Command Line Parameters, Parameter Files, Batch Mode


Fractint accepts command-line parameters that allow you to start it with a particular video mode, fractal type, starting coordinates, and just about every other parameter and option.

These parameters can also be specified in a SSTOOLS.INI file, to set them every time you run Fractint.

They can also be specified as named groups in a .PAR (parameter) file which you can then call up while running Fractint by using the [@] command.

In all three cases (DOS command line, SSTOOLS.INI, and parameter file) the parameters use the same syntax, usually a series of keyword=value commands like SOUND=OFF. Each parameter is described in detail in subsequent sections.

Using the DOS Command Line

You can specify parameters when you start Fractint from DOS by using a command like:

FRACTINT SOUND=OFF FILENAME=MYIMAGE.GIF

The individual parameters are separated by one or more spaces (an parameter itself may not include spaces). Upper or lower case may be used, and parameters can be in any order.

Since DOS commands are limited to 128 characters, Fractint has a special command you can use when you have a lot of startup parameters (or have a set of parameters you use frequently):

FRACTINT @MYFILE

When @filename is specified on the command line, Fractint reads parameters from the specified file as if they were keyed on the command line. You can create the file with a text editor, putting one "keyword=value" parameter on each line.

Setting Defaults (SSTOOLS.INI File)

Every time Fractint runs, it searches the current directory, and then the directories in your DOS PATH, for a file named SSTOOLS.INI. If it finds this file, it begins by reading parameters from it. This file is useful for setting parameters you always want, such as those defining your printer setup.

SSTOOLS.INI is divided into sections belonging to particular programs. Each section begins with a label in brackets. Fractint looks for the label [fractint], and ignores any lines it finds in the file belonging to any other label. If an SSTOOLS.INI file looks like this:

    [fractint]
    sound=off      ; (for home use only)
    printer=hp     ; my printer is a LaserJet
    inside=0       ; using "traditional" black
    [startrek]
    warp=9.5       ; Captain, I dinna think the engines can take it!

Fractint will use only the second, third, and fourth lines of the file. (Why use a convention like that when Fractint is the only program you know of that uses an SSTOOLS.INI file? Because there are other programs (such as Lee Crocker's PICLAB) that now use the same file, and there may one day be other, sister programs to Fractint using that file.)


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This page maintained by

Noel Giffin,
noel@triumf.ca