Chapter 1. First steps

Table of Contents

1.1. Before Installing Debrief
1.1.1. Obtaining Debrief
1.1.2. Where to get help on Debrief
1.1.3. Debrief on CD-Rom
1.2. Performing installation
1.3. Configuring reference data
1.4. Start Debrief
1.4.1. Opening the application
1.4.2. A Debrief Walkthrough
1.4.3. Navigating around Debrief
1.4.4. Loading your first plot
1.5. Importing track data
1.5.1. Introduction to Replay files
1.5.2. The Debrief file format
1.5.3. Importing data
1.5.4. Import modes

In this first chapter, we will look at getting you up and running with Debrief. There are some tasks that you need to do before installing Debrief and, to ensure the whole process is as easy as possible, this chapter is grouped into the following sections:

  1. Before installing Debrief (Section 1.1, “Before Installing Debrief”)

  2. Performing installation (Section 1.2, “Performing installation”)

  3. Configuring reference data (Section 1.3, “Configuring reference data”)

  4. Start Debrief (Section 1.4, “Start Debrief”)

  5. Importing track data (Section 1.5, “Importing track data”)

  6. Moving around the view.

    Once you've completed these, you can then move onto Part B - Using Debrief (Part II, “Using Debrief”).

1.1. Before Installing Debrief

In this section, we will look at obtaining Debrief, via download or CD-Rom, and where you can get help on Debrief. Then, we'll look at installing Debrief.

1.1.1. Obtaining Debrief

A number of project support activities (news, feature-requests, bug-reports) for Debrief are conducted online at GitHub (

In addition, you can also go to this URL to obtain the latest version, examine the list of available downloads, and the relevant zip-file for your operating system:

1.1.2. Where to get help on Debrief

If you get stuck with Debrief, the following sources of information are available:

  1. This document.  The Debrief NG User guide is a useful reference for determining where to find information on Debrief, as well as the overall capabilities of the tool, and assorted reference guidance. It's also accessed and presented online via web browser help from within Debrief NG (accessed via Help Contents on the Help menu).

  2. Tutorials.  A series of interactive tutorials are distributed with Debrief. These guide users through a series of complex tasks to achieve overall goals such as loading data into Debrief or analysing narrative data. The tutorials are accessed by selecting Debrief Tutorials from the Help menu in Debrief NG. A PDF version of the tutorials (suitable for printing) is in the Debrief installation folder.

  3. Welcome Page.  Debrief NG's welcome page provides a high level overview of Debrief and guides the user to further sources of information, tutorials, and samples.

1.1.3. Debrief on CD-Rom


If you are unable to download Debrief from the Internet, please contact the Project Manager (see Table 1, “List of acknowledged Debrief users”), and a copy of Debrief on CD-ROM will be forwarded to you.