The IDL_Object::_overloadHelp function method returns a scalar string or array of strings containing the “help” information for the object. The result of this function is then used as the output of the HELP procedure.

This method is designed to replicate the default behavior of objects that do not use operator overloading. As a result, object classes that do inherit from the IDL_Object class but that do not override this particular method will behave in the same manner as object classes that do not inherit from the IDL_Object class.

Tip: If you write an object class that inherits from IDL_Object and overloads this method, you can call the superclass method directly to achieve the default behavior for specific cases.


In most cases, this method is called indirectly by the HELP procedure. When called explicitly, the syntax is:

Result = Obj->[IDL_Object::]_overloadHelp( Varname )

Return Value

This method is called by the HELP procedure when it is called with an object that inherits from the IDL_Object class, but that does not implement its own _overloadHelp function method. The return value replicates the behavior of calling the HELP procedure with an object that does not inherit from the IDL_Object class.



A string containing the name of the variable supplied to the HELP procedure. You may want to use this variable name when constructing the help output for your object class.



Routine Signature

To overload this function method for an object class, implement a method with the following signature:

FUNCTION class::_overloadHelp, Varname

The return value of this function should be a scalar string or array of strings containing the "help" information for the object.

Version History



See Also

IDL_Object::_overloadSize, IDL_Object::overloadImpliedPrint, IDL_Object::_overloadPrint, Overloading the Help and Print Procedures