About the Public Beta Version of IGOR Pro 6.3

February 7, 2013

This IGOR Pro 6.30B03 beta release is unusual, in that we've changed Igor's behaviors in ways that may affect you, as summarized below.

Please try out the beta and let us know if you find any serious issues.

Changed Behavior Summary

1. #pragma rtGlobals=3 is now the default for new procedure files:

As of IGOR Pro 6.30, rtGlobals=3 is the default for new procedure files. This includes the built-in procedure window of a new experiment. Previously the default was rtGlobals=1.

rtGlobals=3 will catch more user programming errors, both compile time and run time, but may require more work on the part of an Igor programmer. This change should not affect the causal non-programmer user of Igor.

This change does not affect existing procedure files or experiments, nor does it apply to code within Macros or Procs.

#pragma rtGlobals=3 Overview

#pragma rtglobals=n is a compiler directive that controls compiler and runtime behaviors for the procedure file in which it appears.

#pragma rtglobals=3 instigates these behaviors:

  • Runtime lookup of globals (this is the same as #pragma rtGlobals=1).
  • Accessing a point beyond the start or end of a wave (array) becomes a run-time error. #pragma rtGlobals=1, on the other hand, clips point indexes less than 0 to 0, and indexes ≥ numpnts(wave) to numpnts(wave)-1.
  • Strict wave reference mode: using a wave name in a user-defined function without either an auto-created or explicitly-written wave reference is a compile-time error.
  • Using p or x in the right hand side of a certain type of wave assignment statement generates an error or warning (a new behavior for 6.30).

For more details about rtGlobals, execute:

DisplayHelpTopic "The rtGlobals Pragma"

2. Wave assignment statement change:

As of IGOR Pro 6.30, with #pragma rtGlobals=3 in effect code of the form:

wave[index] = expression_using_p_or_x

in a user-defined function generates a compile error if index is a variable.

This change was made because this type of code did not behave as expected.

For example, this now generates a compile error:

#pragma rtGlobals=3	
Variable index = 33
wave0[index]= wave1[p]

With #pragma rtGlobals=1 in effect such code generates a warning printed in the history area rather than an error.

To fix the error, remove p (and q, r, s, x, y, z, and t as well) from the right hand side expression:

wave0[index]= wave1[index]

For details, after installing the IGOR Pro 6.30B03 beta, execute:

DisplayHelpTopic "P or X used outside of a wave assignment loop"

3. Additional Changes

See the release notes for a full list of changed behaviors.


Igor 6.3 will accept the same serial number and activation key as Igor 6.0, 6.1, or 6.2. On Windows, you will most likely need to reenter the serial number and activation key after uninstalling.


  1. Download the Macintosh Igor 6.3 Public Beta disk image MacIgor6.3Beta.dmg.
  2. Double-click the downloaded MacIgor6.3Beta.dmg file and follow the directions displayed in resulting the Finder window (drag the "Igor Pro 6.3 Folder" to your Applications folder).

    (Note that this won't overwrite your existing Igor Pro 6.1 Folder or Igor Pro 6.2 Folder. If you keep more than one version of Igor on your computer, you will find that double-clicking an Igor file in the Finder will usually open the newer Igor, or the Igor that is already running.)

    You can avoid confusion by either deleting the unwanted Igor, or by using Igor's Open Experiment or Open File menu to open experiments and files, rather than double-clicking files in the Finder.

  3. To check for later beta versions, select the "Help→Updates For Igor Pro" menu while running the beta version of Igor.

WINDOWS (32-bit):

  1. Download and run the Windows Igor 6.3 Public Beta installer WinSetupIgor6.3Beta.exe.

    Though you can install Igor 6.3 over an existing Igor 6, we recommend you first uninstall Igor and then install this beta.

  2. To check for later beta versions, select the "Help→Updates For Igor Pro" menu.

WINDOWS (64-bit):

  1. Download and run the 32-bit installer first.
  2. Download the Igor 64-bit updater setupIgor6-64.exe . This updates your existing (and required) Igor Pro 6.30 or later installation.
  3. To check for later beta versions, select the "Help→Updates For Igor Pro" menu.


Please email support@wavemetrics.com if you find any bugs in the beta software! Thanks.

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