The "Show advanced GUI" is available in both the original and the selection interfaces.

In the original interface, select Menu -> General Options, and check "Show advanced GUI".

In the selection interface, click on the Foldit icon in the lower left, then click on "Main" or simply type "p" to display the main menu. Select General Options, then check "Show advanced GUI".

The advanced GUI option changes the view of the current score to display decimal places.

The advanced GUI options adds a number of new options in the View menu.

Tip: Try out the Color options. The Color section of the View menu provides several different ways to change the color of the protein. For example, "Score" colors the low-scoring parts of the protein in shades of red as in the intro puzzles. The "Rainbow" color option changes color from one end of the protein to the other. The first segment start is colored violet, and the last segment is colored red. Rainbow coloring can make it easier to understand how the protein is folded.