One of the most confusing aspects of EVE Online for new players has been the setup of the overview. When I first started customizing the overview, it was at least a day's worth of time piecing together various articles to get all of the information needed to learn every bit of this part of the UI. With that said, I'm going to cover all that I can about the overview settings. From importing and exporting, setting up filters, and as far as colorizing your brackets.
The first thing to mention, is that you can have up to five different tabs, each with their own overview profile. You can set this up however you want, but the most common use I've seen has been, "1. Visible - All, 2. Rats, 3. PvP, 4. Drones, 5 Escape". This setup covers a decent amount of setups, and makes sure that you do not have to wade through meaningless information on the overview when doing something specific. With those mentioned, we will go over the various settings to allow you to make these yourself, and understand how it works!
One very important thing to point out is that you can in fact change your overview settings in station. There is no reason to sit out in open space changing settings, and thinking in the back of your mind, "I hope nothing happens". One way to do this is to change the hotkey for "Open Overview Settings". Press "ESC" to go to the settings menu, then to the "Shortcuts" tab, then the "Window" tab. From there you want to set a hotkey for "Open Overview Settings". I've set this as "O" for two reasons. One, it fits the function by letter, and two it is an open key by default. Now let's press "O" and get started.
What The Settings Effect
Starting out, its best to familiarize yourself with the different areas the overview settings effect. First are your chat windows. Colortags will be shown next to player's names in each of your chat windows. In the overview you will see the majority of the effects, as settings will allow you to put color tags on each individual entity in the overview. The "background" is the actual background of the overview, and you can change how the background reacts with settings as well. One thing that gets overlooked by many players are the "brackets". These are never really explained anywhere unless you find an article like this. The brackets are the icons, and colors shown on ships in space. Keep in mind that profiles can be used for either the overview or brackets.
The filters tell the overview profile what to watch for, and what to show on the overview. Using this we can easily make tabs that show exactly what we want to see at any given time, while restricting the sight of various things that are not relevant at that time.
The Types portion allows us to pick exactly what we want to see in the overview profile we are currently working with. To give a decent reference, I'll list each category, and a summary of what's in them.
Asteroid - All types of Asteroids. From Arkonor to Veldspar
Celestial - Various interactive items. Container, gun, stargate, sun, wormhole, beacons, belts to name a few.
Charge - Bombs and probes
Deployable - Mobile warp/jump disruptors
Drone - All drones
Entity - Various mission structures that are only worth looking at. Space trash.
NPC - NPC ships. Concord ships, police ships, etc.
Orbitals - Structures like Custom Office Gantries, Custom Offices, Command Centers, and Ion Cannons.
Planetary Interaction - Capsuleer and Mercenary Bases (Dust 514).
Ship - Every type of player ship. (Make sure to check Blockade Runners and Battlecruisers if you have a profile made before Retribution 1.1.2).
Sovereignty Structures - Infrastructure Hubs (IHUB), Sovereignty Blockade Units (SBU), Territorial Claim Units (TCU).
Station - Dockable stations.
Structure - Player Owned Starbase structures. Arrays, Towers, Batteries, etc.
So with each of these categories, we can pick and choose which of these things we want to show on the current profile.
The States tab shows us what state of a type we want to see. If we don't check a certain type that state will not show at all. For instance, if the "Wreck is empty" state is unchecked only wrecks that have items in them is show. These are good to set in PvP profiles so that you can make sure that friendlies do not show in your overview profile at all.
Now on to the more intricate part of the overview settings. The Appearance portion of the setup has confused many people in the game, but is actually quite simple once it's explained.
Using the screenshot on the right, we can take a look at the Colortag settings. To begin I want to point out the three settings above the states. The option "Apply to ships and drones only" is a nice option to have turned off. This way you can see colortags on containers, stations, control tower, and everything else. Sometimes it is good to know these things. The second setting "Use small colortags" is another good option, but completely a personal preference. I like to see the icons underneath the colortag, so I check this option. The last one, "Use Small Font" is extremely important. Using this option reduces the size of the fonts used in your overview, allowing you to see more, and have more information in the same amount of space.
Now to the state settings. Each of the states have the ability to add a colortag added to the item it's showing, giving us a quick reference of that entity's standing, threat, and security status. Having this type of reference allows us to view our surroundings quickly, while showing us in local if we have friendly pilots, or hostile pilots. It's all pretty simple as you can change each color as you please, and can make that colortag blink to get your attention. Just like the filter states, if you do not check one, that colortag will not be applied to anything at all. Colortag settings are global, and not separate between profiles. Needless to say, there are some states you just don't need.
The thing that many people don't understand, is that this list is actually made in order of priority. If you are familiar with Access Control Lists (ACLs), this will make a lot of sense to you as that's exactly what this list is. If you haven't noticed already, you can click and drag each colortag state, and move them around to change the order. This changes how colortags show on the overview, showing the first condition the result meets first. Basically as the overview picks each thing to show on the overview, it goes through the filters, and states to choose what to place in the overview. Once that's done, the colortag states choose how they should show by going down the list of states until a condition is met for each result . Let's go through an example to show how this works.
Let's say you have a friend that's in a rivaling alliance that is at war with your corporation, but you have set as a contact with excellent standing. If you were using the settings in the screenshot, it would show your friend as a blinking red star, as that is the setting for a pilot that is at war with you. Now if you were to put the option "pilot has excellent standing" above the "Pilot is at war with corporation/alliance" state, he would show a dark blue "+" colortag. What is happening is that the overview is going through each state to find out what matches with that pilot. Once it finds a match of any kind it stops, and moves on to the next one.
I've seen a lot of people make this mistake, and it's always good to remove the security standing, and bounty colortags. By doing this we rely completely on the standings of the pilot, and not various other states that could added to friendly pilots. In a Fleet PvP profile this is very important, so that friendlies do not show up on your overview as some sort of target at all. Of course this won't happen if your profile is set to ignore friendly states, but is good to mention.
The Overview and Velocities, you can see that the drones background and colortag did not match. That's because the colortag was set to show fleet members first, and the background was set to show corporation members first. Keep in mind that background states are what is shown on brackets.
By using different conditions in both the colortag and background settings we can basically show two different conditions in one row instead of repeating the results. This can be helpful when dealing with the new Crimewatch system. It's in bad practice to set the Crimewatch status to show first in the colortags, because next thing you know you're shooting someone friendly. When we set it as the background, we can see the colortag showing if the pilot if friendly or not, and the background showing us if that pilot is a suspect, criminal, has a kill right, or has a limited engagement with you.
As you can see from the screenshot, I have it set in this order of priority: "Kill Right, Limited Engagement, Criminal, Suspect, Bounty, Sec Status below 0, Sec Status below -5". While many others like to have matching backgrounds with their states, it makes too much sense to have the background do something useful. You don't need to know anything else, since the colortags provide that for you already. The only caveat is as I mentioned earlier, that the background states are what show for brackets. If you rely on brackets heavily, I would suggest making them match.
Now that we're through the worst parts of the overivew settings, it's time to mention the rest of the settings. The "EWAR" settings are the settings to show the small icons on the overview showing you which target is using whatever EWAR module that is on you. Of course this has been phased out since the on-screen icons have been added.
The "Columns" are as mentioned in the Overview and Velocities article. This is where you want to turn these columns on and off for the overview.
The "Ships" tab allows you to alter the way that brackets show text for the Pilot's Name, Ship Type, Corp Ticker, Alliance Ticker, Ship Name, and any additional text. Not only that, you can choose to "Hide corp ticker if pilot is in Alliance" making your bracket text shorter. Right above that option you can click the four bar icon to change how the bracket information is laid out for you.
The "Overview Tabs" tab is a great way to get your profiles set correctly with your tabs, as you can choose the profile to use with each tab, and what profile to use for the brackets in that tab. This is a lot less tedious than having to load each profile for each tab.
Last the "Misc" tab allows for some helpful options, like moving target broadcasts to the top of the overview. Since the Retribution patch, you may notice a few extra options, "BRACKETS AND TARGETS". These are the options to turn off the new ship damage indicators, and active modules.
Saving your profiles is always a great idea. Let's be honest, no one ever wants to do this for every character they have, or every time they reinstall; so you can easily remedy this issue by exporting your settings to a file. On the top-left corner of the overview settings window click the four bars, and choose to "Export Overview Settings". From there you can choose to save all the settings, including your global settings. The exported file will fall into a folder called "overview", located inside the EVE folder that is in your Documents folder. If you are wanting to import settings, and have never exported settings you will need to create the "overview" folder in your EVE Document folder. Simply place the overview XML file in that folder, and it will show when you go to import settings.
Large Fleet Profiles
One thing to point out with profiles is if you're in a huge fleet or fight, always have an empty bracket profile to speed things up. To do this, make sure to alter a profile you have saved, turn off all the filters, and states, then save it as "none". After that, reload your saved profile for your overview, and use "none" for your bracket profile any time that there are lots of ships on grid. It won't take long for you to notice the benefit of this practice.
OS X Overview Importing/Exporting and Fitting Importing/Exporting
This is a huge issue for many Mac EVE players, and many have said it couldn't be done. This is far from true, and I'm going to tell you how to do so. Right-click the Finder icon, and choose "Go To Folder", and type in "/" without the quotes. This will show you a finder window at the root of your system. Next go to the User folder > yourusername > Library > Application Support > EVE Online > p_drive > Users > My Documents. In the "My Documents" folder you will see an "EVE" folder. Right-click that folder, choose "Make Alias", and then move that alias to place easier to find like your Desktop. Now you can see your capture, overview, logs, and fitting folders, and can drop files into those folders, allowing you to import and export.
Well that's it! I hope that anyone reading this has learned something from this, and I really do hope to see some Mac users coming through here to make their game so much better. Enjoy, and fly safe! o/