A project is a directory that contains source code files and other resources (data, image files, documentation, etc.). While files included in a project need not be associated with each other, projects are especially useful as logical containers for related source code and resource files.

When the IDL Workbench starts for the first time, it automatically creates a project named Default in the workspace directory. You can use this project to store your own files, rename it, or delete it entirely. The Default project is only created if there are no other projects.

The Project Explorer View allows you to view and work with the projects in your current workspace.

The IDL Workbench uses projects for three main purposes:

  • Organization: Files included in projects appear in the Project Explorer view, and can be easily opened, edited, compiled, and run from the Workbench interface. Files included in a project can also take advantage of features like bookmarks, task markers, and search across multiple files.
  • Path Management: By default, the IDL Workbench modifies IDL’s !PATH system variable to include project directories when projects are open, and to remove the directories from !PATH when the projects are closed. (You can choose to disable the automatic path management feature and control the value of !PATH explicitly.)
  • Build Management: If you regularly create IDL Save files from your source code, you can specify build properties for each project. Invoking the Build Project menu option then performs the actions you have specified and creates a Save file automatically.

Projects in the IDL Workbench are not the same as the IDL Projects feature that was present in versions of IDL prior to version 7.0.

By default, project directories are created under the current workspace directory, and files saved into a project are located here. You can locate your project directories in other locations, and to include files from disparate locations in a single project. See Creating IDL Projects and IDL Project Properties for additional information.