The dispatching panels are often physically large and occupy a lot of screen area. To help set common routes or view stacks of train number indicators, two windows are available: the Tile Observer window and the Freeform Tile Observer window. These windows can be opened using the View menu.
An observer window contains specifically selected tiles in a convenient arrangement. These tiles may be physically distant from one another on the panel, but in an observer window they can be placed close together. This is especially useful for setting routes: instead of moving your mouse or scrolling the panel window, you can have the start and end signal buttons close together in an observer window, and press those buttons instead.
To add a tile to the Tile Observer, right-click it on the panel and choose Add to Observer. It will appear in the Tile Observer window.
Each tile added will be aligned with the previous item. To change the order/sequence of tiles as they appear in the window, right-click on one of the tiles to show the context menu and select either Move Up or Move Down.
Other options are available for changing the size of the tiles or whether a label is shown. To remove a tile from the observer, choose the Delete option.
The following series of images shows the process of setting a route for two signals. Note that these signals may be physically far apart on the panel, but in the Tile Observer, you can place these signals close together. The two signals are highlighted below:
After the route has been set, the panel looks like the image below.
Freeform Tile Observer
The Freeform Tile Observer is identical to the window described above, but for one difference: instead of the tiles being stacked horizontally, you can click and drag the tiles and position them wherever you like.
The example below shows a stack of train number indicators. Note that you can arrange these tiles in any configuration you like.
Here's another example from Köln, showing some entrance signals from the right, together with some platform signals. This example illustrates how you can set up almost any pattern of tiles you like.
Saving Observer Tiles
Normally, your tile positions and sizes are saved so that when you end a simulation and start a new one, your tiles are all where there were in the previous simulation.
If you want to have more than one set of observer tiles, you can save the tile positions to a file, by right-clicking on an empty area in one of the observer windows. Choose Save to open a save file dialog. To open previously saved tiles, choose Load instead and select your previously saved file.
If you have more than one monitor, use the inside/outside window option. This will put the observer window outside the main simulation window, making it easier to use your additional screen space. You may also choose to enable stay on top which will prevent other windows from covering up your tiles. Due to limitations in the Microsoft Windows operating system, this stay on top option is not available when the window is inside your main simulation window.
Using F5/F6 and F7/F8 to apply and remove the red and glass collars also works in the observer windows.