IDL Documentation

IDL is a complete computing environment for the interactive analysis and visualization of data. IDL integrates a powerful, array-oriented language with numerous mathematical analysis and graphical display techniques. Programming in IDL is a time-saving alternative to programming in FORTRAN or C -- using IDL, tasks which require days or weeks of programming with traditional languages can be accomplished in hours. You can explore data interactively using IDL commands and then create complete applications by writing IDL programs.

For more information see this brief overview

IDL at Dartmouth

Computing Services has 25 floating licenses for IDL. The complete package is installed on the AFS filesystem, and is available to all of the workstations and central computers which we administer, and to faculty workstations with AFS client software installed. Faculty workstations with their own installation of IDL may also use the floating licenses. Contact Research Computing for the necessary license file. The executables (in some version) for the following system types are installed on the server: Linux (intel, 32- and 64-bit), Max OSX 10.3+, IRIX, AIX, Solaris (32-bit and 64-bit).
Since licenses are limited, please do not leave idle IDL sessions.

We have multiple versions installed. The commands below (idl etc.) will run the latest version which the computer is capable of. Other versions may be explicitly run by appending the version number, e.g. idl_5.3. The current version is 7.1

Starting IDL

The following commands are in /usr/local/bin, and may also be listed in the various menu systems and graphical application managers on the workstations.
idl The script-based IDL engine. This may be used to start graphical windows, but the initial interface is a command line which must be run in a terminal window. Always used to start non-interactive IDL programs
idlde The X-windows graphical interface to IDL and the interactive debugger
idldemo Extensive demonstration data sets and procedures. Does not use a license
idlhelp Standalone hypertext help system. Requires X windows. Does not use a license
idlman Shortcut to the IDL manuals in PDF. Requires Acrobat Reader. Does not use a license
idlrpc Run an IDL server, to be used with a client program on another computer via RPC (remote procedure calls)

IDL 5.4 documentation

IDL 6.1 documentation

Other IDL Documentation

IDL also has online help, duplicating most of the information in the PDF files, available while running the graphical user interface. The online help may also be run by itself using the command idlhelp. There are no traditional Unix man pages.

Links to ITT Visualization systems

ITTvis Home Page.
IDL Feature Tour
IDL full documentation
Online Tutorials