A workspace is a directory that contains Projects, their metadata, and information about the state of the IDL Workbench. A workspace can also contain other programs, scripts, and supporting files that are not contained within a Project.

When the IDL Workbench starts it creates a default workspace located in your home directory (as defined by the $HOME environment variable on UNIX-like platforms, and in Documents and Settings\username on Windows platforms).

If you later want to change workspaces from the default to another existing folder, do one of the following:

  1. Select File > Switch Workspace from the IDL Workbench main menu.
    • If you have used a different workspace previously, its name will display in a pop-up menu. Select your new workspace from this list. This will exit the IDL Workbench and restart it using the workspace you selected, with no prompting.
    • If you have not used a different workspace previously, the pop-up will display "Other...". Choose this option and use the dialog box that appears to browse to an existing folder (or make a new one) that will become your new workspace.
  2. Select Window > Preferences to open the Preferences dialog, then select the General > Startup and Shutdown > Workspaces preference.
  3. Enable the Prompt for workspace on startup check box.
  4. Exit and restart the IDL Workbench.
  5. Select a workspace in the Workspace Launcher dialog.

    Note: On the macOS, only one workbench instance can run at a time when multiple workspaces are available. To run more than one instance, run the workbench from the init script located in the idlde.darwin.x86_64.app/Contents/macOS directory of your IDL installation.

Each workspace remembers the arrangement of the IDL Workbench views and perspectives that you set during your session. You can have as many different workspaces as you like, but only one workspace can be loaded at a given time.