Set the IDL Workbench preferences through Window > Preferences in the main menu.


The following are the General settings that control the look of the IDL Workbench UI. For more details on these parameters, refer to the Eclipse Workbench User Guide at


Enable/disable theme settings to define the look and feel of the Workbench. Additional appearance settings include:

  • Colors and Fonts: Customize the fonts and basic color coding to use.
  • Label Decorations: Select for which items to show an information label or icon.


Settings for text comparison features.

Content Types

Specify file associations and editors for content types (e.g., images, text, etc.).


Provides Editor view options. Additional settings include:

  • Autosave: Enable/disable autosave on dirty editors.
  • File Associations: Associate file extensions with programs types (e.g., .html with web browser).
  • Text Editors: Set behavior of the Editor view (e.g., highlighting, line numbers, and color options).
    • Accessibility: Set the appearance of rulers and carets.
    • Annotations: Specify the appearance of annotations (e.g., breakpoints, bookmarks, and errors).
    • Hyperlinking: Enable/disable on-demand hyperlinking from the Editor view.
    • Linked Mode: Set text coloring for linked mode.
    • Quick Diff: Enable/disable Quick Diff and specify colors.
    • Spelling: If this plug-in is installed, set spell-checking options.


Settings for how to render globalized data.


Set key bindings for the Workbench.

Link Handlers

Define how the Workbench will handle links and hyperlinks.

Network Connections

Settings to configure SSH2 network connections.


Settings to manage any Perspectives you have set up (initial setup and layout of views in the Workbench).

Project Natures

Enable/disable automatically detecting missing natures and propose extensions from Eclipse Marketplace.

Quick Search

Specifies search options.


The Secure Storage setting allows you to specify passwords, secure storage, and encryption algorithms.

Startup and Shutdown

Options related to shutting down and starting up the Workbench.

UI Responsiveness Monitoring

Enable/disable detecting periods of UI unresponsiveness.

User Storage Service

Add Linked Accounts for the Eclipse User Storage Service.

Web Browser

Specify your default web browser, 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.


Options related to using your workspaces, such as refresh and save options.

  • Build: Specify your Project build order.
  • Linked Resources: Enable/disable linked resources and define path variables.
  • Local History: Specify how long workspace history will be stored.


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.


Options for the Editor View, including tabbing behavior, ending of code blocks, and automatic formatting.


Allows you to specify the text formatting of syntax elements.


Specify the graphics window size, hardware/software rendering, and graphics cache size.


User-configurable templates are provided for adding IDLdoc routine and file headers to IDL code.


Options for reporting errors, exceptions, and multithreading.


Specify the search paths used in the Editor and Console views.

Syntax Coloring

Make adjustments to syntax coloring.


Create, edit, or remove coding templates.

JSON Editor

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 IDL Console views.


Setting for debugging in the Console view, including buffer size and text colors.

External Tools

Settings for migrating projects.

Settings for how to launch programs and projects.

  • Default Launchers: 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 your IDL Workbench for use in a collaborative work mode using version control.


Settings specific to the CVS plug-in. For more details on these parameters, refer to the Eclipse Workbench User Guide at

File Content Specify file types to include in version control.

Settings specific to the Git plug-in. For more details on these parameters, refer to the Eclipse Workbench User Guide.

Ignored Resources Specify a list of resource names to exclude from version control.
Models Select the model type that should be available when synchronizing.