ISIS 2 Documentation

Isis Notes on ISIS Documentation



The $ISISDOC directory contains Release Notes for each release of ISIS. These are contained in plain-text files named "isisYYMMDD_release.notes", where YYMMDD is the date of the ISIS release. Each Release Notes file describes changes in the system since the previous release. The Release Notes can also be accessed on the Release Notes web page.

The current documentation for a release of ISIS is contained in a set of files in the $ISISHTML directory, which is part of the local ISIS installation. These are in a format that can be accessed with a web browser. For example, to view the local copy of the ISIS documentation with netscape, type:

    netscape $ISISHTML/documentation.html

You can also access the ISIS documentation over the Internet at the ISIS web site (URL: However, note that the documentation on the ISIS web site is updated each time updates are made to our internal developmental version of ISIS. Thus, the web site documentation might contain information on new or modified programs that are not yet contained in the public release of ISIS that is described in your local $ISISHTML directory. However, the web site can be used for registering to receive update notices and for looking at the latest version of the Frequently Asked Questions list.


File names and program names are case-sensitive in Unix and TAE. All ISIS program names are lower case. In some of the documentation, you might find program names spelled with upper case characters. However, please remember that ISIS program names should always be typed as lower case. (IDL is not case-sensitive, so the names of the IDL programs can be typed as either upper case or lower case.)


Note that the "isisdoc" program is intended to allow creation of a file that can be printed to produce a hard-copy reference manual of program descriptions. This will contain the same information that is displayed in the on-line help and also the program descriptions that can be viewed with a web browser as described above. To make a program reference manual file, first make a list of all the ISIS ".pdf" files:

  ls -1 $ISISEXE/*.pdf > isis.lis

Next, run "isisdoc" with PDFLIST=isis and DOCFILE=prog_descr.doc to write the reference manual to the file "prog_descr.doc". Also, SUMFILE=isis.sum and REFFILE=isis.ref will produce files containing a one-line summary of programs and a quick reference for the programs.

Note that most of the ISIS application programs are contained in $ISISEXE, but $PICEXE contains additional programs that operate on PICS format files.


The IDL display programs have on-line help that is available by clicking on the "help" buttons. The same documentation is available in the web-based program descriptions. However, the hard-copy manual of programs produced above will not include descriptions of the IDL display programs since they do not have ".pdf" files. The documentation for the IDL display programs is contained in text files in $ISISEXE/idl that have the extension ".hlp". Note that files of the form cv_xxx.hlp are the descriptions of the various individual control panels used by "cv". The file "cv.hlp" is a collection of all of these and thus is a complete description of the "cv" program.

Documentation | Tutorials | Technical Documents | Isis Support Center (URL: | Home

Last updated: Oct 24 2003