The PREF_SET procedure is used to set new values for IDL preferences. Once committed, these values are written to the user’s IDL preference file and persist between IDL sessions. For more information on committing preference values, see the discussion of the COMMIT keyword below, as well as the documentation for PREF_COMMIT. For more on IDL’s preferences, see About IDL System Preferences.

Note: A preference is considered to be read-only if its value is currently being set by a source with a higher precedence than that of the user’s preference file (command line, environment variable, or IDL distribution preference file). You cannot use PREF_SET to change the value of such a preference. You must instead change the preference’s value at its source and then restart IDL.

Note: Authors of IDL applications should not use this routine in their code to make preference changes. See About IDL System Preferences for more information.


Under UNIX, issue the following command to set the default value of the !PATH system variable to use a locally installed library of IDL programs in /usr/local/idllib, followed by the default IDL libraries, and to immediately commit the change:

PREF_SET, 'IDL_PATH', '+/usr/local/idllib:<IDL_DEFAULT>', /COMMIT

Under Microsoft Windows, issue the following commands to set the default value of the !PATH system variable to use a locally installed library of IDL programs in C:\local_idllib, followed by the default IDL libraries, but defer the commit step to a later call to IDL_COMMIT:

PREF_SET, 'IDL_PATH', '+C:\local_idllib;<IDL_DEFAULT>'

To revert to using IDL's default for the initial value of !PATH:



PREF_SET, PrefName1, Value1 [, ... PrefNamen, Valuen ] [, /COMMIT]


PREF_SET, PrefName1 [, ... PrefNamen ] , /DEFAULT, [, /COMMIT]



The first syntax uses a preference-value pair to set the value for each preference named. The second syntax uses the default value for each preference named. The third syntax imports values from the named preference file.



A string containing the name of the preference being set.


The value of the preference being set.



Set this keyword to immediately commit all of the preferences made by this call. Normally, PREF_SET puts new preference values into a pending state in which IDL remembers the change, but does not use it. In order to make a pending preference value take effect, it must first be committed. Alternatively, you can use the PREF_COMMIT procedure after this call.


If this keyword is set, each specified preference is set to IDL's default value for it. You can see the default value for each preference by issuing the following command:


Note: If DEFAULT is set, you must use the PrefName argument to specify a preference (or more than one preference with PrefName1 ... PrefNamen).


Set this keyword to supply the path to an existing IDL preference file. PREF_SET reads the file and sets all preferences referenced within to the specified values. FILENAME is used to migrate preferences from other IDL versions.

Note: If FILENAME is set, you cannot use the PrefName and Value arguments.

Version History



See Also

PREF_COMMIT, PREF_GET, About IDL System Preferences