Each function has its place in Hammer and some are more useful than others. But i could not live without these 3 and encourage others to utilise them too. A) I'm a format freak. When things fuck up for me 99% of the time it's because i wasn't organised. Visgroups make it significantly easier to control and view portions of your map at a time and allow you to work on multiple pieces of work at a single location, such as working on 3 different aesthetic resolutions to a single building. B) Centre 2d views. Simply put, using this function saves you orienteering in your grid windows to where you are currently working. Select your brush, CTRL+E, nuff said. It saves seconds at a time, but seconds add up. This could easily double your productivity. C) This one is simply for people who cannot comprehend their compile logs at a mere glance. Personally, and is the case for many individuals who have worked with this software for years, one can pick up on tell tale error signs simply through experience and familiarity of compile logs. But for most people they do not discover problems with their maps until they have run them in TF2 and noticed something a'miss (such as low performance, poor lighting or a non-updated .bsp). This is particularly helpful when dealing with simultanious/trial and error bug fixing, running the point file after every compile is the sure fire way of making sure your map compiled properly before taking the time to run HL2.exe and getting ingame. You can resolve several seperate leaks in the time it would take you to open TF2 and load your map once. If clicking this button returns "missing pointfile" consider your compile successful. It's that easy. Lastly: Use the save function frequently. Better to use it and not need it, than to need it and not used it. Software crashes get the best of us. This may or may not seem like simple stuff. But simple is often fundamental and stating the obvious is not always a negative thing. It's usually the obvious things we overlook. Make these a part of your Hammer'ing protocol and i garauntee improved work capacity or your money back.