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IDL-DE Preferences

IDL Workbench Preferences

The IDL Workbench contains a set of user-definable preferences available from the Menubar. Click: WINDOW > Preferences to access them. Preferences allow you to control the behavior of certain elements in the Workbench.


  • Appearance - Settings controlling the look and feel of the Workbench.
    • Colors and Fonts - Allows you to customize the fonts used and basic color coding.
    • Label Decorations - Show extra information about an item on its label or icon.
  • Compare/Patch - Settings controlling the use of text compare features.
  • Content Types - Defines types of content based on file extensions.
  • Editors - Options on how the Editor View works.
    • File Associations - Allows you to specify file extensions associated with the Workbench.
    • Text Editors - Allows you to select specific functionality for the Editor View, such as highlighting, line numbers, and color options.
      • Accessibility - Options on the appearance of rulers and carets.
      • Annotations - Allows you to specify the appearance of annotations such as breakpoints, bookmarks, and errors.
      • Hyperlinking - Enable/disable on-demand hyperlinking from the Editor View.
      • Quick Diff - Enable/disable Quick Diff and specify colors.
      • Spelling - If installed, spell-checking options.
  • Keys - Allows you to set key bindings for the Workbench.
  • Network Connections - Settings used to configure network connections.
    • SSH2 - Configuration options for SSH2.
  • Perspectives - Settings to manage any Perspectives you have set up (initial setup and layout of views in the Workbench).
  • Search - Specifies search options.
  • Security
    • Secure Storage - Allows you to specify passwords, secure storage, and encryption algorithms.
  • Startup and Shutdown - Options related to shutting down and starting up the Workbench.
    • Workspaces - Use this Preference to set up your workspace locations.
  • Web Browser - Specify your default web browser here, though this does not allow you to switch to a different browser. To change your default web browser, you must do it within your system configuration.
  • Workspace - Options related to using your workspaces, such as refresh and save options.
    • Build Order - Specify your Project build order here.
    • Linked Resources - Enable/disable linked resources and define path variables.
    • Local History - Specify how long workspace history is stored.


Specify how Help information is displayed.

  • Content - Specify how to include help content from a remote information center.


These preferences contain options for the IDL Console and Editor.

  • Command Line - Enable syntax coloring at the command line and session reset options.
  • Editor - Options for the Editor View, including tabbing behavior, ending of code blocks, and automatic formatting.
  • Formatter - Allows you to specify the text formatting of syntax elements.
  • Graphics - Specify the graphics window size, hardware/software rendering, and graphics cache size.
  • IDLdoc - User-configurable templates are provided for adding IDLdoc routine and file headers to IDL code.
  • Interpreter - Options for reporting errors, exceptions, and multithreading.
  • Paths - Specify the search paths used in the Editor and Console views.
  • Syntax Coloring - Make adjustments to syntax coloring.
  • Templates - Create, edit, or remove coding templates.


Not used in the current version of the IDL Workbench.


If you create JSON code from the IDL Workbench, this section allows you to set preferences that apply in the JSON editor.


This section contains preferences for running and debugging your code in the Editor and Console Views.

  • Console - Setting for debugging in the Console view, including buffer size and text colors.
  • External Tools - Settings for migrating projects.
  • Launching - Set how to launch programs and projects.
    • Default Launchers - Specify the launcher to use when multiple launchers are available.
    • Launch Configurations - Set filters on launch configurations.
  • Perspectives - Settings that control Perspectives used for running and debugging.
  • String Substitution - Create and configure string substitution variables.
  • View Management - The Debug View can automatically open and closed views. Choose in which perspectives this feature should be enabled.


These settings configure yourIDL Workbench for use in a collaborative work mode using version control.

  • File Content - Specify file types to include in version control.
  • Ignored Resources - Specify a list of resource names to exclude from version control.
  • Models - Select the model type that should be available when synchronizing.

See Also

Class Hierarchy, Command History, Console View, Editor View, Menubar and Toolbar, Outline View, Problems View, Profiler View, Project Explorer, Workbench Overview, Variables View



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