POV-Ray : Documentation : 3.5.5.12 Auto-Reload
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3.5.5.12 Auto-Reload

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The Auto-Reload facility (which by default is set to 'Ask') causes the editor to check the time and date of all files that are currently open when it receives focus from another application. For example, suppose you were using a program that automatically generates POV scene files (these are quite common) and had the output file open in POVWIN. If you switched to that application, told it to regenerate the output file, then switched back to POVWIN, the editor would detect that the file had been changed (assuming Auto-Reload is enabled).

The three settings available for Auto-Reload are 'Never', 'Ask', and 'Always'.

  • 'Never' means never check - changes to a file made externally to POVWIN will not be detected and you risk overwriting the changes if you save the copy open in the editor.
  • 'Ask' means that, if changes to a file are detected, POVWIN will ask you if you want it reloaded. If you reply 'Yes' and you have unsaved changes, they will be lost. Your undo buffer will also be cleared.
  • 'Always' means that, if POVWIN detects that a file has changed, it will always reload it without asking you! If you have unsaved changes, they will be automatically discarded. Your undo buffer is also cleared.

Be aware that if Auto-Reload is set to either 'Ask' or 'Always', switching focus to another application will cause all of your files to be automatically saved.

Warning: The auto-reload feature is not intended as a substitute for common sense. We do not guarantee that it will work. It is not always possible to determine if a file has changed (for example, the time stamp may not be updated by the other application) and apart from that, it takes time to save a file. If the other application is still in the process of saving the file when you switch back to POVWIN, it's possible that the change won't be picked up. Likewise if POVWIN is still saving the file when the other application is selected ; for example, if it is an editor with a similar feature, it may not pick up the change.

Nevertheless, Auto-Reload is a useful feature under most circumstances.

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