The EMPTY procedure causes all buffered output for the current graphics device to be written. IDL uses buffered output on many display devices for reasons of efficiency. This buffering leads to rare occasions where a program needs to be certain that data are not waiting in a buffer, but have actually been output. EMPTY is a low-level graphics routine. IDL graphics routines generally handle flushing of buffered data transparently to the user, so the need for EMPTY is very rare.