There is a very flexible system for adjusting autoPROC (or BUSTER) programs to particular preferences and/or project-specific requirements. This so-called 'macro' feature allows setting particular parameters to non-default values while at the same time providing a user-readable documentation for each macro.

Please note that the system is identical for both BUSTER and autoPROC. The only difference is the name of the environmental varable pointing to the directory containing your own macro files:

  • autoPROC_MacroDirs (for autoPROC)
  • autoBUSTER_MacroDirs (for BUSTER)

This environmental variable contains a colon-separated (':') list of directories.

Macro file structure

A macro file has to have the extension '.macro' and needs to reside within one of the directories pointed to by the autoPROC_MacroDirs environmental variable.

The file consists of a set of comments at the top: this is not only a way of describing the content of the file, but is also used with the

% process -M list
% refine -M list

flag to show all available macros including documentation.

The rest of the file contains simple settings of parameters. One can see those by running

% process -M show
% refine -M show


This descriptive comment

  • starts at the first line with a '#' in column 1
  • finishes at the first line without a '#' in column 1

All text (excluding the '#' character in column 1) is used as the help message for the -M list output.

Parameter settings

Any of the parameters for

can be changed. The syntax of each line is usually one of

parameter="value-1 value-2 ... value-N"


Let's create a macro that would do the high-resolution limit decision based purely on an I/sigI criteria of 1.0:

# decide high-resolution limit purely on
# <I/sigI> in the last shell above 1.0

If we save this file in


we can run

% setenv autoPROC_MacroDirs "/where/ever"         # tcsh/csh
  - or -
% autoPROC_MacroDirs="/where/ever"                # bash/sh
% export autoPROC_MacroDirs

followed by

% process -M list

This should give you a list of macros including help messages. To use the macro would mean running

% process -M Isig1 ...