The READ_WAVE procedure reads a .wave or .bwave file created by the Wavefront Advanced Data Visualizer into a series of IDL variables.

Note: READ_WAVE only preserves the structure of the variables if they are regularly gridded.

This routine is written in the IDL language. Its source code can be found in the file in the lib subdirectory of the IDL distribution.


READ_WAVE, File, Variables, Names, Dimensions [, MESHNAMES=variable]



A scalar string containing the name of the Wavefront file to read.


A named variable that will contain a block of the variables contained in the wavefront file. Since each variable in a wavefront file can have more than one field (for instance, a vector variable has 3 fields), the fields of each variable make up the major index into the variable block. For instance, if a Wavefront file had one scalar variable and one vector variable, the scalar would be extracted as follows:

scalar_variable = variables[0,*,*,*]

and the vector variable would be extracted as follows:

vector_variable = variables[1:3,*,*,*]

To find the dimensions of the returned variable, see the description of the Dimensions argument.


A named variable that will contain the string names of each variable contained in the file.


A named variable that will contain a long array describing how many fields in the large returned variable block each variable occupies. In the above example of one scalar variable followed by a vector variable, the dimension variable would be [1,3].

This indicates that the first field of the returned variable block would be the scalar variable and the following 3 fields would comprise the vector variable.



Set this keyword to a named variable that will contain the name of the mesh used in the Wavefront file for each variable.

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