Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming

Selecting the IDL Workbench Language

QUESTION: I guess IDL knows what country I live in, since the IDL Workbench sarts up with its menus, etc. in the native language. But I really wish the Workbench would speak English to me. How do I select the language the IDL Workbench uses?

ANSWER: The language the IDL Workbench uses is set by command line arguments when the Eclipse-based Workbench starts up. To learn more about this, search for command line switches in the index of the IDL on-line help. The particular command line switch you want to use here is -nl, followed by a two-letter abbreviation of the language you wish to use. But, oddly enough, the IDL documentation doesn't mention which languages are available, or what the two-line abbreviation would be to select that (unknown) language. Here is a table that readers of the IDL Newsgroup have been able to put together. It seems to be fairly accurate.

Chinese zh Dutch nl
English en French fr
German de Italian it
Japanese ja Korean ko
Portuguese pt Russian ru

The easiest way to change to a different language is to edit the shortcut icon used to open the IDL Workbench. For example, on my Windows machine I can right-click on the IDL 7.0 icon on my desktop and chose the Properties selection at the bottom of the context menu. I get a dialog, similar to the one shown below, and I can add the command switch -nl es to select the Spanish language for my IDL Workbench. Saving the new property and using the shortcut to start the IDL Workbench results in my menus, etc. being written in Spanish. A great way for me to learn a new word a day!

Change the target of the IDLDE shortcut to select languages.
By changing the target of my IDL 7 shortcut, I can get
the IDL Workbench to start up in any language I choose.
No excuse now for not learning Spanish!

Web Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming