The DOC_LIBRARY procedure extracts documentation headers from one or more IDL programs (procedures or functions). This command provides a standard interface to the operating-system specific DL_DOS, DL_UNIX, and DL_VMS procedures.

The documentation header of the .pro file in question must have the following format:

The file in the general subdirectory of the examples subdirectory of the IDL distribution contains a template for creating your own documentation headers.

This routine is supplied for users to view online documentation from their own IDL programs. Though it could be used to view documentation headers from the lib subdirectory of the IDL distribution, we do not recommend doing so. The documentation headers on the files in the lib directory are used for historical purposes--most do not contain the most current or accurate documentation for those routines. The most current documentation for IDL's built-in and library routines is found in IDL's online help system (enter ? at the IDL prompt).

This routine is written in the IDL language. Its source code can be found in the file in the lib subdirectory of the IDL distribution.

Calling Sequence




A string containing the name of the IDL routine in question. Under Windows or Unix, Name can be "*" to get information on all routines.

Keywords (All Platforms)


Set this keyword to send the output of DOC_LIBRARY to the default printer. Under Unix, if PRINT is a string, it is interpreted as a shell command used for output with the documentation from DOC_LIBRARY providing standard input (i.e., PRINT="cat > junk" ).

Unix Keywords


A string containing the name of the directory to search. If omitted, the current directory and !PATH are used.


Set this keyword to allow printing of more than one file if the requested module exists in more than one directory.

VMS Keywords


If this keyword is set, the output is left in the file userlib.doc , in the current directory.


A string that describes an optional directory/library search path. This keyword uses the same format and semantics as !PATH. If omitted, !PATH is used.


If this keyword is set, documentation is sent to the standard output unless the PRINT keyword is set.


To view the documentation header for the library function DIST, enter:


See Also