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From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
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This article is about an older version of DF.

Dwarf Fortress is a complex game, and a complex game requires a complex user interface. The purpose of this page is to help players look up the meaning of user interface elements, and it functions like a basic reference of the functions; specific menu items are (mostly) discussed in more detail in their own pages.

If you find a menu where the words have been cut off due to the menu width, press the Tab key to cycle through menu display options.

Main menu[edit]

Main menu 0.34.11.png

Building Menu[edit]

Building menu 0.34.11.png
This menu lists objects/buildings that can be placed. Some require dwarves to have a specific hauling labor set, others require dwarves to have another labor set.

Workshops Menu[edit]

Workshop menu 0.34.11.png

Furnaces Menu[edit]

Furnace menu 0.34.11.png

Combat reports Screen[edit]

Hit r to enter the report screen then go through the listing until you find the desired victim.

Designations Menu[edit]


The Designations Menu (accessed by d provides the means to mark tiles with various designations including Mining, Wood Cutting, Plant Gathering, Stone Detailing as well as removing constructions, controlling traffic and other miscellaneous designations.

Jobs Screen[edit]


Squads Menu[edit]

This menu allows you to manage your squads

Notes Menu[edit]

Allows the placement of notes, also referred to as “points”. Required to create patrol routes, often used to label levers so you can remember what they are connected to.
  • p: Place - Places a note on the cursor
  • d: Delete - Deletes notes on the cursor
  • n: Name - Name/label the note placed at this point
  • t: Note text - Add additional information for the note
  • c: Change symbol selector - Change which part of the symbol is being modified with +- */, forecolor, backcolor, or symbol.
  • s: Adopt selected symbol - Makes all future notes use the selected options .
  • +- */ - Modify currently selected (using c) part of the symbol
  • r:Routes – #Routes Menu allows linking of Notes/points together to form routes for patrols.

Routes Menu[edit]

  • a: Add route - Create a new route.
  • e: Edit waypts - Edit points that make up the route.
    • a: Add waypt - Add current point to route.
    • d: Add waypt - Delete current point from route.
    • p: Add waypt - Finish editing route.
  • d: Del route - Delete currently selected route.
  • n: Name route - Name current route
  • c: Center - Center on route.
  • +- */ - Select different routes
  • p: Back to points/notes - Return to Notes menu

Burrows Menu[edit]

This menu allows the creation and use of Burrows, which help to organize where dwarves are allowed to move/work
  • a: Add new burrow - Create a new burrow
  • d: Delete - Delete currently selected burrow
  • +- */: Change selection - Switch burrows
  • Enter: Define this burrow - Select areas that make up burrow, multiple areas can be created.
    • c: Change symbol selector - Change which part of the symbol is being modified with +- */, forecolor, backcolor, or symbol.
    • +- */ - Modify currently selected (using c) part of the symbol
  • c: Add citizens to burrow - Allows you to select which citizens are restricted to this burrow.
  • z: Center on burrow
  • Esc: Done

Stockpiles Menu[edit]

Creates stockpiles, dwarves will place items in the appropriate stockpile if they have the correct hauling labor.
  • a: Animal - Stores animals in cages/traps, empty cages/traps
  • f: Food - Stores food and food by-products (Meat/Fish/Plants/Drinks/Cheese/Seeds/Leaves/Milled plants/Fat/Blood/Lye/etc.)
  • u: Furniture Storage - Stores furniture and siege ammo
  • y: Graveyard - Stores dead dwarves
  • r: Refuse - Stores garbage/dead animals/bones/skulls/shells
  • s: Stone - Stores stone/ore
  • w: Wood - Stores wood
  • e: Gem - Stores rough/cut gems
  • b: Bar/Block - Stores bars (Metal/Coal/Potash/Ash/Pearlash/Soap), and Blocks (Stone/Glass)
  • h: Cloth - Stores cloth/thread
  • l: Leather - Stores leather
  • z: Ammo - Stores Bolts/Arrows/Blowdarts
  • n: Coins - Stores coins
  • g: Finished Goods - Stores finished goods (chains/crafts/clothing (not armor)/splints/crutches/more)
  • p: Weapons - Stores weapons/trap components
  • d: Armor - Stores armor
  • c: Custom Stockpile - Build custom stockpile (define with t)
  • t: Custom Settings - Define custom stockpile
  • / *: Reserved Barrels - Set the number of barrels that will be reserved for workshop use (such as the Still).
  • -:+: Reserved Bins - Set the number of bins that will be reserved for workshop use.
  • x: Remove Designation - Remove stockpiles
  • Enter: Select - Place start/end corner of stockpile.

Hot Keys Menu[edit]

Allows the editing of hotkeys. Pressing a hotkey, F1-F8 or Shift F1-F8 zooms to that location.
  • F#: Select line F#
  • Shift+F#: Select line Shift+F#
  • n: Change Name - Name this hotkey
  • z: Zoom Here - Set screen to zoom the current location when selected hotkey is pressed.

Nobles Screen[edit]

In this screen various nobles can be assigned/removed. See the nobles article for details on nobles, their requirements/demands/mandates.
  • Enter: View Unit/Fill Vacancy - Assigns a unit to the position if it's empty, otherwise opens the View screen for that unit.
  • r: Replace - Replace the current position if possible, or place if empty.
  • s: Settings - Only available for the bookkeeper

Status Screen[edit]

Shows basic Fortress status.
  • A - Animals
  • B - Kitchen
  • C - Stone
  • D - Stocks
  • E - Health
  • F - Justice
  • G - Date - Day Month, Year, Early/Middle/Late Season - Trade caravans arrive late in the month. Elves/Humans/Dwarves : Spring/Summer/Autumn
  • H: Summary of your wealth, requires Broker with Appraisal skill to see - More wealth often leads to larger groups of immigrants, and sieges. The wealth of unground structures you can't see is listed here. “?” at the end of a value means you haven't had your bookkeep keep records precise enough to know the exact value yet.
  • I: How much wealth you have acquired through trade, or traded away (Import/Export)
  • J: How much food you have. Other contains prepared meals, as well as some inedible plants.
  • - Move sub-menu
  • Enter - Select sub-menu

Animals Screen[edit]

This shows information about all tame animals at your fortress.
  • A: Animal type. Stray Animals can be toggled to become pets, Tame animals are not hostile to your dwarves.
  • B: Gender: Amulet is Female, Bag (circle with arrow) is male.
  • C: Who owns the animal. Animals marked unavailable can't be adopted. Animals marked “Ready for Slaughter will be slaughtered by a butcher at a butcher's shop. Cats are marked as Uninterested and can't be set as available, cats will adopt dwarves themselves.
  • - Move between animals
  • Enter - Toggle pet availability (not possible on untamed or cats)
  • b - Slaughter

Kitchen Screen[edit]

This screen allows you to control what food is processed in which manner.
  • A: Type of food
  • B: Count for that food. “?” at the end of a value means you haven't had your bookkeep keep records precise enough to know the exact value yet.
  • C: Whether a food is available to be cooked if possible. Blue=Yes/Red=No
  • D: Whether a food is available to be brewed if possible. Blue=Yes/Red=No
  • - Move between food items
  • c - Toggle cook.
  • b - Toggle brew.

Stone Screen[edit]

This screen lets you restrict usage of stone to specific tasks. All possible stones are listed here.
  • A: Type of Stone/ore/bar.
  • B: Various reactions that this item is a part of (these can be selected for more information)
  • Enter - Mark stone economic/non-economic

Stocks Screen[edit]

This screen lists every item in your fortress.
  • A: General item grouping
  • B: Count of each general type. The white number counts usable items, the red number (if any) counts items that cannot be used, including those which belong to others (such as a caravan) and those which have been forbidden. A “?” at the end of a value means you haven't had your bookkeeper maintain records precise enough to know the exact value yet.
  • C: individual kinds of items. Items of the same kind but different quality are grouped together unless Tab is pressed.
  • tab: Mode - Changes between listing single items, and grouping items of different quality but same type together.
  • z: Zoom - only available after pressing tab, zooms screen to selected item.
  • v: View - only available after pressing tab, views information on selected item.
  • m: Melt - Marks/unmarks item or group to be melted
  • f: Forbid - Marks/unmarks item or group to be forbidden
  • d: Dump - Marks/unmarks item or group to be dumped
  • h: Hide - Marks/unmarks item or group to be hidden

Health Screen[edit]

Main article: Health screen
Lists all types of Healthcare information about tamed animals and dwarves in your fortress. Only visible if you have appointed a Chief medical dwarf.

Justice Screen[edit]

Lists information about Justice at your fortress.
  • A - Any criminals currently wanted or being punished are listed here
  • B - Shows details about the currently selected criminal - crimes committed, punishment sentenced, and the officer currently assigned to carry out punishments.
  • C - This lists the number of cages and chains marked for jailing criminals.

Help Screen[edit]