# User input files¶

The user input file is used to set the initial values of any parameter that you could set in a design file. It uses an almost identical parsing code, and indeed, a design file with a single row of data is also a valid user input file.

However, while you can read column-orientated data, a user input file is best written as a row-orientated file. This file has one variable per row, using either a space, comma, colon or equals sign to separate the name of the variable from its initial value.

## Examples¶

.isolate_ndays = 7
.isolate_stage = 3


Set the initial value of isolate_ndays to 7 and isolate_stage to 3.

# Number of days to isolate
.isolate_ndays: 7

# Stage at which to start isolating
.isolate_stage: 3


Same, except using colon as the separator, and adding comments and blank lines to improve legibility.

hospital:beta["ICU"]: 0.3
.lockdown_start: d"next week"


Setting the initial beta parameter of the ICU stage in the hospital demographic to 0.3, while setting lockdown to start using the fuzzy date next week.