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The easiest way to edit rviz configurations is through rviz itself:

  • Open rviz and set up whatever displays and layout you like.
  • Go to File->Save Config and choose a descriptive file name.

Later, you can restore your configuration by running rviz with -d, or with File->Open Config. rviz also maintains a list of File->Recent Configs for you. Saving your config is useful when you have a specific desired layout for an application or demo.

For day-to-day use, rviz stores your current config in $HOME/.rviz/display_config, so you can close and re-open rviz without losing your displays and layout.

In general there's no need to edit .vcg files by hand, but they are in a simple INI format. Save one out and open it in your favorite text editor to see the details.