How ACL preferences files work

The settings for the configurable options in ACL – that is, the Options dialog box settings – are stored in a preferences file (.prf file) called aclwin10.prf (non-Unicode edition) or acl10.prf (Unicode edition). Any changes you make in the Options dialog box are automatically saved to the .prf file.

A single .prf file can govern the behavior of ACL and all ACL projects that you open, or you can associate different .prf files with individual ACL projects as a way of customizing preferences on a project-by-project basis. For example, you can specify that different projects use different date display formats, or that one project deletes the source data file when you delete a table layout, and another project does not.
Note

Preferences file behavior has been updated beginning with version 10.0 of ACL Analytics. This section explains how preferences files work in version 10.0 and later.

Global preferences file

When you install ACL, a .prf file with the default configuration settings (Factory settings) is created in the following location:

Note

The application data folder may be hidden by the Windows operating system. If required, enable the Windows folder option to show hidden files and folders.

The .prf file in the application data folder controls the global preference settings for ACL. It is used when you open ACL without opening an ACL project, when you open a project that does not have a project-specific .prf file, or when you close a project without closing ACL.

If more than one user account accesses ACL on the same computer, separate .prf files exist in the application data folders for each user account, and different users can have their own global preference settings.

If the .prf file in the application data folder is deleted, renamed, or cannot be used for some other reason, a new .prf file with the default configuration settings is automatically created in the application data folder when you open ACL.

Project-specific preferences files

If you want to customize the preference settings for one or more ACL projects, you can manually copy the global .prf file from the application data folder to the folder containing the individual ACL project. The copied .prf file now becomes a project-specific .prf file. The ACL project file with the .acl extension and the project-specific .prf file must be in the same folder for the association between the two to take effect. When the project is open, any changes you make in the Options dialog box are saved to the project-specific .prf file rather than the global .prf file.

Note

If you copy the global .prf file, be careful not to inadvertently move the file rather than copy it. If you move the file, any global preference settings you have created will be lost, and replaced by the default configuration settings.

The benefit of project-specific .prf files is that you can customize preferences based on the requirements of specific projects and the scripts within a project. If you send an ACL project to another user, you can include the project-specific .prf file to ensure that when the user runs any scripts within the project the results are consistent with the results on your own computer. At the same time, because the .prf file is project-specific, it does not affect the other user’s global preference settings.

At any time, you can revert to using the global .prf file for a project by deleting or renaming the project-specific .prf.

Identifying which preferences file is being used

ACL displays the path for the currently active .prf file at the bottom of the Options dialog box. If the path to the application data folder is being displayed, the global .prf file is being used. If a path to an ACL project folder is being displayed, a project-specific .prf file is being used.

Reverting to the default configuration settings

You can revert to the default configuration settings (Factory settings) at any time by clicking the Factory button at the bottom of the Options dialog box. Clicking Factory sets all options on all Options tabs to their default settings, not just the options on the active tab. The reversion to the default settings applies only to the currently active .prf file shown at the bottom of the Options dialog box.

Preferences file order of precedence

When you open ACL without opening a project, a .prf file is loaded using the following order of precedence:

  1. global .prf file in the application data folder – if no file is found:

  2. recreate the .prf in the application data folder using the default configuration settings (Factory settings) and load the recreated file

When you open an ACL project, a .prf file is loaded using the following order of precedence:

  1. project-specific .prf file in the folder containing the ACL project – if no file is found:

  2. global .prf file in the application data folder – if no file is found:

  3. recreate the .prf in the application data folder using the default configuration settings (Factory settings) and load the recreated file

SET command and ACL script behavior

If you use the SET command to set an ACL option – for example, SET DATE "DD MMM YYYY" – the change to the preference setting is not saved to the global or a project-specific .prf file. The change remains in effect for the duration of the ACL session only. This behavior applies whether you use the SET command in the ACL command line or in an ACL script.



(C) 2013 ACL Services Ltd. All Rights Reserved. | Send feedback