Lucid Builder Tutorial

Tutorial 4 – Deploying your key

To produce a key that can be used outside the Lucid Builder it is necessary to deploy the key. A key can be deployed with the Lucid Player or to the Lucid Mobile Platform.

Deploying a key to the Lucid Mobile Platform requires the key to be submitted to the Lucid Team for packaging due to the nature of publishing mobile apps through the Google and Apple App Stores. See the Lucid Mobile Platform information page on for additional details on this deployment method.

Deploying your key with the ‘regular’ Lucid Player, that is able to run off a USB, CD, Hard Drive or the Internet, can be done directly via the Lucid Builder. Once your key is ready for testing or release use the Key Deploy option found via the main menu Key…Key Deploy option.

Only a very minimal set of options are needed to be set before a key can be deployed. This tutorial will go through the most common deployment options. We highly recommend that you explore the numerous options that are available to set how your key is output and what features and options are set for the Player interface.

Deploying a key only requires you to enter a key title (if you haven’t already set this via the Key Properties Panel tab and to set a destination folder for the deployed key to be output.
Lucid Builder Key Deployment dialog example
Click the Deploy button to start the deployment process. The deployment process comprises several tasks:
  1. Compiling a copy of your key data into a ready-only format and the score data into an encrypted form.
  2. Copies the media associated with the key to the destination.
  3. Packages the Lucid Player and help files to the destination.
  4. Creates a hosting web page that loads the Lucid Player and sets the correct connections and settings to the key data.
Once the deployment has completed the Lucid Builder will ask you if you wish to open the key in your preferred browser. If you select ‘Yes’, then your default browser should open with your key loaded in the Lucid Player ready for use, or if set, a key home page that enables you to start the key.
Lucid Builder Deploy dialog Preview key on completion
Lucid Builder Deploy dialog Preview key on completion.
Take a minute to review the Deployment Options:
Deploy Media filesIf selected, will copy all directly attached media items as a part of the deployment process. You may wish to uncheck this option if, for example you have only made non-media related changes to the key and the media associated with the key is very large, this would speed up the deployment process by avoiding recopying the media.
Copy additional media filesIf selected, will copy all media contained within the Media folder, that is not directly attached to the key. For example, support CSS, JavaScripts, images and other files that comprise the fact sheets and other materials.

For example, you may not want to output these files each time, especially if there are a large quantity that may not have changed.
Skip media needing revisionIf selected, excludes any directly attached media item that has been marked as needing revision.
Deploy filtered keyNew to Lucid v4, the Lucid Builder allows you to filter your key using Subsets while constructing it. You can use the filtered state (currently selected subsets) to output as a 'sub key'. If no Subset is currently selected and the 'Deployed filtered key' is checked, then the whole key would still be output as a part of the deployment process.
Output home pageThe Lucid Builder will output a templated home page that contains your key title, key description and key author details (set via the Key Properties panel) along with a link to open the page containing the Lucid Player and key. This is optional for displaying this additional information. The key loading page can be used directly without the need of a home page, if desired.
Copy player files to destinationIf selected, outputs all the Lucid Player files needed to play your key. You may wish to uncheck this option if you have customised the Lucid Player and don't wish the customizations to be overwritten by the default Lucid Player files.

The Options button on the Deploy dialog opens the Key Options dialog. The options contained within the Key Options dialog control everything regarding how your key will function and look in the Lucid Player. For example, Filtered or Ranked Entities, Tree view vs List view of Entities, the display of thumbnails to the language used in the Player.

Lucid Builder Key Deploy dialog Options button
Lucid Builder Key Deploy dialog Options button.


It is recommended that you choose an empty (newly created) folder when first deploying your key. This way you can easily see all files that have been output from the deployment process, making it much easier to copy them to a USB, or to your web server etc.

Lucid Builder Tutorial

Tutorial 3 – Attaching Media to the Key

Lucid Builder supports the direct attachment of images (JPG, GIF & PNG), PDFs and HTML (local files and URLs). It is important to understand how Lucid handles media, particularly HTML content due to its nature of referencing supporting files (E.g. CSS, JavaScripts and Images etc).

Lucid Builder Key File and Folder structure
Lucid Builder Key file and folder structure.
Lucid Key backup reminder
Lucid Key backup reminder.

The reason all media files must be within the keys Media folder is to make the key deployment process a seamless single step process, without the need to remember to copy or deal with other supporting files.  It also makes copying and backing up your key data much easier.

Lucid allows the attachment of media at all levels within the Feature and Entity trees. How much media you add, if any, is entirely up to you the key author. Media items can be manually attached or imported (and automatically attached).

Fact Sheet Fusion a companion application, often used by Lucid key authors, can dramatically speed up key media development and supports the import file format the Lucid Builder uses.  It also supports exporting media suitable for the Lucid Mobile Platform.

For the purpose of this tutorial the HTML fact sheets for the Entities have already been created for you. You can locate these HTML files in the ‘Tutorial\Media\Html’ folder of the Lucid install folder on your computer. Copy the content of this tutorial Media folder, including the sub folders, to your key’s Media folder location.

To attach an HTML file to an item, such as a Feature or Entity, select that Feature or Entity with the mouse and then click the Media tab in the Properties Panel on the left hand side of the Builder interface.

For example, select darwinensis which appears under Camarophyllopsis. Next, select the HTML folder within the Media panel. The Attach Media button media add icon should then become available as shown below.

Lucid Builder Media Panel Add Media button enabled
Lucid Builder Media Panel Add Media button enabled.

To attach an HTML file to darwinensis, click the Attach Media button media add icon. The add HTML options menu should now appear as shown below.

Lucid Builder Media Panel Add HTML pop-out menu
Lucid Builder Media Panel Add Html pop-out menu.

Select the first option ‘Attach HTML iconAttach HTML File’. The Attach HTML file browse dialog should now appear as shown below.

Lucid Builder Attach HTML file browser dialog
Lucid Builder Attach HTML file browser dialog.

You should now see the prepared tutorial HTML files listed (assuming you have copied them to your keys Media folder). Select the ‘c_darwinensis.htm’ file and click Open. The HTML Attach dialog should now disappear and the selected HTML file ‘c_darwinensis.htm’ will now be listed under the Path information, indicating it is attached to Entity darwinensis (see below).

Lucid Builder Media Panel attached HTML file example
Lucid Builder Media Panel attached HTML file example.

By default the Builder will assign ‘No Caption’ to the fact sheet. You can update this via the Caption field. For example, this could be ‘Fact Sheet’ or ‘Camarophyllopsis darwinensis’.


You can set the default caption text for HTML and Image attachments via the Key Options dialog (Media Tab).

Attaching an image works in the same way as the HTML file attachment. Select the ‘Images’ folder within the Media Panel, and then select the Attach Media button media add icon.

Lucid Builder Media Panel Attach Image example.

Images however can be browsed anywhere accessible to your computer. If an image is selected from outside your keys Media folder it will be automatically copied to the keys Media\Images folder. When the image is attached, regardless if it was attached within or outside the keys Media folder, it will be automatically thumbnailed. A copy of that thumbnail will be stored in the ‘Media\Thumbs’ folder. The thumbnails storage location within the ‘Thumbs’ folder will reflect the ‘Images’ folder. That is if an image was selected from a sub folder of the ‘Images’ folder, the thumbnail will be stored within the same sub folder structure within the ‘Thumbnail’ folder.

Lucid Builder Media Panel attach image browse dialog
Lucid Builder Media Panel attach image browse dialog.

Once attached the thumbnail image will be shown within the Media Panel. 

Lucid Builder Media Panel attached image example
Lucid Builder Media Panel attached image example.


You can select more than one image or HTML file at time, via the Attach Media browse dialog, to attach to the Entity or Feature. Use the Control (Ctrl) to individually select multiple files or the Shift keys to select contiguous (i.e. next to each other) files.

By default the first attached image becomes the default thumbnail shown for the selected Feature or Entity. If you attach multiple images you can reorder the images using the Media Ordering buttons located at the bottom right of the media display within the Media Panel as shown below.

Lucid Builder Media Panel reorder media buttons
Lucid Builder Media Panel reorder media buttons.

The order HTML files and attachments are presented to the user within the Player can also be controlled by the same Media Ordering buttons.


By default Lucid Builder thumbnails attached images to 128px (longest side - the aspect ration of the image is retained when thumbnailed). You can set your preferred thumbnail size via the Key Options dialog (Media tab). If the size is adjusted the Lucid Builder will ask if you wish to regenerate all the keys thumbnails. If you wish to do this at a later time you can do so via the main menu option Key...Media...Update Thumbnails.


As a reminder, save your key on a regular basis and back up your key often to avoid data loss from unforeseen circumstances.

Lucid Builder Tutorial

Tutorial 2 – Scoring the Key

Before starting to score the key, it is useful to have the species information (Appendix 1) on hand to assist scoring the key. It’s also assumed that you have either completed Tutorial 1 and have entered Features and Entities for the key. Or open the unscored edition of the key found in the tutorial file pack. There are essential three ways to ‘score’ your key (enter score data).
  1. Scoring Entities by Features.
  2. Scoring Features by Entities.
  3. Scoring via the Spreadsheet view.
The scoring method your choose is entirely a personal preference. The scores entered by any of the methods results in the same set of data, they are just different views of the score data. Start by opening your tutorial key or the pre-made unscored tutorial key in the Lucid Builder. To make viewing the score options within the Features and Entities start by expanding all levels of the hierarchy for both Features and Entities. Do this by setting focus on the Features Panel and click the expand tree option Lucid expand tree icon on the main toolbar. Once expanded do the same by setting focus on the Entities Panel and clicking the expand tree option again in the main toolbar. Next, enable Score Mode by clicking on the ‘Enable Score Mode’ button Toggle score mode icon located on the scoring panel to the right of the Entities panel. When Score Mode is enabled, the various score buttons and options will be shown.
Lucid Builder Score toolbar options
Lucid Builder Score toolbar options.

Notes on Scoring

  • Multiple scores for states frequently occur; for example, some fungal species have more than one colour present and so all relevant colour states should be ticked (scored).
  • In at least some cases, misinterpretations of states can exist. For example, in a number of species, a cursory glance may suggest that the substrates of moss and humus are common. This is not usually the case and a closer inspection will show that the species are growing on soil amongst litter, humus or moss. These situations can be dealt with by using the 'Common Misinterpreted Score'. I.e. Tick soil as present and moss/humus as Misinterpreted.
  • A blank (Absent) score indicates that a particular state does not occur for that taxon. Where there is uncertainty, you should use the uncertain score "?".
  • Since Lucid allows you to set up a hierarchy of Entities - such as Family, Genus, species - you can propagate scores to children under a specific parent by pressing Control (ctrl) key when you click to score in the score box for the parent. For more information on score propagation see the Lucid Builder score help.

To commence scoring make sure that the first species ‘darwinensis‘ is selected in the Entities window and then use the description for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis to fill in the tick boxes. The entry data for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis is given below with a suggested score in brackets beside each selected state.


By default, the large blue tick of Common Score will be active and can be left at this setting unless a different score is indicated.

Shape – convex to hemispherical (common)
Dominant color – pink and brown with pinkish tints (both scored as common); (This is not a good match, but suffices for the example.)
Surface texture – smooth (common)
Surface viscidity – dry (common)

Attachment to stem – bow-shaped or running down the stem (common)
Color – pink (common) Glutinous margin – absent (common)

Dominant colour – white to pale cream (common)
Surface texture – smooth to powdery (both these scores are common); sometimes hairy (rare)
Surface viscidity – dry (common)

Shape – sub-globose to globose (common)
Contents – hyaline (common)
Length range (micrometres) – (4.0-) 4.5-5.2-6.0 (use Numeric Scores, see further below for more details on this.)
Dimorphism – absent (common)

Ecology and Distribution
Habitat – monsoon forest or sclerophyll forest (both scored as common)
Growth habit – gregarious or caespitose (both scored as common)
Substrate – soil (common)
State distribution – NT Qld (both scored as common)

To insert the Spore Length Range, select its scores box. Any Numeric Score state can always be identified by the presence of a hash mark Numeric score not set icon within the score box. A text entry window will appear with a row ready for insertion of the range of values. Depending on which score view you are using (scoring Features for a selected Entity vs scoring Entities for a Feature) the Numeric Score dialog will list the Feature for scoring for the selected Entity, or it will list all the Entities for the selected Feature, with the selected Entity highlighted ready for data entry. Examples of the two scoring views regarding the Numeric Score dialog are shown below.
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by a Feature example
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by a Feature example.
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by Entity example
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog scoring by Entity example.
Insert the values as given into the text entry boxes. The Builder automatically ensures that the correct sequential values for a range are entered so that each new entry is either equal to or greater than the previously entered value. Finally, enter the units of measurement – micrometers – and press Enter. Lucid’s Numeric scores also support misinterpretation and uncertainty. The Numeric Score Type can be selected by clicking on the score type text for the Numeric Feature where a drop down list will appear. For more information on misinterpreted and uncertain numeric scores, see Builder Help. The completed entry for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis are shown below.
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog showing score values for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis
Lucid Builder Numeric Score dialog showing score values for Camarophyllopsis darwinensis.
After saving the key, complete scoring the State entries for the remainder of the species and then re-save the key. This now has a completely scored key which is ready for later insertion of species data such as text and images, etc.


At any time, the key can be tested using the built in Player launch function. To access the function, select the Preview Key button Preview icon on the main toolbar.

This will start a copy of the Lucid Player with the key automatically loaded and ready for use in your preferred web browser. Any aspect of the key can then be checked for its operation. For more information about the Lucid Player, see the Lucid Player Help.

Lucid Builder Tutorial

Tutorial 1 – Entering Entities and Features

Entities and Features can be entered in the Builder several ways. How you decide which method will suit you depends if you have existing data that can be imported, or if you need to start entering new data. This tutorial will take you through entering new data and importing data.

Entering new data


  1. Open the Lucid Builder. By default, the Features panel will be active, indicated by it’s blue title bar. Make the Entities panel active by selecting anywhere in the Entities panel or on its title bar. The Entities panel will show it has focus by the title bar changing its color from grey to blue. The Features panels loss of focus will turn its title grey.
  2. Right click any where within the Entities panel. This will trigger the context pop-up menu to appear. Since there are currently no Entities within the Entities panel the context menu options will all be disabled other than the ‘Add…Add Entity’ option. Select the ‘Add…Add Entity’ option and type in Camarophyllopsis and press the Enter key to confirm the entry. 
  3. Right click on the newly entered Camarophyllopsis Entity. This time the context menu will have additional options available. From the Add menu again, you can choose to either enter another root level Entity by choosing ‘Add Entity’ again, or you can choose to add a new Entity as a Child (‘Add Entity as Child’). Choose the ‘Add Entity as Child’ option. A new Entity node will be created as a ‘child’ below the Camarophyllopsis Entity. Now type in the species name of ‘darwinensis‘ and press Enter.
  4. To add a sibling of ‘darwinensis‘, right click on ‘darwinensis‘ and select the ‘Add…Add Entity’ and type ‘kearneyi‘ and press Enter.

As you can see by right clicking on an Entity and choosing the add ‘level’ (parent, sibling or child) of interest you can quickly create a hierarchy of Entities. See the video vignette below that shows the start of creating the Entity hierarchy for the tutorial key.


Use the shortcut key: F2 to rename an Entity or Feature. Alternatively the right click context menu will also have the rename option.

Time to save your key

Now that you have entered some data into your key it's time to save. Click the Save save icon icon on the main toolbar or the Save (ctrl + s) option from the main menu. The first time you save your key the Lucid Builder will ask you to specify a folder where to save the key and its name. After this has been provided you can save your key at anytime. We recommend saving often to avoid losing work. Lucid also has a rolling back-up that occurs each time you save.

Features and States

Entering Features and States is very similar to the Entity data entry process.

  1. Give focus to the Features Panel by clicking anywhere within it or by the click the Features panel title bar. Focus can be confirmed by the Feature panel title bar turning from grey to blue.
  2. Right click within the Features Panel. This will trigger the context menu to appear. Since there are currently no existing Features the context menu will only have the ‘Add…Add Feature’ option available to use. Select this and a new Feature node will appear in the Features Panel. The new Feature text will be highlighted and is ready for typing over. Start typing ‘Cap’. Once finished press Enter. ‘Cap’ will become a Grouping Feature. That is a Feature that will hold other Features, it won’t directly hold any States as children.
  3. Now enter the four Features of ‘Cap’, ‘shape’, ‘dominant color’, ‘surface texture’, and ‘surface viscidity’.
  4. The next step is to enter States for ‘shape’. Select ‘shape’ and right click on it. From the context menu select the ‘Add…Add State’ option. Enter ‘convex to hemispherical’. Repeat the process to add ‘conical’, ‘umbonate’ etc. Finish entering the remaining Features and States.
  5. When you insert the secondary Features and States for ‘Spores – shape, contents, length range, dimorphism’ – note that the secondary Feature of ‘Spore length range’ will be a numeric state and therefore it has no dependent states. To convert this Feature into a Numeric State, first select it and then in the properties panel (which is to the left of the Features panel) select the Items tab. Towards the bottom of the Items tab is Feature Type option, change the selection from a Grouping Feature to a Numeric Feature. Ignore the data loss warning, select ‘OK’ and continue. The icon associated with this Feature will change to indicate that it is of a numeric type numeric icon. You can return this Feature to a Grouping Feature by selecting it and changing the Feature type back to a Grouping Feature. You can convert Numeric and Grouping Features to States when no other Numeric or Grouping Features are at the same or at a lower level within the hierarchy.

The video vignette below shows some of the Features and States of the tutorial key being entered, including the Numeric Feature State.

Rearranging Entities and Features and States

The arrangement of Entities, Features or States may be altered at any time using a ‘drag and drop’ method. This has two modes of operation.

  1. A simple ‘drag and drop’ using the mouse key only will place the moved item as a Child or a Sibling of the item at the new location – this can be noted by the cursor changing its shape to an icon, although the Builder will also request confirmation to make the moved item a Child or Sibling of the item at the selected location.
Lucid Builder Confirm Drop Type dialog
Lucid Builder Confirm Drop Type dialog.

Where the ‘drag and drop’ operation is disallowed an ban icon icon will be shown.

Reordering siblings is achieved by the same ‘drag and drop’ method. For example, dragging an Entity that sits above it’s siblings to one below it will reposition it below the Entity the drop operation ends on.

2. Merge ‘drag and drop’ – If the Control key is depressed during the drag operation this will trigger the Merge mode for the move operation. Rather than moving the selected nodes to the destination, they will be merged to it. That is they will not be copied to the destination, after the merge process they are removed (deleted) from their original location.

The Merge mode applies when moving a Feature (and any of its Features and/or States) or States. When merging one Feature to a destination Feature the merging process will combine the Features and/or States, including their underlying scores. The destination Feature label will be replaced by the selected Feature’s label. If you merge one State to another State, the selected States score will be merged to the destination State and the destination label retained. The selected State (that was moved for the merge) will be removed (deleted) after the merge process has completed.


Merging Features, States and scores cannot be undone.


You can sort Features, States and Entities alphabetically via the Sort option on the main toolbar, or via the Edit menu. The sort function will ask if you are interested in sorting just the siblings at the selected node or if you want the whole tree sorted. It's more common to sort the entire entity tree, rather than the Features tree, since Features are often structured for the end user showing the easiest Features to answer to the hardest.

Importing Entities and Features

For the purpose of learning how to import data start with a new key , via the main toolbar or via the File menu option. Save your current key first, if you wish to keep what you have been working on.

As with the manual process for adding Entities or Features, you specify the type of data you are wanting to import by first giving either the Entities or Features panel focus by clicking anywhere within the panel or its title bar. The panel that has focus will have a blue title bar while the panel without focus will have a grey title bar.


Select the Entities Panel, then from the Tools menu (found on the main top toolbar) select the ‘Import Entities’ option. The Import Entities dialog will open. Within the dialog you can either type or paste one or more Entities. To structure the Entities into a hierarchy each Entity should be entered on its own line and tabs used to specify the hierarchy. For some users typing in Entities via the Import Entities dialog will be faster than using the Entities Panel context menu. For example, type the following:


The second and third lines should start with a single tab. Leave the ‘Append to tree’ option selected in the dialog and click the ‘Add’ button. You will then see the three Entities imported into the Entities Panel with ‘Camarophyllopsis‘ as a root Entity with ‘darwinensis‘ and ‘kearneyi‘ as children.

Try the same process except this time let’s get the Entities from an existing text file. To do this, first start a new key to see the process without worrying about existing data and then, open the tutorial Entities text file (found in the ‘tutorial’ folder of the Lucid Builder installation folder) in your favourite text editor (e.g. Notepad++) and selected all the text (normally Ctrl + a is the select all shortcut) and copy it (Ctrl + c). Notice how the Entities are structured into a hierarchy using tabs?

Once the Entities are copied to your clipboard open the Import Entities dialog, via the Tools menu (ensure you have the Entities Panel selected first, otherwise the Import option may be for Features). Paste the Entities (currently held in the clipboard) using Ctrl + v shortcut.

You should now see the Entities within the Import Entities dialog. Click the Add button, leaving the ‘Add to tree’ option selected. After the dialog closes you should see all the pasted Entities now present in the Entities Panel and structured in the same way as the tab representation.


Entities entered via the Entities Import dialog should always be placed on separate lines, regardless if you want to create a hierarchy or not.


Select the Features panel, then from the Tools menu select the Import Features option. The Import Features will open. Within the dialog text area you can type or paste Features and States. As with Entities the structuring of these is important as it tells the Lucid Builder what the entered item is (i.e. A Grouping Feature, Multistate Feature or a State etc). Each Feature or State should be entered on its own line and tabs used to “position” it in the desired hierarchy.

Type the following features to see how the Lucid Builder will treat the elements when imported:

            convex to hemispherical
      dominant color
      attachment to stem
            just reaching the stem
            attached to stem (broadly or narrowly)
      Length range (micrometres)

Remember to use tabs to indent the Features and States. From the above structure we can see ‘Cap’, ‘Gills’ and ‘Spores’ will be Grouping Features, while ‘shape’, ‘dominant color’, ‘attachment to stem’ will be Multistate Features since they have one or more end points at the same level (‘leaves’ of the tree). Add the typed Features and States to the Builder. 

The ‘Length range (micrometres)’ will also be treated as a State of ‘Spores’, since the Lucid Builder doesn’t ‘know’ we want this to be a Numeric Feature. Fortunately after the import Lucid Builder will allow us to change this from a State to a Numeric Feature. To do this right click on the ‘Length range (micrometres)’ State and select from the context menu Modify…Change State to Feature.

Lucid Builder Convert State to Feature context menu option
Lucid Builder Convert State to Feature context menu option.

Once the State has been made a Feature we can tell the Builder it now needs to be a Numeric Feature. This done by making sure the ‘Length range (micrometres)’ is selected, then via the left properties panel select the Items tab. Towards the bottom of the Items tab panel you will see a Feature Type dropdown box.

Lucid Builder Convert Feature to Numeric Feature in the Items Properties panel
Lucid Builder Convert Feature to Numeric Feature in the Items Properties panel.

From the dropdown select the Numeric Feature option. The Builder will warn if any scoring exists for the feature it will be lost. Select ‘Yes’, since we don’t need to worry about any scores.

Lucid Builder Feature to Numeric Feature confirmation dialog
Lucid Builder Feature to Numeric Feature confirmation dialog.

You should now see the ‘Length range (micrometres)’ receive the Numeric Feature icon numeric icon indicating it is indeed now a Numeric Feature.

Lucid Builder Numeric Feature shown by the Numeric icon

Lucid Builder v4

Lucid Builder Display Settings

This option applies to Windows users only

Depending on your Windows display settings (e.g. scale settings etc) you may find that the Lucid Builder interface appears blurry with the icons appearing somewhat jagged. This can be easily corrected by using the High DPI Scaling Override settings for the Lucid executable.

First ensure the Lucid Builder is closed, then find, using Windows Explorer, the Lucid Builder executable, installed by default to:

C:\program files\Lucid4\Lucid4 Builder.exe

Within Windows Explorer right click on the Lucid Builder executable. Select the Properties menu item from the context pop-up menu. From the Properties dialog that will open, select the Compatibility tab as show below.

Lucid Builder Executable Properties High DPI Settings
Lucid Builder Executable Properties High DPI Settings.

Click on the Change high DPI settings button. This will open the high DPI settings dialog.

Lucid Builder Executable High DPI Settings dialog
Lucid Builder Executable High DPI Settings dialog.

Click on the Override high DPI scaling behavior option and select the ‘System (Enhanced)‘ option as shown below.

Lucid Builder Executable Properties high DPI System Enhanced option
Lucid Builder Executable Properties high DPI System (Enhanced) option.

Restart the Lucid Builder. You should now see the interface display is now corrected.

Lucid Builder Tutorial

Tutorial Introduction

The following tutorials guide the user through the construction of a Lucid key using 14 species within the fungal family Hygrophoraceae – a family containing over 150 species of often highly colourful toadstools. Details of these 14 species (completed fact sheets and images) can be found under the ‘Tutorial’ folder of the Lucid Builder installation folder.

The intent of this tutorial key is solely to demonstrate operations of the Builder during simple key construction and as such it has restricted value as a taxonomic aid. Because the technical terms used in describing fungal structure may be unknown to many users, these have been discarded and replaced with currently accepted common names.


You can access further information about the functions in the Lucid Builder by consulting the Builder Help files - which can be found at the Help button on the toolbar. Or via the Lucid help website.

You can stop working on this tutorial at any point – but be sure to save your key before you shut down the Builder. When you restart, open the Builder, select Open Key on the toolbar and then open the Fungal key.lk5 or whatever you saved the key file as.

Tutorial 1 – Entering Entities and Features

Lucid Player v4

Lucid Player Why Discarded

During an identification session you may have an Entity in mind that the should ‘key out’, however the key discards the Entity. In this event you can use the ‘Why Discarded’ feature available on the main toolbar, or by right clicking on the discarded Entity within the Entities Discarded panel to show the context pop-up menu with the Why Discarded menu option. This will open the Why Discarded dialog and show which of your selected features didn’t match the Entity and caused it to be discarded.

Lucid Player Why Discarded dialog example
Lucid Player Why Discarded dialog example
Lucid Player v4

Lucid Player Entities Context Pop-up Menu

Right clicking on an Entity row within the Entities Remaining or Discarded panel will open a context pop-up menu. The options available depend on the Entity clicked on.

Open Entity Images (available in Remaining and Discarded panels)

Opens the images associated with the Entity in the Lucid Player’s image gallery viewer. See the Multimedia in the Lucid Player for more information.

Open Entity Fact Sheet (available in Remaining and Discarded panels)

Opens the fact sheet associated with the Entity in a new tab of your web browser. See the Multimedia in the Lucid Player for more information.

Differences (available in Remaining panel only)

Opens the Differences dialog to compare the Entities in the Remaining panel.

Manual Discard Entity (available in Remaining panel only)

Discards the selected Entity to the Discarded Panel. A Manually Discarded Entity will be highlighted by it’s red text color.

Restore Discarded Entity (available in Discarded panel only)

Restores a Manually Discarded Entity back to the Entities Remaining panel, if it hasn’t been also discarded by the current Feature selections. 

Why Discarded (available in Discarded panel only)

Opens the Why Discarded dialog, which shows why the selected Entity was discarded. I.e. Which Feature(s) didn’t match for the selected Entity.

Lucid Player Entities Context Pop-up menu - Entities Remaining Panel
Lucid Player Entities Context Pop-up menu - Entities Remaining Panel.
Lucid Player Entities Context Pop-up Context Menu - Entities Discarded Panel
Lucid Player Entities Context Pop-up Context Menu - Entities Discarded Panel.
Lucid Player v4

The Lucid Player Toolbar

Lucid Player Toolbar
Lucid Player Toolbar.

Refresh/Restart icon Restarting a key

At the end of an identification click the Restart Refresh/Restart icon button to reset the key for another identification. All features will be unchecked and the Features Chosen and Entities Discarded windows will be emptied.

If the subset option ‘Retain selected subsets on key restart?’ is unchecked, the Player will be restarted using the selected subset defined by the key author. If this option is checked, the key will restart using the current feature and entity subsets.

Lucid collapse tree icon Collapse Tree

When Features or Entities are arranged in hierarchical trees the open nodes can closed (collapsed) using the Collapse Lucid collapse tree icon button. See Expanding and Collapsing tree items.

Lucid expand tree icon Expand Tree

When Features or Entities are arranged in hierarchical trees the closed nodes can opened (expanded) using the Expand Lucid expand tree icon button. See Expanding and Collapsing tree items.

find/search icon Search

Find Features, States or Entities using the Search find/search icon button. The search function operates within the selected panel (Features Available, Features Selected, Entities Remaining or Entities Discarded). See the Finding Features, States and Entities help topic.

Feature thumbnail icon Toggle Feature Thumbnails

Show or hide the Feature and State thumbnails within the Features Available and Features Selected panels. 

Entity Thumbnail icon Toggle Entity Thumbnails

Show or hide Entity thumbnails within the Entities Remaining and Entities Discarded panels.

Lucid Player Subsets icon Subsets

Filter the key with Subsets provided by the key author. Subsets can be for Features or Entities. Use them in any combination you prefer.

Best icon Best

Find the ‘Best‘ Feature to choose at any point in the identification. If you can’t answer the recommended ‘Best’ Feature, click again to find the next ‘Best’ Feature to answer. Using the Best option is the fastest way through the key to arrive at an identification. The ‘Best’ feature is recalculated after each choice you make.

Prune Redundants icon Prune Redundants

Remove any Features and/or States that no longer have an impact on the Entities Remaining list. For example, the remaining Entities may all be scored the same for a give Feature. Choosing from this Feature wouldn’t differentiate between the Entities. Pruning redundant Features optimises your use of the key. See the Prune Redundants help topic for more information.

Differences icon Differences

Compare the differences between remaining Entities. The Differences function will help you determine an identification between closely related Entities.

Shortcuts icon Shortcuts

Quickly find powerful Features, based on the Entities Remaining, that when selected may reduce the possible Entities to a single item or just a few. If you can’t answer the recommended ‘Shortcut’ feature, click again for the next most powerful Feature. See the Shortcuts help topic for additional information.

Why Discarded icon Why Discarded

Determine why an Entity was discarded. See the Why Discarded help topic for more information.

Help icon Help

This opens the help documentation you are reading now.

Lucid Player v4

Configuring the Player

Lucid Player Subsets - Retain on key restart option
Lucid Player Subsets – Retain on key restart option.

Keeping subsets on restart

By default, if you have chosen one or more Subsets during an identification and you click the Restart Refresh/Restart icon button, the subsets will be retained when the key is restarted. If instead you would like any Subsets to be reset (so the key is restarted using all features and entities), un-check the Retain selected subsets on restart option.

Lucid Player Preferences dialog example
Lucid Player Preferences dialog example.

Allowing Misinterpretations

In Lucid keys, some entities may be scored as having a Feature by misinterpretation. For example, some groups of wasps are distinctive in having a strikingly narrowed section or “waist” between the thorax and abdomen, while in other groups of wasps and in most other insects there is no such narrowing. However, some members of the “waisted” wasps, such as the common honeybee, have a very short waist that is almost hidden by the other body segments and is easily overlooked.

If a key to wasps has a Feature Waist present/absent, there is a danger that the waist on a honeybee would be overlooked by a user who would incorrectly describe their specimen as not having a waste. This could result in a mis-identification.

To prevent such errors, the key’s author will score the honeybee as Waist present (true) and Waist absent (by misinterpretation). The Lucid Player treats the by misinterpretation score as though it were a true score, so the honeybee will be retained in Entities Remaining, even if the waist is overlooked.

However, another user – who is more experienced in identification – may wish to have such misinterpretations ignored and to only see a list of all wasps that truly lack a waist. In this case, the honeybee should be removed from Entities Remaining.

The Lucid Player allows users to select these different modes of operation through the Allow Misinterpretations button on the main toolbar. With Allow Misinterpretations toggled on (the default behaviour), Entities scored for a State using the by misinterpretation score will remain in Entities Remaining when the state is selected; with Allow Misinterpretations turned off, such Entities will be discarded.

Entities remaining in the Entities Remaining list due to misinterpretation may be colored red (default) (commonly mistinterpreted) or orange (default) (rarely misinterpreted). The colors may differ if the key’s author has customised them.

Retain Uncertains

In Lucid keys, some Entities may be scored as Uncertain for some States. For example, a key to plants may include features concerning fruits, but some rare species may never have been observed at the fruiting stage when the key was being built. In this case the builder of the key would score fruit features and states for such Entities as Uncertain.

In normal identifications, it is important for the Lucid Player to treat Entities scored as uncertain for a State in the same way as Entities scored present for the State. Using the example above, a user of the key may have a specimen of the rare species that does have fruits, and hence may be able to address the fruit features. In such a case, the species should remain in Entities Remaining even though the key author could not properly score the fruit features.

However, another user may wish to have such uncertain scores ignored and to only see a list of all species that are known to have fruits of a particular shape or colour. In this case, the species with unknown fruits should be removed from Entities Remaining.

The Lucid Player allows users to select these different modes of operation through the Retain Uncertains option. With Retain Uncertains checked (the default behaviour), entities scored for a state using the uncertain score will remain in Entities Remaining when the state is selected; with Retain Uncertains turned off, such entities will be discarded.

The Lucid Matching Methods

Lucid matches Entities against selected Features to determine which Entities match and which do not.

Two options, can be set by the key author to set the way the Lucid Player handles the matching.

  1. Using the Any State matching method, Entities will be kept in Entities Remaining if they match any chosen State of a Feature.
  2. Using the All States matching method, Entities will only be kept in Entities Remaining if they match all chosen States of a Feature.

To understand these modes, consider a Feature Flower colour with the following States:

Flower colour


Consider three Entities e1e2 and e3 that have been scored by the key’s author as follows: e1 has been scored for blue only, e2 has been scored for yellow only, while e3 has been scored for both blue and yellow.

Using the Any State match method in the Player and choosing the state bluee1 and e3 will remain in Entities Remaining (since both are scored as having blue flowers) while e2 will be moved to Entities Discarded. If you choose instead the State yellow, e2 and e3 will remain in Entities Remaining while e1 will be moved to Entities Discarded. Finally, if you choose both States blue and yellow, all three Entities will remain in Entities Remaining (that is, the Player is returning all Entities scored for either blue or yellow)

By contrast, using the All States match method and choosing the state blue, only e1 will remain in Entities Remaining (since only it is scored for only blue) and e2 and e3 will be moved to Entities Discarded. If you choose instead the State yellow, only e2 will remain in Entities Remaining while e1 and e3 will be moved to Entities Discarded. Finally, if you choose both States blue and yellow, only e3 will remain in Entities Remaining while e1 and e2 will be moved to Entities Discarded (that is, the Player is returning only entities scored for both blue and yellow).

The normal matching method for most identifications is Any State, as this allows more flexibility between the scores given by the key’s builder and the answers provided during the identification. In some circumstances, you may wish to change the mode to All States. This can be done at any time. You should be careful to understand how this method works before changing to it.

The Lucid Sorting Methods

Please note: Ranked or Sorted views are a key author set feature.

Lucid matches Entities against each selected Feature to determine which Entities match and which do not.

Two options are possible that allow the Lucid Player to vary the way it reports the results of the matching. Which option is set by the key’s author.

In a Filtered sort, Entities that do and do not match the selected Features are sorted into two lists, Entities Remaining and Entities Discarded respectively.

In a Ranked sort, all entities are listed in the Entities Remaining panel (and the Entities Discarded panel is hidden). Entities are prefixed by their percentage match to the selected Features (when using the Any State matching method) or selected states (when using the All States matching method). (For more information on the matching methods, see the topic Lucid Matching methods above)

The Entities in a Ranked sort are ranked by their percentage match value. For example, if an Entity matches all the selected Features it will have a match value of 100% and will appear in the top rank of the Entities list. If another Entity matches half the selected Features (or States) it will have a match value of 50% and will be ranked lower in the list.

Lucid Player Filtered Sort example
Lucid Player Entities sorted using the Filter Method.
Lucid Player Entities sorted using the Ranked Method
Lucid Player Entities sorted using the Ranked Method.

Automated Best and Prune

The Best Best icon and Prune Redundants Prune Redundants icon functions by default are only applied when you click the appropriate toolbar button.

However, you may automate these functions, so they are applied whenever a state is chosen. With these automated, after addressing each feature the Features Available list will be automatically pruned of redundant features.

To set Best and Prune Redundants to be automatically applied, check the Auto Best and Auto Prune from the Automate section of the settings page (if provided by the author).

If you need to choose several states from one feature before applying the Best and Prune functions, hold down the Control key while choosing the states. The automated functions will be paused until the control key is released.

Font Size (Display Size)

If you wish to change the size of the text displayed with the Lucid Player, use the browsers inherent font size/page zoom feature to increase or decrease the display. For most browsers using Ctrl + [+|-] keys will perform this function.