Handling the 'Collecting information' message

Technical Note 84855






2/8/2018 6:14 AM


This technical note give advice on situations where the Source browser continue to collect information.

Note: This Technical Note only applies to IAR Embedded Workbench versions where the file common\bin\SourceIndexer.exe can be found in your installation directory.


When the Source browser continue to collect information, the Source browser-based functionality cannot be used. For example, these features cannot be used:

  • Go to definition/declaration of
  • Find all references to
  • Completion
  • List of symbols in Source browser window

Collecting information

The situation can be detected in the Source browser window, where the text 'Collecting information' is shown, without apparent progress.

Note: The Source Browser window can be opened from the View menu in the IAR Embedded Workbench.

Actions to try

Put the IAR Embedded Workbench in focus

Ensure that IAR Embedded Workbench is in the foreground, that is, being the active application.

Check on progress

Look for generated .pbi files and check their modification dates (look in \Obj\). There might be progress, even if it is slower than expected.

Factors affecting speed include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • IAR Embedded Workbench not in foreground (see above).
  • Slow file access (for example: network disk, USB memory, intrusive virus protection).
  • Number of files to collect information from.
  • Size of files to collect information from.
  • Load on used PC

If the Source browser still collect information, consider the following three issues:

A – Compile all files

Perform Clean and Rebuild all, as that makes sure that old (possibly corrupted) .pbi files are deleted and replaced with newly collected .pbi files.

B – check #include

The Source Browser may not accept trailing white-spaces or trailing dots in the code, for example:

#include "DriveInterCom.h." // trailing dot
#include "stm32f2xx_conf.h " // trailing white-space

C – Argument file access

The source indexer application (...\common\bin\SourceIndexer.exe) accepts arguments via a file named command.xcl.

If access to command.xcl and/or the directory is not available for some reason (for example, inappropriate privileges, file already open, inappropriate value of TEMP) information collection will not proceed as intended.

This file can be found in the \Obj\ directory.

Note: Older Source browser versions stored the command.xcl file in the directory pointed out by the environment variable TEMP.


It is expected that changes in a project are mostly incremental, thus allowing the source browser to unobtrusively collect the needed information.

Cases when more extensive information collection is required include:

  • The first time a big project is built.
  • After a Project > Clean.
  • After a Project > Rebuild all.


The suggestions above will improve the working conditions for the Source Browser.

If the message ‘Collecting information’ persists, contact support and explain which of the actions (at the heading ‘actions to try’) that you have taken.

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