Pd Documentation chapter 1: introduction

back to table of contents

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 the documentation

Pd's documentation consists of:

This manual has five sections:

  1. this overview
  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

For a list of all the objects you can use in Pd, see the text file, "0.INTRO.txt" in the directory, "../5.reference". To get help on any Pd object you can right click on it; or you can browse the help patches by choosing "Browser..." in the Pd help menu and looking in 5.reference.

The example patches are also available from the "Browser..." item in Pd's "help" menu. They appear in subdirectories named "2.control.examples", "3.audio.examples" and "4.fft.examples." Some additional patches in "7.stuff" might also be helpful.

To get started writing your own C extensions, 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 puredata.info/docs/BooksAboutPd/.

More documentation is available on the Pd FLOSS site: en.flossmanuals.net/pure-data/_full/ (English) and fr.flossmanuals.net/PureData/ (French).

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" or package manager of your Linux distribution.

Here are some more external links.