A basic stock of filters is provided with Aten and installed with the program - several default locations are searched for these filters on startup. Alternatively, if Aten fails to find these filters, or you wish to point it to a suitable directory by hand, either the $ATENDATA environment variable may be set to the relevant path (on Windows, this variable is set by the installer) or the --atendata command-line option may be used to provide the path.

Additional filters may be placed in a user's .aten directory, e.g. ~bob/.aten/filters/.

A specific individual filter may be loaded from the command-line by using the --filter switch.


Filters that possess the same ID or nickname as other filters of the same type may be loaded simultaneously, with the last to be loaded taking preference over the other. Thus, an importmodel filter nicknamed from Aten's installed filter stock will be overridden by one of the same nickname present in a user's [name].aten/filters[/name] (or [name]aten/filters[/name] on Windows) directory. Similarly, both these filters will be overridden by one of the same nickname loaded by hand from the command line (with the [--filter(/aten/docs/cli/switches#filter) switch). Note that this only holds true for filters referenced by nickname or determined automatically by Aten when loading data - from the GUI all filters are available in the file dialogs.