Online software help

Apart from the IDL help for built-in routines, there are a few additional routines that help users search for relevant routines and then provide information on their use.

will search the one-line documentation list for any occurrence of the characters 'xxxxx'. So for instance if you require a routine to do with either drawing or fitting a circle, try:

which will elicit the response

  • CIRCLE_SYM - Define (part of) a circle as the user plotting symbol.
  • DRAWBOX - Draw a rubber-band box (or circle)
  • FUNCIR - Return function value and its derivatives of the equation
  • SCOPE_CURSOR - Draw a rubber-band box (or circle)
  • draw_circle - Draw a circle.
  • fit_circle - Fit a circle to vector of points.

    That should get you started on the right track!

    The most comprehensive guide to using a routine is given in the file header and this can be accessed via the routine XDOC

    That will create display widgets to show the file header (and optionally the complete code) and allow further searching of software directories.

    If you already know the name of the routine you want, but need a quick reminder of the parameters or keywords (ie to check the arguments), try