Begin with the user interface

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User interface overview

When you launch XPFlightPlanner, you will be greeted with the main window displaying an empty flight plan document as in the screenshot below:

XPFlightPlanner main window, light mode

This window is divided into four key sections, each serving a specific purpose:

  • The map section provides aeronautical charts and a visual representation of your flight plan, allowing you to navigate and make adjustments as needed.
  • The flight plan table (at the bottom) presents a clear overview of all the waypoints and routes in your plan.
  • The list panel (right up) of available points corresponds to the comprehensive navigation database, offering a wide range of options for your flight planning needs.
  • Finally, the details panel (right down) provides in-depth information and insights about the selected items, be it a specific point or an entire route.

Together, these sections empower you to create and manage your flight plans efficiently and effectively.

Main toolbar

The versatile upper toolbar in XPFlightPlanner empowers you with various actions to enhance your flight planning experience. This toolbar, is divided in to three sections:

  1. Seamlessly interact with the flight plan document
  2. Effortlessly manipulate the map to view different areas
  3. And conveniently toggle the visibility of the side panel and flight plan table
The 3 sections of the main tool bar

These intuitive controls provide you with the flexibility and customization options you need to optimize your workflow and make the most out of your flight planning sessions. As you hover your mouse over each button, a helpful tooltip will appear, providing additional guidance and information.

Moreover, you have the option to display helpful labels below the toolbar buttons by adjusting the settings in the “Preferences” window, specifically under the “General” tab. This allows for even easier navigation and accessibility, ensuring a smooth and intuitive user experience.


Hotkeys are efficient tools in XPFlightPlanner that enable you to streamline your interactions and create flight plans. By utilizing these hotkeys, you can significantly speed up your workflow. Here is a comprehensive list of all the available hotkeys:

AAdd the active point to the route
RRemove the active point from the route
SpaceAdd or remove active point to/from the route
IShow Informations about the active point in the detail panel
WShow details about the active Waypoint in the detail panel

All these hotkeys are also available as shortcuts (Ctrl-Key on Windows or Cmd-Key on macOS). A list of all shortcuts is available by browsing the menus.

These shortcuts and hotkeys are applicable to the active point within the application. An active point refers to the point that is either selected or currently being hovered over by the mouse cursor. Please note that priority is given to the point that is being hovered over.

By familiarizing yourself with these shortcuts and hotkeys, you can optimize your navigation and editing processes, saving you time and effort during flight plan creation. Take advantage of these powerful tools to enhance your XPFlightPlanner experience and make the most out of its features.

Light or dark mode

XPFlightPlanner offers a seamless user experience that caters to your personal preferences. You have the freedom to select between a light or dark mode for the user interface, allowing you to create a visual atmosphere that suits your style and enhances your workflow.

XPFlightPlanner main window, dark mode

Whether you prefer a clean and bright interface or a sleek and modern look, XPFlightPlanner has you covered. Simply choose a dark map theme (Dark or Midnight) and the user interface automatically switches to dark mode.

Alternatively navigate to the “Preferences” dialog from the “Help” menu to switch between light and dark modes. Enjoy a visually pleasing and customizable experience as you plan your flights with ease.

Inspiration menu

The “Inspiration” menu in XPFlightPlanner is your gateway to endless fly adventures and aviation inspiration. With a variety of pre-defined routes, unique destinations, and exciting aviation challenges, you’ll never run out of ideas for your next flight.

  • Explore iconic flights between major international airports
  • Or opt for a domestic flight experience
  • You can also let XPFlightPlanner surprise you by choosing random airports

The inspiration menu helps you to get ready to fuel your imagination and discover new horizons with the boundless possibilities.

Point panel

The “Point” panel in XPFlightPlanner provides a comprehensive list of all the points available in the navigation database, ranging from FIX, VOR, DME, NDB to airports. It serves as a handy reference for easily accessing and managing these points.

Point side panel

To quickly find a specific point, you can utilize the search field, which allows you to enter the name or code of the desired point. Additionally, the checkboxes in the panel enable you to filter your search results based on specific criteria.

When you click on a point in the panel, it is automatically highlighted and displayed on the map, providing you with a visual reference. For further actions related to a point, you can:

  • hit the button to quickly add the point to the route,
  • or access the contextual menu with relevant options and functionalities by hitting the button or right-clicking.

With the point panel, navigating and interacting with the navigation points in your flight plan has never been easier.

Details panel

The “Detail” panel in XPFlightPlanner serves as a convenient tool for obtaining additional information about various items within your flight plan. Whether it’s a navigation point, an airport, a SID/STAR procedure, or a route, the detail panel provides valuable insights.

KJFK airport info in the detail panel

By performing a right-click on an item either on the map or in the point panel, you can easily access the relevant information in the detail panel. It offers a concise overview of the selected item, allowing you to quickly gather key details.

For a more in-depth exploration, the detail panel provides clickable links that enable you to navigate to further details and related information. Additionally, the pin links within the panel allow you to conveniently locate and highlight the selected point on the map, enhancing your overall navigation experience.

The detail panel is designed to provide you with comprehensive information and seamless navigation within XPFlightPlanner.

Navigation map and charts

In XPFlightPlanner, the navigation map becomes your canvas for aeronautical charts exploration and flight planning. Interacting with the map is a breeze with familiar controls:

  • Simply click and drag to pan across the map
  • Use the scroll wheel on your mouse or pinch on a touchpad to zoom in or out
  • Right click on an item to get access to related actions
  • Double click on an item to add to the flight plan (or remove if already part of it)
  • Double click on the map background to create a custom coordinate point

To further personalize your map experience, you can choose from a variety of themes such as terrain, light, dark, paper, and more. These themes can be easily selected from the dropdown menu in the upper toolbar.

Light theme, approaching KSFO runway 10R

The toolbar offers even more functionality, allowing you to customize the display of various items on the map. With just a click, you can toggle the visibility of airports, airport details, FIX points, VORs, NDBs, jet routes, Victor routes, and even Atlantic or Pacific tracks. This level of control empowers you to focus on the specific elements that are most relevant to your flight planning process.

Dark theme, EKCH Kastrup airport details

Please note that for the map to function properly, an Internet connection is required to download and display the map tiles. This ensures that you have access to up-to-date and accurate visual representations of the areas you are exploring.

Flight plan

In this section, you will find valuable information on opening, saving, and printing your flight plans in XPFlightPlanner. For detailed guidance on flight plan generation and manual editing, we recommend referring to the dedicated manual pages.

Open and save flight plan

XPFlightPlanner supports opening and saving flight plans in X-Plane’s native *.fms format.

To open a flight plan, you can either click the button on the toolbar or select “Open” from the “File” menu. To save a flight plan, use the button on the toolbar or select “Save” or “Save as” from the “File” menu.

To ensure the flight plans are found by X-Plane’s FMS, they must be saved in the <X-Plane>/Output/FMS plans directory. In the XPFlightPlanner “Preferences” dialog, you have the option to always open or save flight plans from this directory or to remember the last directory used.

Print a flight plan log

XPFlightPlanner allows you to print your flight plan log on paper for sim brief. To do so, navigate to the “File” menu and use the following options:

  • Page Setup: to choose the type of paper and orientation (Landscape or Portrait).
  • Print Preview: to preview the flight plan and check the paper settings before printing.
  • Print: to send the flight plan to your printer.
XPFlightPlanner print flight plan
Flight plan print preview

Note: For optimal readability, it’s recommended to set the paper orientation to Landscape rather than Portrait.


The “Preferences” dialog in XPFlightPlanner offers a range of customization options to tailor your experience to perfection. Accessible from the “Help” menu, this dialog is divided into four sections:

  • General
  • X-Plane
  • Map
  • Advanced

In the “General” section, you have the flexibility to choose the unit for displaying speed, whether it’s in Mach number (M) or knots (kts), based on an altitude threshold. You can also opt for displaying altitude in flight level (FL) instead of feet (ft). Additionally, you can personalize the user interface by selecting either the Light or Dark mode, ensuring a visually appealing and comfortable environment while planning your flights.

Fine-tune your settings in the “Preferences” dialog and enjoy a truly tailored experience with XPFlightPlanner.