Displaying Dialog Boxes with Visual LISP

VLISP provides a tool for previewing dialog boxes defined with DCL. To see how this works, copy the following DCL code into a new file in the VLISP text editor:

hello : dialog {
	label = "Sample Dialog Box";
	: text {
	label = "Hello, world";
	: button {
	key = "accept";
	label = "OK";
	is_default = true;

This DCL file defines a dialog box labeled “Sample Dialog Box.” It contains a text tile and an OK button. Save the file as hello.dcl, and specify “DCL Source Files” in the Save As Type field of the Save As dialog box.

NoteYou must include the file extension when you specify the file name. VLISP does not automatically add a .dcl file extension for you.

Note how the text editor color codes the statements in the DCL file. The default color coding scheme is shown in the following table:

DCL default color coding

DCL element


Tiles and tile attributes






Real numbers



Magenta, on gray background




Dark blue

Operators and punctuation

Dark red

Unrecognized items

(for example, user variables)


Choose Tools Interface Tools Preview DCL in Editor to display the dialog box defined in the text editor window. Because you may have more than one dialog box defined in a single .dcl file, VLISP prompts you to specify the name of the dialog you want to view:

If your DCL file contains definitions for multiple dialog boxes, click the pull-down arrow and choose the one you want to preview. There is only one dialog box defined in hello.dcl, so choose OK to view it:

Choose OK to complete previewing the dialog box.

Although buttons are a good way to demonstrate dialog box attributes, there are standard exit button subassemblies you should use in your dialog boxes. You can create a dialog box that is virtually the same as the one shown in the previous figure by using the ok_only subassembly. See Dialog Box Exit Buttons and Error Tiles.