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Where Is my Alpha preferences folder

All versions of Alpha create a preferences folder somewhere in your local drive. This folder contains configuration information and package indices that are compiled from information in your local AlphaTcl library, which (after it has been created) makes startup sequences much faster. All of your edited preferences are also stored in preference folder files with names like arrDefs.tcl and are saved between editing sessions.

Topics in this page include:

  • Default Prefs Folder Locations
  • Locating the current Prefs Folder location
  • User-Defined Prefs Folder Location

Default Prefs Folder Locations

Alpha7 and Alpha8 create this preferences folder as

  • :System:Preferences:Alpha-v7:
  • :System:Preferences:Alpha-v8:

AlphaX creates this preferences folder as

  • ~/Library/Preferences/Alpha-v8/

Alphatk (MacOS X) creates this preferences folder as

  • ~/Library/Preferences/Alphatk-v8/

Alphatk (Unix) creates this preferences folder as

  • ~/.Alpha-v8/

Alphatk (Windows) creates this preferences folder as

  • $env(USER_PROFILE)/Alpha-v8/

(or if that doesn't exist, then in the same place as on Unix).

Locating the current Prefs Folder location

AlphaTcl creates a $PREFS variable which contains the location of the Prefs Folder used by the current application.

You can enter the following command in the status bar command line (press Escape-X) or in an AlphaTcl Shell window (select Utils > Tcl Shell)

    file::showInFinder $PREFS

to display this folder in the OS Finder.

User-Defined Prefs Folder Location

If you have [MultipleVersionsOfAlphaOnYourLocalDrive], you will most likely want to create a separate Prefs folder for each installation.

If you create a folder named AlphaPrefs and place it at the same level of the Alpha application, i.e.


this folder will be used preferentially. This will allow you to maintain two or more separate versions of Alpha without rebuilding indices each time that you switch back and forth amongst them.

    /Applications/Alpha 8.1/AlphaPrefs
    /Applications/Alpha 8.1/
    /Applications/Alpha 8.1/Examples
    /Applications/Alpha 8.0/AlphaPrefs
    /Applications/Alpha 8.0/
    /Applications/Alpha 8.0/Examples

Note that if you maintain multiple AlphaPrefs folders, saved preferences will not be shared amongst your Alpha applications.


Page last modified on January 23, 2006, at 10:56 PM
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