I'm sure those of us who have done this for a while know most of these already, but I thought I'd post a thread with quick little tips to make modding easier (contribute if you have any). I use Notepad++, so some of these are specific to that.
- If you can't keep track of how many strings you've added, find the last line with text on it, check its line number (must be using Notepad++ or other text editor with line numbers), subtract two and divide by three. This will be the total # of strings in the file.
- Notepad++ will select anything in quotes without a space, meaning things like string IDs (IDS_WHATEVER_WHATEVER) can be selected with one double click. Double click an ID, then go to the file you want to edit, double click the existing old ID, and then hit Ctrl-V for a quick string ID change (quicker than manually removing or selecting the ID and making sure not to delete the quotes anyway)
- The dev exe can show you alignments of weapon points - it's buried at the very bottom under Rendering. Just click a unit and its weapon point alignments will be shown. The blue line should be the one pointing the way the weapon should be firing.
- Windows can search within entity files. If you want to get an example of how a certain modifier, for example, is used, hit Search, navigate to your GameInfo folder, click All Files and Folders, then put the string you want to look for in "A word or phrase in the file". Windows will look for that string in all the .entity files and you can then double-click the file and see how the modifier or string is used.
- Remember that you can include quotes in a Find dialog when looking for a specific string. For example, if I wanted to change the research attribute string 'Build Rate:' to 'Defense Build Rate:', I could hit Ctrl-F and search for '"Build' instead of just Build, decreasing the amount of false results I get (from other strings that have Build in them). Match Case also works for this well too.