I have decided to add to each of my software-specific websites a new column highlighting unique and pioneering features of each program. I will be adding new sections to this column regularly, in order to introduce you to some of Solar Fire Gold's best capabilities.
1. Clone Charts
Other astrology programs have offered a "popup chart" -- a chart that stays visible while you are using an astrology program -- before Solar Fire Gold added it's clone chart feature, but none allowed you to popup as many charts as you'd like.
The late, great programmer Neville Lang added chart cloning to Solar Fire Gold, and it has since become a truly valuable feature in the program.
For example, you can view the individual charts of a family all at once, while at the same time looking at a quad-wheel of them or a group composite chart. Or for a couple who are thinking of moving, you could look at the relocated charts for both of them for several cities on one screen.
In a previous SoftStar News, I also wrote:
As many of you know, Solar Fire offers the full features of the Windows Graphical User Interface more than most other astrology programs. You can open many different windows at once (e.g. astromap, chart page, transit list, graphic ephemeris, reports, data screens, etc.) and resize each window, and position them onscreen exactly where you want. You can also design screens just the way you want, for different purposes. And Solar Fire Gold remembers where you positioned each window and what size you made them so it's easy to use them the same way each time you run Solar Fire.
To see an example of this, click here. A new tab will open showing a page I designed for doing predictive work. It has a natal chart with chart data on the left, Solar Fire's superb Time Map transit graph on the upper right, and a graphic ephemeris page for the year on the lower right.
Now Neville Lang (the chief programmer of Solar Fire) has added Clone Charts. Clone charts add the ability to place on your computer screen as many additional charts (of any size) wherever you want onscreen. I decided to create two additional examples of screens you can use for your own work.
The first screen, which you can see by clicking here, is for Astromapping work. To explore the effect of moving to a new place for a client, you can place six different relocated charts onscreen as well as an Astro*Carto*Graphy map. Neat!
The second screen, which you can see by clicking here, is for Compatibility analysis. You can place two people's birth charts, and a Composite and Davidson chart, and a page showing an interaspect table, biwheel with both charts, two 30 degree dials, etc. In other words, everything you need for assessing how two people mesh can be placed on one screen.
(Side note: with the price of computer monitors dropping sharply, I highly recommend you purchase a 24" computer monitor. It will allow you to place more charts, graphs, and tables onscreen at the same time, and boost your productivity and capabilities.]
[Note: the only astrology program that has followed Solar Fire Gold's lead and added chart cloning to their program is Regulus Platinum]
When I first saw Solar Fire Gold's birthday reminder feature, I said, "Of course!". Here is a program that has a file with all of the birth dates of people you know, so it's natural to use the program to remind you when their birthdays occur.
Solar Fire Gold's birthday function runs every time you start up the program, and shows you either the current reminders or everyone's birthday. You can set it to alert you however many days in advance you want of upcoming birthday, select which people you want reminders for, see how old they'll be, and more.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a toggle is a button that you can click on that switches something on and off, or switches between two choices.
In Solar Fire Gold, at the top left of the screen is a row of buttons, and two of them are the buttons indicated below:
By clicking on the Trop/Sid button, the highlighted birth chart will switch back and forth between Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs, while by clicking on the Node button, the program changes the Node back and forth from True to Mean.
For astrologers who use both Zodiacal systems, and for those who want to see the differences quickly between the True and Mean Nodal positions, this is a priceless feature.