The preferences menu is a container for setting and viewing Zend Guard project settings.

The preferences is accessed from the edit menu by clicking Edit | Preferences.  


Preferences can also be configured for specific files/folders belonging to a project. See Overriding Project Preferences.

The preferences menu contains configuration options divided into the following categories:

  • Editors - Defines the XML editor's behavior when switching between elements. The options determine what to do with changes made to XML file content.

  • Encoding and Obfuscation - Set default preferences for guarding project content.
    Remove: PHPDoc Blocks and Line Numbers. Obfuscate: Variables, Functions, Classes and Apply selections to PHP built-in symbols.

  • Header Information - append code and information to the beginning of each encoded file. This allows you to insert meta information (e.g., copyright, version, etc.) into your encoded application. It also allows you to customize the message that is displayed if the Zend Guard Loader is not installed. See the "Header Information Tab" for complete information.

  • License Keys - Use this to generate new License Keys and to detach old licenses. Also, see Creating a License and License Files.

  • Source Options - Define file and version specific handling options (see table below for a description of each option).

  • Zend IDE - Use this to set the path to Zend Studio. When enabled, you can open PHP files from Zend Guard and edit them in Zend Studio.

Preferences are applied to all projects unless specified and changes to the preferences are applied to new projects (Existing Projects are not affected by changes done in the general preferences menu).

Source Options

Source Option


PHP Version

PHP 5.5 or PHP 5.6

Short Tag Support

Enable recognition of short PHP tags. Recognizes <? as a valid PHP start tag. When this option is not selected, Zend Guard will not encode short tags; they will be treated as regular HTML.

ASP Tag Support

Enable recognition of ASP tags. Recognizes <% as a valid PHP start tag. When not selected, code within ASP tags is treated as regular HTML.

Resolve Symlinks

Resolves Symbolic Links before encoding (not applicable in Windows).
A symbolic link (often shortened to symlink and also known as a soft link) consists of a special type of file that serves as a reference to another file or directory. Unix-like operating systems in particular often feature symbolic links.

Files to Encode

Lists the file extensions for Guard to encode (extensions not listed will not be encoded).

File extensions that are not listed here and in "Patterns to Ignore" will be sent as-is to the output folder.

Patterns to Ignore

Files matching these patterns will not be encoded when encoding a directory, nor will they be copied as-is to the target directory. By default, the list contains the CVS directory and cvsignore files (includes Wildcards '*').


Non-PHP CODE Encoding sends output of the PHP encoded files to the target directory by default. However, some files will not be encoded (e.g., images that need to be copied to the output directories). non-PHP project files will be sent as-is to the output directory automatically if they are not included in the list of Patterns to ignore.