A dialog is a widget-like user interface element that is not part of a widget hierarchy. Dialogs are used to report errors, prompt for a user response, or collect small amounts of user input such as the answer to a yes-or-no question or the name of a file. They have short lifetimes, and disappear after serving their purpose.
Dialogs are modal (or "blocking"), which means that when a dialog is displayed, no other interface elements (widgets or compound widgets) can be manipulated until the user dismisses the dialog. While the dialog is not part of any widget hierarchy, you can specify a widget over which the dialog will be centered on screen, making it possible to visually associate the dialog with a specific widget application.
IDL supplies the following dialogs:
The DIALOG_MESSAGE function displays a warning, informational message, or error message, and blocks manipulation of other IDL widgets until the user dismisses the dialog by clicking one of its buttons. See DIALOG_MESSAGE for details.
The DIALOG_PICKFILE function allows you to choose a file or directory via a graphical interface, and returns a string containing the name of the selected file or directory. See DIALOG_PICKFILE for more information.
The DIALOG_PRINTERSETUP function opens an operating system-native dialog for setting the applicable properties for a particular printer. See DIALOG_PRINTERSETUP for more information.
The DIALOG_PRINTJOB function opens an operating system-native dialog that allows you to set the parameters for a printing job (such as the number of copies to print). See DIALOG_PRINTJOB for more information.
The DIALOG_READ_IMAGE function provides a graphical interface allowing the user to select an image file and read it into an IDL variable. A preview of the selected image is provided. See DIALOG_READ_IMAGE for more information.
The DIALOG_WRITE_IMAGE function provides a graphical interface allowing the user to save an IDL array variable as an image file, selecting a location and image file type. See DIALOG_WRITE_IMAGE for more information.