Tip: Finding yourself when zoomed way in

What do you do if you're zoomed way into the Mandelbrot set, or any other fractal, perhaps using some coordinates you grabbed from a web page, and you want to find out where you are? You can look at the coordinates in the Status window or the Set Location window, but somehow those endless strings of coordinates don't really give a satisfying answer to the metaphysical question, "Where am I?"

You could double-click a bunch of times with the right mouse button to zoom yourself out until you reach recognizable territory. However, this method is much like lighting all of your matches in order to make sure they work -- you know where you are, but you're not there anymore! You can use Fractal eXtreme's multi-level undo to get back there, but there are some other methods available.

Fractal eXtreme gives you two effective methods to find out where in the infinite expanses of the complex plane you are:

Method 1: Use the View Location command

A new fractal exploration window appears. The fractal is zoomed out all the way and the Show Location check box is selected for this window. This means that all of the other fractal exploration windows will be shown as white and blue rectangles drawn on the Mandelbrot set within this window. If you select the window whose location you wanted to find, its box will be highlighted. This gives you a rough idea of where you are. If you want to see more precisely, simply zoom in towards the rectangle, watching where you are going. Eventually, the rectangle will begin growing larger, and then you will get precisely to where you were.

Method 2: Use the Set Location window

1) On the Location menu, click Set Location to open the Set Location window.

2) Use the Zooms spin control to reduce the zoom level, or type in a zoom level of zero.

Now you can use the spin control to zoom in and out, always precisely centered on the area where you were, stopping anywhere along the way.

Warning: If you zoom all the way out and then scroll over a pixel, or zoom in by double-clicking the image, the tiny location error that this causes will be magnified by whatever magnification you were at. Using the Zooms spin control to zoom will now zoom you towards a totally different location. If you do this accidentally, use the multi-level undo to back up as far as necessary.

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