How to transfer Volocity preferences between different user accounts on Mac OS X and Windows.

I was delighted to hear the other day that my friend and colleague down the corridor has just got his new fluorescence microscope and is about to install Volocity to run it. When he starts Volocity for the first time, he will need to configure his preferences, as a new set will be created for him. Being a true friend, I suggested to him that he might like to use my preferences to get him started, as we work on similar projects. This is easy to do and will get him up and running in no time.

Volocity user level preferences include light paths, acquisition protocols, current analysis settings. The preferences also store measurement protocols, which I find helpful to share with my students to get them analyzing data for me in their spare time! Here’s how you can transfer your Volocity preferences to another user.

A word of caution before we start! Be very careful when you are copying and pasting preferences/registry folders as they contain a lot of configuration information, please be sure that you are targeting the Volocity preferences/registry folder that you want to populate the other accounts with.

Transferring Volocity Preferences on Mac OS X
If you have ever had to transfer preferences in Openlab then all of this will sound very familiar, you can apply the same procedure to the Volocity preferences:

Firstly make a copy of the user level preferences from the administrator account or the account that you want to use as a ‘donor’.

Log in to that account.

Go to the Macintosh HD > Users > the account home directory > Library > Preferences

In the above screen shot I have logged into the account ‘simonvipoir’.

In the Preferences folder you will find a folder called ‘Volocity Preferences’. This contains the User level preferences for Volocity.

Click once on this folder to select it then go to the Edit menu and copy it. Now we want to copy this to a location that is accessible to all accounts. The ideal location for this is:

Macintosh HD > Users > Shared.

Once in this location paste in the preferences (Edit … Paste).

Now switch to the new account you have just created. Once you are in the new account go to Macintosh HD > Users > Shared.

Make a copy of the ‘Volocity Preferences folder using “Edit …Copy”, then go to:

Macintosh HD > Users > the account home directory > Library > Preferences. Paste in the copy of the preferences using “Edit … Paste”.

When you start up Volocity in this account the preferences, at least initially, should be identical to the preferences in the ‘donor’ account.


Transferring Volocity Preferences on Windows
On a Windows computer, copying the user level preferences is slightly different and involves accessing the Registry directory of your machine.

As on Mac you must first copy the ‘user-level’ preferences from the donor account.

Log in to the ‘donor’ account (usually an administrator).

Click on ‘Start’ and then click on ‘Run’

In the available field type ‘regedit’ and click ‘OK’

This will open the ‘Registry Editor’ dialog window.

Click on the ‘+’ symbol next to the folder entitled ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER’

Now click on the ‘+’ symbol next to the folder entitled ‘Software’

Find ‘Improvision’ in the list and again click on the ‘+’ symbol, you should now see a folder called ‘Volocity’.

If you now click on the ‘+’ symbol this lists all of the preferences stored at the user level, you can decide to export the Volocity user level preferences in their entirety or you may wish to export individual preferences such as ‘Light Paths’ individually.

To export the Volocity preferences highlight the folder in the Registry Editor menu and then right click…choose the ‘export’ option.

Export the preferences folder to a location that can be easily accessed by a user account e.g. a ‘shared folder’ or alternatively a portable memory stick or Hard Drive. The folder will be exported as a .reg file (registry file).

Once the export is complete log out of the administrator account and then log back in as a new user.

Access the shared folder or the portable memory device and then drag and drop the Volocity preferences folder (.reg file) onto the desktop.

Double click on the .reg file and the preferences will automatically be stored in the correct location on the new users account. Now when Volocity is started on the users account the preferences initially at least should be exactly the same as the ‘donor’ account.

Well I’m off to see how my friend is getting on with all that shiny new kit, see you next time!