CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0706 – Cleaning up your CATSettings

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Many options (and problems) in CATIA/Enovia V5 are controlled and implement by your CATSettings. Some of you may ask what CATSettings are, but most of you will simply say “Argh”. CATSettings are necessary due to the fact that they control how CATIA/Enovia V5 looks and acts. If, however, these settings are misconfigured or become corrupt, they can and will be the source of many headaches.

CATSettings are permanent settings which are stored inside of files, normally on your local hard drive. This means that they are retained between sessions, and therefore will not change unless intentionally altered or deleted.

For the most part, the settings are used to control options which are taken for granted. The most obvious being to keep track of your setup as derived from your Tools -> Options menu. Other settings which are controlled include toolbar locations, your starting windows, and even licensing information. Generally speaking, if it isn’t part of the Environment or Standards, it’s configured and remembered in CATSettings.

Because everything you do inside of CATIA/Enovia is affected in some way by your CATSettings (whether directly or indirectly), they can and do become corrupted. This can cause major headaches, setbacks, and in rare cases complete mental breakdowns. Knowing what to do when this happens can help you to avoid many problems associated with these faulty settings. Dassault has admitted to this issue, and recommends removing your CATSettings once every release and/or service pack. I know of engineers who remove their CATSettings every day, and others who haven’t removed them in years.

Determining a system for dealing with your settings is important to a sane and productive working environment. I would suggest, at the very least, to go with the Dassault recommendations. Going overboard and having to reset your options frequently can also be a problem, however. Every user tends to handle their CATSettings in a slightly different way.

It is important to locate the CATSettings files before anything can be done to them. The default locations for these files are:

On Unix

On Windows (slightly less intuitive)
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATSettings

Before doing anything, if you have CATIA/Enovia started you must exit your session. Secondly delete the CATSettings folder. The files are not human readable, so attempting to edit them by hand is highly discouraged, though there is a tool you can use to make them readable. If deleted, upon restarting CATIA/Enovia you will be returned to a Default session. If your use a Network License then you will be asked to select a License then restart CATIA/Enovia.

Next week we’ll talk in depth about specific ways to backup and restore your CATSettings.