Pd Manual chapter 1: introduction

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This is the HTML documentation for the Pd computer program. Pd is free and can be downloaded from the internet; go to http://msp.ucsd.edu/software.html to get it.

1.1. Guide to Pd's documentation

Pd's documentation lives in the "doc" folder of the distribution and consists of:

This Manual has six sections:

  1. this introduction
  2. a theory of operations, explaining how Pd works
  3. instructions on installing Pd and getting it to run
  4. externals
  5. release notes and known bugs
  6. installing from source

For a list of all the objects you can use menu Help/List of objects. To get help on any Pd object you can right click on it; or you can browse the help patches by choosing menu Help/Browser and looking in "Pure Data/5.reference".

The "example" patches are also available from Pd's browser. They appear in subdirectories named "2.control.examples", "3.audio.examples" and "4.data.structures". Some additional patches in "7.stuff" might also be helpful.

To get started writing your own C extensions, refer to "6.externs". For more about externals, please refer to chapter 4 of this manual.

1.2. other resources

There is a very extensive Pd community web site, pure-data.info, which aims to be the central resource for Pd, from documentation and downloads; to forums, member pages, and a patch exchange. You can check https://puredata.info/docs/ for more documentation.

Most of the interesting news related to Pd shows up on the Pd mailing list, maintained by IOhannes zmölnig. To subscribe or browse the archives visit: https://lists.puredata.info/listinfo/pd-list. This is the best source of recent information regarding installation problems and bugs. It is perfectly reasonable to post "beginner" questions on this list; alternatively you can contact msp@ucsd.edu for help.

Many extensions to Pd are announced on the mailing list. In particular, for people interested in graphics, there is a 3D graphics rendering package, named GEM, based on OpenGL, written by Mark Danks, adapted to Linux by Guenter Geiger, and now maintained by IOhannes zmölnig. You can get it from: http://gem.iem.at/, via "Find externals" in the 'Help Menu' or package manager of your Linux distribution. Another option is Ofelia, a Pd external that allows you to use openFrameworks and Lua within Pd for creating audiovisual artwork or multimedia applications such as games. Get it also via "Find externals" or from https://github.com/cuinjune/Ofelia.

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