Skip to main content
Version: 19

General Page

This page contains various options to configure the general operation of your 4D application.


At startup

This option allows you to configure the default 4D display at startup, when the user launches only the application.

  • Do nothing: Only the application window appears, empty.
  • Open Local Project dialog: 4D displays a standard open document dialog box, allowing you to select a local project.
  • Open last used project: 4D directly opens the last project used; no opening dialog box appears.

To force the display of the opening dialog box when this option is selected, hold down the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key while launching the project.

  • Open Remote Project dialog: 4D displays the standard 4D Server logon dialog, allowing you to select a project published on the network.
  • Open Welcome Wizard dialog (factory setting): 4D displays the Welcome Wizard dialog box.

4D Server: The 4D Server application ignores this option. In this environment, the Do nothing mode is always used.

Automatic form creation

This option is only used in binary databases; it is ignored in project architecture. See

Window tabbing (macOS only)

Starting with macOS Sierra, Mac applications can benefit from the Automatic Window Tabbing feature that helps organizing multiple windows: document windows are stacked into a single parent window and can be browsed through tabs. This feature is useful on small screens and/or when using a trackpad.

You can benefit from this feature in the following environments (with 4D 64-bit versions only):

  • Method Editor windows
  • Form Editor windows

All windows from these editors can be put in tab form:

A set of commands in the Window menu allows managing the tabs:

In the 4D's Preferences dialog box, the Window tabbing option allows you to control this feature:

Three options are available:

  • According to System Preferences (default): 4D windows will behave like defined in the macOS System Preferences (In full screen, Always, or Manually).
  • Never: Opening a new document in 4D form editor or method editor will always result in creating a new window (tabs are never created).
  • Always: Opening a new document in 4D form editor or method editors will always result in creating a new tab.

Exit Design when going to Application Environment

If this option is checked, when the user switches to the Application environment using the Test Application menu command, all the windows of the Design environment are closed. If this option is not checked (factory setting), the windows of the Design environment remain visible in the background of the Application environment.

Enable binary database creation

If you check this option, two items are added in the File > New menu and the New toolbar button:

  • Database...
  • Database from Structure Definition...

These items allow you to create binary databases (see Creating a new database section). They are no longer proposed by default because 4D recommends using project-based architecture for new developments.

When creating a new project

Use Log File

When this option is checked, a log file is automatically started and used when a new database is created. For more information, please refer to Log file (.journal).

Create package

When this option is checked, 4D databases are automatically created in a folder suffixed .4dbase.

Thanks to this principle, under macOS the database folders appear as packages having specific properties. Under Windows, this has no particular impact.

Language of text comparison

This parameter configures the default language used for character string processing and comparison in new databases. The language choice has a direct influence on the sorting and searching of text, as well as the character case, but it has no effect on the translation of texts or on the date, time or currency formats, which remain in the system language. By default (factory setting), 4D uses the current user language set in the system.

A 4D database can thus operate in a language different from that of the system. When a database is opened, the 4D engine detects the language used by the data file and provides it to the language (interpreter or compiled mode). Text comparisons, regardless of whether they are carried out by the database engine or the language, are done in the same language.

When creating a new data file, 4D uses the language previously set in this menu. When opening a data file that is not in the same language as the structure, the data file language is used and the language code is copied into the structure.

You can modify this parameter for the open database using the Database Settings (see Text comparison).

Documentation location

This area configures access to the 4D HTML documentation displayed in the current browser:

  • When the user double-clicks on a command on the Commands Page of the Explorer;
  • When the user clicks on a command name in the Method editor and hits the F1 key.

You can choose to access the 4D online documentation site directly or to access a static version that is stored locally.

Local folder

Indicates the location of the static HTML documentation. By default, this is the \Help\Command\language subfolder. You can view the location by clicking on the menu associated with the area. If this subfolder is not present, the location is shown in red.

You can modify this location as desired, for example if you want to display the documentation in a language different from that of the application. The static HTML documentation can be located on another volume, on a web server, etc. To designate a different location, click on the [...] button next to the entry area and choose a documentation root folder (folder corresponding to the language: fr, en, es, de or ja).

Web Site

URL access to the on-line documentation for the version on 4D Doc Center. 4D builds calls to the pages of the documentation based on this URL. You can modify it, for example if you want to display documentation in a different language from the application language. The test button to the right of the area launches the default browser to go to the URL specified.

Look in the local folder first

This option (checked by default) sets where 4D will look for the documentation page called using the Explorer or the F1 key.

  • When it is checked, 4D first looks for the page in the local folder. If it is found, 4D displays the page in the current browser. If not, 4D will automatically look for it in the on-line documentation of the Web site. This makes it possible to access the documentation even when you are offline.
  • When it is not checked, 4D looks for the desired page directly in the on-line documentation of the Web site and displays it in the current browser. If it is not found, 4D displays an error message in the browser.