A system (10) for simulating an operating environment, such as aircraft cockpit for use in training. The system (10) includes a video storage device (46) for storing and transmitting an image of the operating environment. The video storage device (46) is coupled to a video monitor (58) for displaying the stored image. A graphics generator (54) generates an overlay image simulating the appearance of displays and manipulable controls in the operating environment in a plurality of its manipulative states. The graphics overlays may be manipulated by means of a touch sensitive screen (64) to simulate the operation of the manipulable controls. The system also includes an interactive system (12) for authoring and editing the overlays as well as the simulation process.