VisIt’s preferences are saved into two levels of XML files that are stored in the user’s home directory and in the global VisIt installation directory. The global preferences are read first and they allow the system administrator to set global preferences for all users. After VisIt reads the global preferences, it reads the preferences file for the current user. These settings include things like the color of the GUI and the initial directory from which to read files. Most of the attributes that are settable in VisIt can be saved to the preferences files for future VisIt sessions.