CATIA PLM Weekly Email 1103 – Lots More Hotkeys

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

So you know that Movie that you were so looking forward to seeing and then you watched it and were so disappointed but then they ‘rebooted’ it. The cool thing is that it was better than the first one?? Yeah me neither.

The feedback from Mailer 1102 gave me a ton of information. Here are the new Hotkeys that I discovered.

Esc (Escape) – Abort the current process or exit a dialog box if a dialog box is open and active exit.
F1 – CATIA V5 Documentation
F3 – Toggle specification tree on and off
F9 – Toggle Hide/Show
F10 – Toggle Swap Visible Space
SHIFT – F1 – Context assistance (Get help on toolbar icons)
SHIFT – F2 – Toggle the Specification Tree overview on and off – opens an overview on Specifications Tree in a new window.
SHIFT – F3 – Structure tree activate around e.g. character size to modify (activate the graph if the model is active and inversely)
SHIFT + LEFT – Rotate to the left
SHIFT + RIGHT – Rotate to the right
SHIFT + UP – Rotate upward
SHIFT + DOWN – Rotate downward
ALT + F8 – Macros start
ALT + F11 – Visual Basic for Application (VBA) Word Processor
HOME – Display the top of the graph
END – Display the bottom of the graph
CTRL + PAGE UP – Zoom In the model or tree whichever is active
CTRL + PAGE DOWN – Zoom Out the model or tree whichever is active
CTRL + RIGHT ARROW – Pan the model to the Right
CTRL + LEFT ARROW – Pan the model to the Left
CTRL + TOP ARROW – Pan the model to the Top
CTRL + BOTTOM ARROW – Pan the model to the Bottom
CTRL + SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW – Rotate the model around Z axis Clockwise
CTRL + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW – Rotate the model around Z axis Counter-Clockwise
CTRL + TAB – switch between the different windows (swap active document windows)
CTRL + N – New Document
CTRL + O – Document Open
CTRL + S – Document Save
CTRL + P – Document print
CTRL + F – Search
CTRL + U – Update
CTRL + X – Cut out
CTRL + C – Copying
CTRL + V – Paste
CTRL + Y – Redo
CTRL + Z – Undo
CTRL + F11 or one of the ARROW’S – To get the Preselection navigator, for selecting coincident / very close elements in geometry area. Please note: the preselection navigator cannot be used with selection filters.
PAGE UP – Relocate the graph one page up
PAGE DOWN – Relocate the graph one page down
ALT + ENTER – Properties
ALT + SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW – Rotate the model
ALT + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW – Rotate the model


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 1102 – A few Hotkeys

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Accessing the Properties of a Part or Product is pretty easy. Just right click over the Part/Product Name and select Properties. But windows has shortcuts like Copy = Control+C Paste = Control+V and Search/Find Control+F. So getting into the Properties Panel is pretty easy to.

Select Alt+<Enter>

Shortcuts or Hotkeys are awesome at reducing your time for menial tasks. If you wonder what they are you can view them next to the command.


Most Windows Type Shortcuts work like a charm!!

Have Fun!


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0907 – Shortening the i4ls.ini file

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

We all know that CATIA uses IBM’s LUM (License Use Manager) for it’s licensing tool. And like we discussed last week you don’t have to install LUM on the client machines.

But did you know that you don’t need all the text that LUM Creates. You only need 3 lines of text for CATIA to find the server and run. Here is the secret.

  • First and foremost you need to have a License Server. If you don’t have a LUM Server then this email can be ignored and you are just going to have to wait until next week.
  • Then you need to make sure that the following folder created.
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\IBM\LUM
  • Once that is done using your favorite Text Editor create the i4ls.ini file in the created LUM Folder.
  • The reason that IBM instructs you to use the i4cfg.exe to create the i4ls.ini file is that the syntax of the i4ls.ini file (UpperCase and lowercase) must be followed exactly. So if you care to venture down this avenue then make sure you follow the rules.
  • The following lines of text are all that are needed for CATIA to look to the server
    [iFOR/LS NCS-Client]
  • NumDirectBindServers=1
  • DirectBindServer1=ip:###.###.###.###[1515]
  • The NumDirectBindServers value is how many servers you have defined.
  • The DirectBindServer(s) ip is the ip address of the LUM Server
  • For as many LUM Servers you have defined with NumDirectBindServers you must also have the same amount called out using DirectBindServer#
  • Save the file and copy it to all the machines you use CATIA on.

That is it. I do hope this helps with your LUM stuff and have a great week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0906 – make a CATIA client a LUM client.

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

This week we are going to talk about a swift and easy way to make a CATIA client a LUM client.

The LUM software doesn’t need to be installed on each and every CATIA client. The only thing that needto be done is the i4ls.ini file needs to be in the proper location on each machine.

Follow these easy steps to LUM Freedom.

1. You need a LUM Server running. Just because this is about LUM Freedom don’t think this is about License Freedom ;).

2. Create the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\IBM\LUM folder on the client.

3. Copy the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\IBM\LUM\i4ls.ini file from the server and put it in the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\IBM\LUM on the client.

That is it. Next week we will go a little further and remove all that isn’t needed in the i4ls.ini file.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0905 – Fixing the OLE Links for CATIA Documents (CNEXT.exe /regserver)

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Sometimes in our rush to get to the next version of CATIA or cleaning up our machines we delete the CATIA Code directory. This is ok to do but you must remember to clean up the registry. One of the things that can happen is that the File Association for CATIA Parts/Products/Drawings can become confused. This is evident because when you see the file in the Windows Explorer it isn’t the cute little Dassault Icon. Also when you double click on it Windows asks you want you want to do with it.


To fix this you can either select CATIA from the Program List for each and every CATIA document (And there are loads of them) or you can open up a command prompt and change directories to the CATIA code bin folder.


Then type in CNEXT.exe /regserver


After a reboot the files are now associated and you can go back to clicking on the Part/Product/Drawing.



CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0904 – How to create a Silhouette from 3D onto a Plane

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Have you ever wanted to Project a 3D Image’s Silhouette to a plane? Well your prayers have been answered.

First you need the Part. I have a scoop of mint ice cream in a sugar cone. (Mint is the favorite in the Clark household, though I’m a Peanut Butter and Chocolate kinda guy)


Next we are going to select a plane to create a sketch on.


Then select the 3D Geometry Icon and then select the Project 3D Silhouette Edges Icon.


Go to town selecting the Surfaces you want to profile and that is it.


Bam that is it. Keep on keeping on



CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0903 – CATSetting Used to Kill CATIA Dead After a Certain Time

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Sometimes we come across an excellent Settings that is in the Tools -> Options that is so good that we have to share with everyone. You know the ones that you want to run to the mountain top and scream from the top of your lungs that this is the one that you have to set as it is the answer to all of your prayers.

Well this isn’t one of those. This Setting is a setting that should only be set if you really want to make your user’s lives miserable.


This CATSetting will Shutdown CATIA with out warning after the designated time. For example if you set the Automatic disconnection XX Minutes to be say 1 hour. If the user walks away from there system and returns at 1 hour and 59 seconds CATIA Closes. There is no license disconnect. Their work isn’t saved, unless they saved it before. It just closes. This is a bad thing m’kay.

Hope this will save you lots of head aches.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0902 – Turning off the Compass or the Spec Tree or the Geometry

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Sometimes when working away the you will want to turn off the Compass or the Spec Tree or the Geometry even. To do this select View from the toolbar and then the option you want to turn off.

  • To turn off the Geometry then select the Geometry, highlighted in Pink.
  • To turn off the Specifications Tree select the Specifications, highlighted in Yellow, or select F3.
  • To turn off Compass select the Compass, highlighted in Orange.

As you see the Screen is completely blank now. To turn things back on you can reselect them and they will reappear.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0901 – Silent Install or Batch Install of CATIA

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Last mailer was about Service Packs and I promised that I would do the Silent Install for CATIA. But first I will talk about why one would want to do a silent install vs. just doing selecting the Setup.exe. The silent (batch) install of CATIA allows users to automate the installation of CATIA. This decreases the repetitive tasks of installing CATIA on multiple machines.

By following these simple steps you to can install more than one machine at the same time quickly. All while enjoying your coffee with out any interuptions.

Step 1. Create a folder that can be accessed from a network location.

I will use the following path \\CH\Software\CATIA

Step 2. Copy both CD’s into the same folder in the network accessible folder.

Step 3. Open your favorite Text Editor. (Notepad, Wordpad, gVim, etc..)

Step 4. Decide which variables you want to use. Click here for the list of Variables

Step 5. Locate the following files: StartB.exe and VBA.msi.

Step 6. Create the syntax for the your installation and place it in the Text file.


Example File (Rename to .bat)


\\CH\Software\CATIA\V5R19\intel\StartB.exe -newdir -v -all -noLang all -noFonts -noreboot

msiexec /q /i \\CH\Software\CATIA\V5R19\VBA\VBA6.msi

The first StartB will install any Prerequisites

The second StartB will install CATIA

The msiexec will install VBA for CATIA which isn’t installed during the silent install

Step 7. After saving the file in a location that is accessible from the network.

Step 8. On the Client Machine open up a command prompt.

Step 9. Run the install file.

Step 10. Get your coffee and enjoy your hard work.

That is it. It is fairly easy and you can impress your co-workers with your new found knowledge.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0803 – Installing Service Packs

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

So we are going to install a Service Pack. To access it you are going to need to contact either IBM or your Business Partner to Order the Service Pack or to Download it from their FTP Site.

If you downloaded the Software unzip it onto a directory where you can access it. If you ordered it on CD then pop in CD Number 1.

If you downloaded it then you will need to go to the Directory where you placed it. I put it on my Desktop in a directory called SP4. Go into that folder then into the INTEL Folder and find the file who’s name is StartSPK.exe (Tricky eh?). Double click on that to start the installation.


Or if you ordered the CD’s. Take the 1st CD and place it in the CDROM/DVD Drive. One of two things will happen. Either the installation will start and prompt you to select OK or you will have to open a Windows Explorer and go to the drive where the CD is located and then go into the INTEL Folder and select StartSPK.exe.

The Welcome to Dassault Systemes Service Pack Setup Screen will appear. You will need to select Next > to continue.


CATIA will then search your system for your CATIA/Enovia/Delmia installations. You will need to select which installation you want to install the Service Pack onto and then select Next >.


The CATSysDemon.exe is running. The installation must close the process to continue the installation of the software. Here the installer is asking you for permission to terminate them. If you answer No the installation will exit. Select Yes.


Committing the Service Pack has its advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss that one in the future as it will take at least one mailer to talk about it…. maybe more. So for this purpose we are going to Not Commit the Service Pack. And Select Next >.


Verify your selections and select Install.


La lalalalalalalallalalalalalala.. Oh Yeah CATIA is working away installing the Service Pack


Finally.. The installation is complete and you are now ready to start working away with CATIA. Select Finish to continue and then Start CATIA.


We will be covering Silent Installations Next Week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0802 – Installing CATIA Via CD’s

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

You have either gone with a Business Partner or are still with IBM. Either way you should still be receiving the software in a Box. If you aren’t then you need to contact your sales rep. Or if you feel disenchanted there as well because of all the moving around then let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.

So if you look inside of your CATIA Box you will see many different CD’s. The ones you will want are the ones that are Labeled ‘CATIA Software Windows’ There are going to be 2 CD’s and 2 Sets of CD’s. One set is going to be for 32bit systems and the other is going to be for 64bit systems.

Take out the ones that are for your system and set them aside.

Then get the service pack that you are going to load and set that aside as well.

The easiest way to do this is to just start clicking Next >. But this will help you setting up the other installations.

Next take the 1st CD and place it in the CDROM/DVD Drive. One of two things will happen. Either the installation will start and prompt you to select OK or you will have to open a Windows Explorer and go to the drive where the CD is located and double click on the Setup.exe.


The CATIA V5R## Welcome Screen will appear. You will need to select Next > to continue.


At the CATIAV5R18 License – Window you will be asked if you want to import your Nodelock License here. If you haven’t already enrolled your license then select ‘Import Nodelock License’. If you have or don’t have a Nodelock License then Select Next > (Take note that your Target ID is in the Title Bar of the License Window)


CATIA Will then ask you where you want to install CATIA. The Default is
C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B##. You can choose where ever you want to by either typing it in or by selecting browse and surfing to the new location. If you don’t have a preference where it gets installed then select Next >.


If the Directory doesn’t exist then CATIA Will ask to create the directory. Select Yes here.

Skip this step if you aren’t installing another installation of the Same Version of CATIA on to this machine. For those of you who have the same version of CATIA Installed on your machine then you will be asked to select a string that will help identify this installation. Input the new Ident: and select Next >.


You will then be prompted to enter in the Location of your New Environment. I would go with the default. It is C:\Docum ents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATEnv


I have always done what I call the JimO method here. Install Everything. Hard drive space is super cheap now. These aren’t 4gig drives anymore.


Orbix is used for the Enovia Products. With our CATIA Installation we aren’t to concerned with it. Go with the Defaults.


The Server Timeout Configuration is used for the Enovia Products. With our CATIA Installation we aren’t to concerned with it. Go with the Defaults.


Here CATIA is asking you ‘If you are going to install the Enovia Vault Client do you want to have CATIA Prompt you at the end of the CATIA Installation to install it?’ We are going with the defaults here again and not installing it. Select Next >.


If you do not want a Desktop Icon or an Icon in the Menu bar or don’t want to create a Tools Menu in the Start Menu the you will need to uncheck the boxes that correspond to what you don’t want to see. After reviewing you will need to select Next >. Don’t think on this to much as they can all be either recreated or removed.


Here again CATIA is helping you out. It is Prompting you to install the Documentation after the CATIA installation. If you want select OK other wise keep on going. But do remember if you select OK have the CD’s Handy.


We are finally done with our configuration. Here is where you review what you just selected. You can drag down through this panel and verify what you have selected and select Next > or just select Next > if you are confident in what you have defined.

13 14
  1. The CATIA Installation will create the following:
  2. All the Code will be installed in the location you defined C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B##
  3. There will be OLE Links and Entries in the Registry for Removing CATIA.
  4. VBA Will be updated
  5. Any Additional Fonts that are required by CATIA will be added.
  6. The Startup Icons and Menu will be added

After the installation is complete and if you selected the Doc’s to be installed after installation and they are done as well you will need to install the Service Pack.

We will be covering Service Pack Installation next week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0801 – Different Ways to Install CATIA

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Happy New Year!!! Oh wait it is like May. Well This is the official first mailer of the year so it counts right?? Well many of you have emailed and have asked if I was still alive or if CATIAHotline was still active. The answer to both is Yes. I took a little Hiatus from sending out mailers but I figured this has been way to long. So enough about that and on with the Show.

Today I’m going to talk about the a few different ways you can install CATIA. Then in the next few mailers I’m going to talk more in depth on them.

The Local Installation – The easiest and most common way to install CATIA is to insert the CD’s and Double Click on the Setup.exe.

The Networked Installation – This one is a little bit more complex as you need to copy the contents of the CD’s to a Networked Drive and then Double Click on the Setup.exe.

Then there is the ‘Silent’ installation also called Installing CATIA in Batch Mode. This one is has more steps and well can be a wee bit tricky. It uses either a .bat file or a command that is executed from a Command Prompt.

For those of you with a Massively fast Network there is the Thin Client. Using this approach requires a Excellent Network Infrastructure and I would recommend a 1Gig Network.

And Lastly is Distributing software in Compressed Mode. This mode is kind of a collection of almost all of these. It is probably the most complex one out there but it is the fastest.

With that I bid you ado until next week. We’ll dive into these with vim and vigor and hopefully help you out loads.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0744 – Controlling Dimensions Using Parameters

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

So last week we talked about how to control many dimensions by using the Formula Editor. This week we are going to talk about controlling dimensions using Parameters.

Parameters are a step into knowledge based engineering (KBE) realm. I found a definition of a Parameter as “A feature defining a document or object property.” It is one of the base parts of doing KBE.

I’m going to use it to control the length of the Star that I created last week. This is pretty basic but you can see the benefits of using parameters to drive your designs.

So here we go.

First I’m opening up my Star Model


Then you will select the f(x) (‘F’ of ‘X’)


This starts up the Formula Editor


The next step will be to create a new Parameter. To do that select the ‘New Parameter of type’ Button


My good friend who is most excellent recommends renaming the Parameter that way when you go to use it it makes it easier to find it. After you rename it select Tab.


Also don’t forget to set the Value. You can set it as anything you want. But I would go with something other than Zero. Again pushing the Tab key will set the value.


Select OK. This will exit you out of the Formula Editor.This will take us back to Sketcher.

If you look in the Specification Tree and see the Parameters already shown then you can skip to the steps below by selecting here. Otherwise keep on reading on.

Select Tools -> Options. This opens up the CATSettings Panel.


Go to the (1) Options -> (2) Infrastructure -> (3) Part Infrastructure -> (4) Display -> (5) Display in Specification Tree and check the box for the (6) Parameters. Then select OK


Once that is done it should look like this.


To set the Overall length of the star to the LENGTH_POINT_TO_POINT Parameter you will right click over the value you wish to set to be the parameter and select the Edit Formula that is located under the Object menu.


The Formula Editor will appear. Last week I had you select the Value in the Sketcher Workspace. This time though you are going to select from the List.

Though there are lots of things to pick from we are going to make it easy for you. We are going to with The Parameter selection in the Dictionary listing. Then because we have renamed our Parameter we are going to select Renamed Parameters. See I told you my friend is most excellent.


Here is were it is a little bit weird. You have to double click on the Parameter you want to use or you can type it in the blank field that is located between the value that we selected and the Lists.


Now you need to define the Unit of Measurement. To do this you will Multiply that Parameter by 1 unit. For example Mine will look like this; LENGTH_POINT_TO_POINT * 1in. My unit of measurement can be any standard unit. Feet, Millimeter, Meter….


Select OK and you are back to the Sketcher Workspace.

Exit Sketcher and Now you can change the value by either Double Clicking on the LENGTH_POINT_TO_POINT Parameter or right clicking on it and selecting the Object -> Definition. Either way the Edit Parameter Panel Pops up.


You can change the value now to what ever you want. You can either type it in or you can select the arrows on the right of the Value to go in increments.

Now isn’t that to much fun. Good luck and have a great Holiday.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0743 – Linking Dimensions in a Sketch

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

I’m not sure if many of you know but I have 3 girls. They are 12, 10 and 8. My middle daughter has taken up running as something fun to do. Now I know lots of folks that when they ask me what I’m doing this weekend and I say ‘Oh I’m going on a 20 mile run on Sunday’ they roll there eyes and say that sounds like fun while inside there head they are thinking FREAK!!! But it is what it is.

I’m not writing to brag about my daughter or her running or my running. There will be loads of time to do that. But what I am writing about is this. We ran in a 5k run this weekend called the Seattle Jingle Bell Run. She of course got on the web and noticed that some people run it in costume. So she asked Dad can we do that. I said, “Definitely we can do that.” So off to the sketch book I went. She wanted to be a ornament I thought well a star is an ornament so that is what we will do.

I sketched it out and then measured her out. Then I was trying to figure out where the points of the star were going to go and I first thought Google.. but then I thought you know what I have CATIA and access to a license so here we goooo…..
I pulled up CATIA and started my Sketch.


Then using the Profile Button I sketched out a 5 Point Star.


Next I set up constraints onto each leg of the star.


So here is the Subject of the Mailer. I wanted to make each leg equal to one so that when I measured it out say 4 feet that they all would change at once. To do this it is very easy. You double click on the Constraint that you wish to edit or make the Driven Constraint. This will open up the Constraint Definition Panel


In the Constraint Definition Panel you will find the ‘Value’ area. Right Click in the White Space and select ‘Edit Formula’.


The Formula Editor Panel will popup. The Cursor will be in the ‘Formula Editor Field’. Select the Constraint that you want to Drive the other Constraint(s) and select OK.


The ‘f(x)’ will be displayed next to the value and the Constraint Definition Panel will be grayed out.


You can keep on doing that until all the constraints that you wish to drive with what ever values you want are done.


So as you can see I have all my legs Constrained as well as 2 interior angles with one angle linked to the other angle. I can now control the size of my star by changing the one value. Which I did to make it 48 inches.


Then we built the Star and It looked Fabulous. She brought smiles to 1000’s of people, had a blast wearing it and making it, and won 2nd place in the contest.



CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0742 – Cimmetry Viewer redeems itself

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

How many times do we get to say I’m so glad I’m wrong. Well it happened to me a few weeks ago. As a matter of fact What I’m going to be talking about today is one of the main reasons I started this mailer/website.

A few weeks ago I sent out the mailer that talked about the 3rd Party Products that were available to View CATIA Files. (Click Here for that mailer) Well the one that I was wrong about was the Symmetry viewer. It seems that you can view the majority of the FT&A. Here is how it breaks down.

FT&A that can be Seen;
Text, Text with Leaders, Parallel Text, Flagnote, Flagnote with Leader, Datum, Roughness, Datum Target, Basic Dimensions, Cumulative Dimensions, Stacked Dimensions, Coordinate Dimensions, Diameters.
FT&A that shows the idea of what is trying to be relayed
Geometrical Tolerance.

FT&A that do not come across at all;

And what would this be with out pictures. Well here they are.

Click on any Picture to open it in a different window to view it better

The first shows the different Annotations that are available.


What it looks like inside of CATIA What it looks like inside of Smarteam With the Viewer

The second shows the different Dimensions that can be viewed. Notice that the Curvilinear does not show up.


What it looks like inside of CATIA What it looks like inside of Smarteam With the Viewer

The last one shows the way that Geometrical Tolerance looks.


What it looks like inside of CATIA

What it looks like inside of SmarTeam with the Cimmetry Viewer
So as you see for the most part everything looks good. So if you don’t use Geometrical Tolerance and Curvilinear Dimensions then you are good to go.

So the Question of the hour is how is this done. I’m a gonna try to show you.

Well first you go inside of SmarTeam and select Tools -> Applications


Secondly select the appropriate File type. Remember not only the CATParts but the CATProducts as well.

Next you will want to select teh Embedded Viewer and then Modify.


Change it in the Viewer file extension from .CATPart.cgr To just .CATPart


Select OK and the get on with your viewin!!!

Well that is it. Have a Great Week and Happy CATIAing.

CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0741 – Searching in V5

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to the Folks in the US. Today we are going to talk about Searching. It is a very powerful tool in CATIA V5. There are a couple of ways to do the search.

The first that we are going to cover is to do it from the Command Prompt. You know that little input area located in the bottom right corner of the CATIA Window. The second is to select Edit -> Search , a shortcut to that is using the Control-F (Also a Windows Hot Key) combo. You can also ‘Save’ Searches in your Favorites and go back to them when you want to.

From the Command Prompt:
To Multi-Select from the Command prompt you just type in what you are searching for, but in a certain way. For example in the image below I want to find all of the pads in the model. There are only 2 Pad.1 and Pad.2. In the Command Prompt I type in .*pad* and select <Enter>. Notice in the image below that they are now selected.


Typing in the search string

Results after selecting <Enter>

Here are some other examples of MultiSelects:
.*plane* = All Planes
.*lin* = All Lines
.*point* = All Points
.*bod* = All Bodies
.*cur* = All Curves
.*ann* = All Annotation
and on and on and on.

From Edit -> Search and Control-F:
To use this search you get help from CATIA. This way you don’t have to remember what is the correct nomenclature for FT&A (Annotation). To start you either select Edit -> Search from the Menu’s or you can use the Windows Hot Key of Control-F (Selecting the Control Key and the ‘F’ Key at the same time).

Here you can choose what you want to search for. The popup panel allows the user to narrow down the search.


For example what if I wanted to select all the Annotation well I know that Annotation is in the Functional Tolerancing and Annotation Workbench so I can select that Workbench. This narrows down my selection to only things that are in the FT&A Workbench. As you see in the Image below you won’t find any Electrical selections just Annotation and Dimensions and there supporting elements.


Once I have chosen what I want to search for I select the binoculars. This will Select all the elements I have defined.


I then pick the ‘select’ button and all the elements are selected.


Saving a Search into my Favorites:
Once I have defined a Search I can store it in my favorites. This is done by selecting the ‘Add to Favorites…’ button


. When that is done another window pops up and allows you to name it. I called mine ANN. I select OK.


Now when I want to perform that Query I just type in f:ANN in the command prompt and my search is done.


These are also Stored in your CATSettings as SearchFavoriteQueries.CATSettings.

Who would of ever thought Searching for things would be so much fun.

Happy Searching.


PS – The latest to leave my old Company… Mike K. For those of you who don’t know Mike he was the youngest of the group and was based out of Seattle. Though he rarely came into the office, because of his traveling for the company, he was still part of it. He turned out the lights….

CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0740 – Which Third Party Viewer is right for you?

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

This weeks mailer is about viewing 3D Data along with Viewing FT&A Data with an external Viewer.

Why would you want/care to do this you may ask. Well for someone who is going to be doing bids or quotes do they really need a full blown seat of CATIA? I think not. We all know that CATIA can be fairly expensive so anything we can do to cut costs is to the advantage of all.

So what is out there. Well Dassault has a couple of products; Enovia/DMU and 3DLive Viewer. There are also a couple of 3rd party products out there as well; Cimmetry, Adobe3D, eDrawings are the ones that I know of. So here is what I have found out.

Dassault’s Product Enovia/DMU – This by far is the best one out there. You can View FT&A, Measure, Assemble, and much more. You can view/open CATParts/CATProduct/V4 Models/V4 Sessions, and with the proper plugsins (Which means more money) you can view many other CAD Platforms, as well as Step and IGES. Enovia/DMU performs just like Native CATIA. It actually looks and functions the same way. The Price Tag…. $2500 PLC along with Training someone to use it that can make this the pricest one out there.

Dassault’s Product 3DLive Viewer – This is the newest Solution offered by Dassault. It is said to beable to view FT&A data but after that I’m not sure. It is to be released with R18. There isn’t much out there on it but it seems promising and with a cost of $1000 it is far more appealing than Enovia/DMU to the average person, but, again don’t forget the training and administration.

Dassault 3DXML Viewer – It is effective in viewing just the 3D Data. No FT&A here my friends. But it does have a measure function and you can ‘Pull Apart’ assemblies. Price Free… Now I’m liking that price.

Cimmetry’s AutoVue – This viewer does the same with added features such as Marking up. This is also a favorite viewer for SmarTeam. It is awesome if you want to use it for not the latest release of CATIA as they don’t keep it coming out shortly after the release. It seems to take a while.

Adobe3D and Deep Exploration work the same. They both perform well but when you View/Migrate the Arc Dimensions they are visible and accurate but they are no longer ‘Arc’s’ but they are straight lines. The other problem with this is that we were quoted $60,000 for the server software. There is a ‘Single User’ License that is about $1000 bucks. It works the same as the Server Edition but it is one CATPart/CATProduct at a time.

eDrawings except that they seem to have a hard time releasing with the latest and greatest release fo CATIA. eDrawings i was told works but It doesn’t seem to do the ‘Arc’ Dimensions.

So here everyone sits… Wondering which way to go and right now it seems that 3DLive is the way to go if it holds up to the hype. Adobe3D would be awesome if they get there price down on the Server Edition so I’m gonna leave it up to you all. Also would love to know what everyone else is doing for this solution.

Happy CATIA’ing


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0739 – CATIA V5R18… Finally here

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Well after a much long awaited time V5R18 has finally shipped. I just wanted to address a few things that we have covered. When there is a new release I’ll probably repeat myself so if you remember this the bear with us and if you haven’t and you read this and have one of those ‘Ah Ha’ moments then this was all worth it.

1. Don’t forget the Service Pack. Service Pack 1 is available for downloading or ordering. To order it go to IBM PLM Technical Support and order it. Or you can download it here.

2. Updated your Admin CATSettings by redoing them.

3. Remove your User’s CATSettings.

4. Update your Standards

5. Remove the other Garbage that CATIA Places on your machine.

6. Reload your V5 Doc’s and read the Whats New Section.

7. Read the Program Directory.

8. Test Test Test. Always verify that your processes that are important to your way of doing business still works.

I’m sure there are a few other things out there. And if you can think of one or more ideas then hey drop me a line and I’ll add to the list.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0738 – Creating a Macro to run During CATIA Startup

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Last week we talked about Macro’s and edited the Title Block Macro that comes with CATIA. This Macro is executed inside of CATIA via the Tools -> Macro pull down. This week we are going to talk about how to execute Macros while CATIA is Starting.

First we are going to need a Macro. So to do this I’m going to use one that was passed on to me many moons ago. I’m not sure who sent it to me but it is a fun one. This Macro is very useful if you install more than one version of CATIA on your machine and don’t want to always go to the Help -> About CATIA Pull down. This Macro Places all good Info in the Title Bar of CATIA.

Basically if you have ever wondered how to get CATIA to tell you what Version it is running in an easy to find place then this will answer your prayers. Here are the Before and After Pics.


Notice the R17 addition to the Title Bar. OK the Script is as follows.

Sub CATMain()

sNames = Split(CATIA.FullName, “\”)
CATIA.Caption = Mid(CATIA.Caption, 1, 8) & ” R” & Mid(sNames(UBound(sNames) – 4), 2) & ” Brought to you by”

End Sub

Or you can download it here Script 2

Place it in a directory where it won’t go away. You can put it in the CATIA Code Directory. Warning if there are spaces in the Directory you will need to use Quotes around it.


OK so you have the Catvbs file downloaded and saved as a .catvbs file. Next you will need to modify the Shortcut on your Desktop to add the call out for the Macro. Right Click over the Icon and select Properties. Then go to the ‘Target:’ and using the arrow button then go to the “CNEXT.exe”. After the .exe add a space and the following
-macro C:\Full\Directory\Version.catvbs. Make sure you add it inside of the quotes (See Image).

Select OK and that is it. Start up CATIA and you should see RXX Brought to you by

Now isn’t that Special!!


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0737 – Modifying the Title Block Macro

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Well they have finally done it. My former employer has finally lost the last Cascade CAD/CAM employee. Jim O. left a few weeks ago and when that happened they lost one of the best Design/Demo/Instructor’s out there. Jim is someone that I admire and respect here. Some of you may have met him as he has done the Top Gun for a while. He is one of those types of guys that if he doesn’t know the answer to your question he will not only find out the answer but they who, what, where, when, and how for you.

TGS has lost on of there most valuable employees and I’m not sure if they realize it or not. In his place they have put in a couple of new employee’s that are trying, very poorly from what I have heard, to cover the calls that Jim would have answered in a few seconds. Jim will be missed. Oh and Stu, one of the top sales guys there, was let go last week. Will the last one to leave please turn out the lights…..

OK on with the Mailer. Have you ever wanted to Automate something inside of CATIA? Well to do this there are a few different levels of Programming that can be done. One way is by using VBScripting. There are a few others but this is the one that we are going to concentrate on today.

There are already a few VBScripts/Macros that we can execute inside of CATIA. The one that I would show Students in the Admin Class are the Title Block Macros. They are located in the following directory: C:\Program Files\Dassault Systems\B##\intel_a\VBScript

There are a few Macros in there but the one that we are going to play with is located in the FrameTitleBlock directory. The script is called Drawing_Titleblock_Sample1.CATScript. (Click here Script to open up script).

To execute this script you must start up CATIA and open up a CATDrawing. Then select Tools -> Macro -> Macros. In the pop up panel select the Macro libraries… Button. Then from the Pull down change your ‘Library Type from All libraries to Directories. Select the Add existing Library.. Button and then change the directory to
C:\Program Files\Dassault Systems\B##\intel_a\VBScript\FrameTitleBlock
Select Close. Now Select Drawing_Titleblock_Sample1.CATScript and select Run. Your Title Block has now been created.
We are going to make a small change to it. To do this you will need to open up the CATScript inside of the Editor. To do this you will need to go back in to the Macros Panel by selecting Tools -> Macro -> Macros. Select the Script you wish to change and select Edit. We are going to select the Drawing_Titlebloc_Sample1.CATScript. Search for DASSAULT and change the Variable Text_11 from “DASSAULT SYSTEMES” to a Company of your choosing. Then Save and Close the Macro and Run it again. Look in the Title Block and you should see the Value for the Company you put in there instead of DASSAULT SYSTEMES.

Next week I’ll put show you how to execute a Macro during the Start of CATIA.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0736 – The Character Map characters Map

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Back in the day of V4 we used to create the odd characters by using the Alt Plus a series of 3 numbers. In V5 we can use the Wingdings or others but what if we didn’t want to use a weird Font or what if we wanted to create the ±? Well I happened to look above a coworkers Monitor and saw an awesome list. Well here is the list and here is how you do it. And of course have to give the proper credit. Got the list from

ALT+Number Combinations
The Character Map characters are made by depressing either ALT key, then typing the following numbers – using the numeric keypad on the right side of keyboard. For example: ALT + 0200 = È The letter appears after the Alt key is released.



CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0735 – Changing the System Default Unit of Measurement

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

I received an email the a few weeks ago from Robbie B. His question was this “We use Enovia here and I want to know how to make the system default into Inch mode instead of Metric.”

Well the answer can be fairly simple or very complex depending on how many machines you have and if you want to set up an administrative environment. To do the Environment contact me as it is more involved and takes planning and such.

Before we continue on it would be kinda nice to know how CATIA works with Units. CATIA’s Default Model Unit is 1.0. It just so happens that 1.0 in the CATIA Model Unit is equal to 1.0 Millimeters. Is this a coincidence.. Probably not but there it is. But because CATIA is neither Metric or Standard it gives it more flexibility. Everything is multiplied by it’s value.

Here are a couple of Examples;
1 Inch = 1 CATIA Unit X 25.4
1 Foot = 1 CATIA Unit X 304.8
1 Yard = 1 CATIA Unit X 914.4
1 Millimeter = 1 CATIA Unit X 1
1 Centimeter = 1 CATIA Unit X 100
1 Meter = 1 CATIA Unit X 1000
OK so enough of that stuff. On to the Trick.

1. Don’t for get to back up your CATSettings (We have a tool to do that for sale Email me for more info)

2. Whether you are in Enovia or CATIA or Delmia select Tools -> Options

3. In the Options Panel select General -> Parameters and Measure -> Units

4. Change the Length form Millimeters to Inches

5. Select OK and you are now in Inches.

Note that even though your CATIA Model space is set to Standard if you haven’t changed your Standards then your Dimensions will come out in Metric.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0734 – Making CATIA Less of a Graphics Hog via CATSettings

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

As we all know CATIA is a Graphics Hog!!! One user came up to me the other day and stated. “When I rotate my model it Jerks around but when so and so does the same thing it is smooth. Well the first thing of course that comes to my mind is “Well you are probably working in a Large Model with a Slow machine” Well even though she was working in a large model there are a few things we can do to make it go smoother.

My Favorite thing to turn off is the Graduated Back ground. For those of you that don’t know what that is. The Graduated Background is the Background for the CATParts/CATProducts that starts as Dark at the top and gradually becomes light at the bottom. Below are the before and after of the Selection in the Tools -> Options Panel -> General -> Display -> Visualization. In the Colors Section uncheck Graduated Background.



Here are a few others that I found on the Net:

General category, Performance tab:
deactivate occlusion culling
level of details (static) = 1 to 1.2
level of details (while moving) = 10 to 11
General category, Visualization tab:
deactivate pre-select highlighting (Only use if your Performance is really bad)
deactivate the manipulation bounding box
Product category, Cache Management tab:
work with cache management
cache size = 600MB
Selecting View->Render Style->Shading to work with shading without edges will also enhance performance.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0733 – Speeding up CATIA by not starting a CATProduct

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Last week we talked about how to speed up the starting of CATIA by the licenses. Now we are going to talk about how to make it faster by preventing a CATProduct from opening up.

To do this you will need to modify the CATIA Icon. If you are ready then here we go.

1. Right click over the Icon and select Copy.


2. Paste the Icon back on to the Desktop. This will create a copy from the directory C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop to your own user desktop.


3. Again right click over the Icon but this time select Properties.


4. The Properties Panel will popup. Here you will be able to access the ‘Target’ and that is what we are going to be modifying.


5. The ‘Target’ by default looks like this;
“C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B17\intel_a\code\bin\CATSTART.exe” -run “CNEXT.exe” -env CATIA -direnv “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATEnv” -nowindow
We are going to add in one of two things;

The first is the easiest to do. At the end of the line add the following value: -object none.
“C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B17\intel_a\code\bin\CATSTART.exe” -run “CNEXT.exe” -env CATIA -direnv “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATEnv” -nowindow -object none

The Second is pretty easy but little more difficult because you have to navigate to it and ensure that you place it in the correct location. You are going to add a ‘c’ to the “CNEXT.exe” command. “C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B17\intel_a\code\bin\CATSTART.exe” -run “CNEXT.exe c” -env CATIA -direnv “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATEnv” -nowindow

Here is a Third one submitted by Brian O. It to is pretty easy but little more difficult because you have to navigate to it and ensure that you place it in the correct location. You are going to add ‘-workbench none’ to the “CNEXT.exe” command. “C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B17\intel_a\code\bin\CATSTART.exe” -run “CNEXT.exe -workbench none” -env CATIA -direnv “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATEnv” -nowindow

And Lastly you will need to edit the Environment file. To do this you are going to need to use the Environment Editor. Add the following Variable to the list CATNoStartDocument = Yes (*****REMEMBER Variables for CATIA are Case Sensitive*****)

1. Add a new Variable in the Environment Editor for your select Environment.


2. Enter the Variable CATNoStartDocument and set it’s Value to Yes.


3. Once you have selected OK right Click over the Variable and select Save then Exit the Editor.


Have fun with this.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0732 – Speeding up CATIA with License Customization

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

One of the biggest complaints that is out there for CATIA V5 is that when you ‘Double Click’ the Icon to start it up it takes FFFFFFOOOOOORRRRRRREEEEEVVVVVEEEERRRR to start. There are a few things we can do to make it go faster.

The first thing we can do is limit the number of License servers you have in your i4ls.ini file. One of the things that CATIA is doing is trying to figure out what to present to you. Different things are needed for and MD2 vs. a SL3. Also do you have any ‘Shared’ licenses that can be offered. These all need to be available for you to select. If you have more that one license server listed in the i4ls.ini file CATIA will go to each server and get a listing of what licenses are on that server and store them in it’s memory.

On that note if you can use an IP Address vs. a hostname that would take out an extra step. There by allowing CATIA to go from the client directly to the server and not having to resolve a hostname. Now I agree that this will not save mass amounts of time but it helps out.

If you use Admin Mode and lock down the license selection it will allow CATIA not to have to decide what license’s to try to make available to you.

That should help out for now. Next week we will do few more things to try to make it start faster.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0731 – Saving a V4 SolidM to V5

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Here is a quick and easy one. How to save a V4 SolidM into V5. To get it to work 100% of the time with out fail (and with out history) you Paste it as a Result. This will Blob the SOM into CATIA V5. You can still do a lot with it but you can’t change the parameters of it. Unless that is you have the FR1 license which stands for CATIA Part Design Feature Recognition 1 and is SWEET!!!.. It allows the user to make a Parametized Feature out of an isolated feature.

Pretty Groovy eh!!


PS Check out the Pictures that we took at COE and at the Last MSC Software PLM Kickoff.

CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0730 – Creating 3D Text for Engraving

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

So I got an email from someone asking how to Create 3D Text in CATIA. Well my first thought was 3D Text.. FT&A?? But I was pretty sure it wasn’t FT&A. The User was looking for a way to create actual Text in 3-D. It is also called Engraving. Well I Googled it and looked on the COE Forum and asked Joe B. how he would do it. And the answer was the following.

1. Open up the Part you want to place the text on.


2. Start up a CATDrawing. Any old Standard will work here as we aren’t going for the Dimensions here.


3. Create the Text that you want the 3-D Text to Say. Make sure that the Font and the Size are as you want it. As it is Easier to do it now that it is to try to change it later. This font is ARchitxt.


4. Save it out as an .ig2 (Iges 2D).


5. Re-Open the .ig2 file.


6. Select the Text and copy it. Notice how it has now changed and is no longer text but Lines and Curves and Splines.


7. Go back to your Part and create a Sketch on the Plane you want the Text to Reside.


8. Paste the ‘Text’ Into the Sketch.


9. Exit the Sketch and create a Pad out of the Sketch.


10. Pretty groovy eh??



CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0729 – Specification Tree Icons

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

So here is the list of Icons that I promised. Now if you have an icon that I didn’t put on there then let me know. As I’m sure this list is nowhere complete it will be added to constantly. There are quite a few of them so I broke them up the same way as the Doc’s do. Also I found all of this in the Documentation.

Product, Parts, and Components


Contextual Parts


Bodies and Part Bodies




Symbols Reflecting Miscellaneous Incidents in the Geometry Building


Symbols Reflecting Incidents on Constraints in the Geometry Building


Referenced Geometry


SMARTEAM detailed status



CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0728 – Warning regarding the New CATIA Express Bundle

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

So this week I was going to send out stuff regarding what Icon went with what CATIA Part/Product in the Spec Tree. But then V5Guy called and asked me does the New Dassault License structure ‘CATIA Express’ DP2+PD1+AS1+CD1+IG1+KE1+KT1+RT1+ST1+WS1+ID1+GDR+CC1 have Publications in it? I was like shoot I’m not sure lets find out. Well we soon found out that it doesn’t have it in there. That is a Sad thing. I did find out that to get the Publications Ability you would have to purchase the MCE as well. Now this isn’t a Huge thing but I thought this might be a good time to remind everyone that though the ‘New Configs’ (CATIA Express bundles) look really tempting make sure you aren’t crippling yourself to save a few dollars. Also just a friendly reminder TEST TEST TEST. Oh and while you are Testing.. Remove your CATSettings.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0727 – Changing the CATIA Splash Screen?

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Have you ever wanted to change the CATIA Splash Screen? I know the Dassault Default Splash Screen is so freaking cool But wouldn’t it be fun just to jazz it up a little bit.. You know add your own flavor to it. Or maybe you are a World of War Craft Player and want to show off your new Character. Or maybe you don’t want it to show at all. Well this is the email for you.

So the first thing we need to do is located the file. The Splash files are located in C:\Program Files\Dassault Systems\B##\intel_a\resources\graphic\splashscreens


There are 4 files; CATIASplash.bmp, DMUSplash.bmp, ENOVIASplash.bmp, and Install.bmp. We are going to deal with the CATIASplash.bmp. This is this the bitmap that pops up when you start CATIA. You can add anything you want to this. Just open it up into your favorite Picture editor and add the images or remove things or what not. Then save it as a bmp. I did mine in MS Paint. How does it look?? Now all i have to do is to replace the CATIASplash.bmp in the default location with this one and bingo. I now have a customized Splash Screen. Shoot you can have this one if you would like.


The last part of this email would be if you didn’t want to see it at all. Just remove the .bmp from the directory and you will be CATIASplash screen free.

Have a great week.


PS Take a look at our products they are definately growing. CATSettingsTool is now available. It allows you to back up your CATSettings and reset them to either the Default or your restore a previous backup.

CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0726 – Getting All Zero’s 00000000 in your Target ID?

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

So you talked your Manager into buying that new High Speed Low Drag Laptop so that you could run circles around your co-worker doing the CATIA thing. You have loaded CATIA onto it and all you now need is a license. So you call up your Business Partner and tell him you want to Transfer a license from the old Slow Desktop (that was High Speed and Low Drag just 6 months ago) onto this new fancy Laptop. The person on the other end of the phone tells you ok we need your Target ID. Select Start -> Programs -> CATIA -> Tools -> Nodelock Key Management. You are getting so excited about this you can hardly sit still. After a LONG minute the Nodelock Key Management Tool Opens up. You tell the support person this and they then say to you ‘Ok what is your Target ID.’ You recite back to him, ‘Oh it is an easy one, it is 00000000.’ You then hear what you think is Laughter on the other end of the phone.

The Tech Support person tells you that your Target ID is a bogus one and that we need to do a little work to fix it. Here are the steps to fix this little problem.

You need to run the Registry Editor. This can only be ran as an Administrator
Start -> Run -> Regedit <Enter>
Export your current Registry. If you make a mistake you cannot undo it. To do this select File -> Export and give it a name on the C:\
Select My Computer -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> IBM -> License Use Runtime
Select the “I4DRIVER REG_BINARY 00 00 00 00 00 00 ….” The 00’s can be numbers or letters.
Delete this Key
Exit the Registry Editor.
Start -> Run -> cmd <ENTER>
In the Command Prompt type in i4target -v (if it isn’t found then download it from the link below)
In the Command Prompt type in i4target -O (Uppercase ‘o’)
If you don’t have the i4target.exe you can get it here: i4target

If this still doesn’t work then there are a few more steps we can take to fix this. This also works to fix Target ID’s that have gone crazy and aren’t the same as they were yesterday.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0725 – Saving a CATProduct into a CATPart

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Have you ever wanted to take a CATProduct and save it as a CATPart. Well Dassault has a really groovy tool that does this for you. To access this you must be in a CATProduct. Once there you can then go into the Assembly Design Workbench.

This is where the real magic happens. Make sure that your CATProduct is your active Document. Select Tools -> Generate CATPart from Product… If your CATProduct isn’t selected then you will not be able to Select OK. If it is selected then the name will be automatically filled out with the name of the Product.

You can then decide whether you want to merge, for each part, all the bodies of each particular part into a new Body for each Part. Note this process still creates a Body for each Instance and does not combine all the Parts into One Body (though that would be awesome if that were an option). Select OK and there you are a new CATPart out of a Product.

Hope you had a Safe and Wonderful 4th of July. Have a great week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0724 – The 3D-Annotation-Query Switch On/Switch Off

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

This past week I have been teaching to our Engineer’s here how to use the FT&A Tools in CATIA V5. Honestly the only thing I knew about it when I first started to develop the materials was how to Spell it and then I would confuse it with FD&T (V4 Terminology). Well I’m happy to say that I now know more about FT&A that I ever really wanted to. One of the cool things that I discovered is part of FT&A but available with most Config’s.

The 3D-Annotation-Query Switch On/Switch Off – this little puppy when selected allows the Engineer to view what Geometry the Annotation is tied to. For example if you had a plate that had multiple holes in it but you didn’t want to create holes to save on space. So instead of creating many holes you decided to represent your holes with points. Problem is that most points look the same.

Well here is where a problem arises. You can either select different point types for the different Holes that you want to create or you can use the Text/Flagnote with Leader to define the different Holes. How do I do this you may ask yourself. Well here is how you would do that.

After placing the points in the proper location you will need to locate the Annotation Toolbar. By default the 3D-Annotation-Query Switch

On/Off is not selected. I recommend Selecting it. Once selected it will remain that way until you unselect it.

Image 1
Image 1

Secondly you will need to select the Text/Flagnote with Leader. (See Image 2) You will be prompted to ‘Select a Geometric Element or an Annotation’. Select the Geometry that you want to tie your Text/Flagnote to. For this example I am going to use Points but you can use Surfaces or Faces or what ever you desire.

Image 2
Image 2


Image 3
Image 3


 Image 4
Image 4

The Text Editor Dialog Box opens up (See Image 3) . The next step is up to you. You can either type in the appropriate text ‘or’ you can continue to select more Points (See Image 4)

If you chose to Enter the Text first then must select the Points you wish to add to your 3D-Annotation-Query. Or if you chose to select the Points before Entering the Text then do so now.

 Image 5

Image 5

Select OK and take a look at your handy work. To do this select the Text with Leader and the Points should Highlight. (See Image 5)

Now wasn’t that just neat!!! Well have a great week and thanks reading this week’s Mailer.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0723 – Preselect in Geometry View

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

What a Week… Sorry I missed last week. Few things happened one was in my control and the other wasn’t. The one that wasn’t in my control was one that will affect most of you who are a certain BP’s Customer. My old Co-Worker/Boss who is a great friend was laid off.

Those of you who know Jeff know him to be The Best CATIA Admin there is. He taught me all I know and for that I’m extremely Grateful. With out his guidance I would have never become what I am today.

So with that I will end this weekly email and get ready for next week mailer. If you would like to contact Jeff his email is

Oh the Tip. The CATSetting ‘Preselect in geometry view’ is found under General -> Display -> Navigation -> Selection. It is a great tool and if it is unselected then you do not have the ability to ‘Preselect’ any geometry (See image below). My recommendation on this one is leave it checked. And if it isn’t checked then make it so.


Notice that the Hole ‘Highlights’ as the mouse passes over it.

Until Next week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0722 – Recovering the Specification Tree

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Have you ever noticed that your Specification Tree can be turned off? Probably you have but just to let you know how to do that you would either select View -> Specifications and uncheck that or you can just select ‘F3’. It is very convenient to turn it off. It gives you more workspace and well if it gets to be to long or to big then it just crowds your model.

The problem with being able to turn on and off and manipulate the Spec Tree is this. Sometimes it just ‘Disappears’. It is there but you can’t see it or you have minimized it and it is out of reach. How do you fix it?

There are a few ways to fix this.

1. Make sure the Spec tree is on by selecting View -> Specifications and ensure that it is Checked On.

2. If it is On try this. Make the Spec Tree active. To do this you will need to turn off the Geometry by selecting View -> Geometry. This will uncheck it. Then select ‘Fit all In’. This should Bring the Spec Tree from the unknown.


3. Same as 2 only select the XYZ Reference Axis in the lower right corner. This will under intensify your Geometry making the Spec Tree Active. Then select ‘Fit all In’. This should Bring the Spec Tree from the unknown.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0721 – Service Packs!!! What one to load and why?

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

The weather here in Seattle has been the type of weather that makes living through the 7 Days of no power in December so worth it. But that is not why I’m sending this out. I was pondering what to write about this week and it hit me. How about Service Packs!!! What one to load and why? So that is what I’m going to write about.

1st thing I’ll try to explain is what is a service pack. Most of you know what that is so you can just kind of skim over this. To the less informed here it is. When Dassault releases a version of CATIA they try to test it as much as possible. But as with most everything in our Have it NOW society there are bugs. So we have service packs.

Most times DS releases the Service Pack before the Code is available. The reason for this is that they have already packaged CATIA up for the General Public, or General Availability (GA), and are getting the boxes ready to ship. Service Pack are available to the CATIA Public on line at the IBM/CATIA Site. You can order them via CD from there or Download them.

So now the question is this. Which Service Pack should you install? Well if you are a supplier to a company that requires you to use CATIA and (this is the important part) have to send Data to them then you should no NEED to stay at the level that they require. For Example a Large Aircraft Company in the Seattle area is at V5R17 Service Pack 1 Hotfix 10. (Hotfixes are customer specific fixes) So that means that if you are a this Companies Supplier then you NEED to be on V5R17 Service Pack 1 Hotfix 10. If you are not then there is a strong chance you will not be able to view there data if you are on an earlier release. If you are on a later release then when you send the Data back to them. Now if you only receive data from them and never send Data back to them then you can be on the latest release you wish.

So that leads to this subject. What if you do received any data from someone or you send data out to companies to get work done. You then have the option to be on any release you wish. So here is my recommendation. Stick to the latest release of CATIA (Right now that is R17) but test the latest service pack before committing it. Ensure that the processes that your company relies upon stay intact with the release and also ask around. Look on the COE Forum. Email your Business Partner. Ask an Application Engineer what they are using. Look on the IBM/CATIA Supplier list to see who is using what. But most importantly Test it. Once you have decided that you are able to work with the release that you have then and only then distribute it to your user pool.

One last thing to mention before I sign off for the week is this. Never ever ever use the GA Code with out a Service Pack. It is just to Buggy.

Well thanks for reading and have a great week. Till next week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0720 – Creating a Bill of Materials

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

This week we are going to talk about how to create a Bill of Materials in CATIA. We’ll call it BOM for short.

First well answer the question what is a Bill of Material? Well my friend this is what wikipedia says “A bill of materials or bill of material (abbreviated “BOM“) describes a product in terms of its assemblies, sub-assemblies, and basic parts. Basically consisting of a list of parts, a BOM is an essential part of the design and manufacture of any product.” But the Question remains… How do we create it from a Product in CATIA? Well first we have to have the Assembly.

Open up your CATProduct and make sure that the top most Product is selected.


Then select Analyze -> Bill of Materials


Doing this will open up the Bill Of Material Panel. Inside of this panel you will notice that the top part is a detailed list of what parts are in the assembly as well as the type of part/product the nomenclature, part number quantity and revision.


This is what we are going for. But lets say we also wanted to see any comments that may be added to the parts. Well then to view those we need to select Define Formats and the window below pop’s up.


To add things around you select the column on the right and select the arrow pointing to the right. To remove things select it from the column on the left and then select the arrow pointing to the left.

To reorder the Displayed Properties you will need to select the Property and then select the bottom Icon.


Once you have gotten your Display Properties the way you want them to be you then can save it out a few different ways. You can save it as a Text file, a Excel file or an HTML file. Снимок экрана 2016-02-21 в 22.21.21

To input the BOM into a CATDrawing all you have to do is select Insert -> Generation -> BIll of Material and then select where you want to place it.


Well thanks for reading and have a great week. Till next week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0719 – Part Feature Recognition vs MULTICAX

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

I got a call the other day from somebody off of my website. The question was this. Does CATIA have something that will convert native SolidWorks directly into CATIA. The answer is yes there is, but when I tested it a few years ago I didn’t like it. It was inconsistent and well it was a pain to get working.

My recommendation to him was to call his Business Partner and get a Quote for a Step License and Part Feature Recognition license. The Step license will not restrict him to just a SolidWorks file but to any format where they can receive Step from. And the Part Feature Recognition is a pretty groovy piece of software. It allows you to give parameters to an isolated solid. Here I’ll let DS give there Marketing schpeill. FR1.


Sent in by Todd C.

“I hope all is going well for you.

I thought you might like to know that we tested the both the Step license and FormatWorks only to find that we had better luck with our Elysium software. In testing some of our compound surfaced parts, both Step and FormatWorks failed more frequently. We still have a few that can trip up Elysium, but a nice report is generated telling you where the problem is. It is usually a fillet that needs to be suppressed and then reapplied once in CATIA (i.e. a .500″ fillet in SolidWorks might need to be defined as .4995″ in CATIA).

Take care,


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0718 – License not added: Driver not running

CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0718

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

Whoa has it already been 2 weeks. Sorry about this. I was suppose to send this the week after COE. Well COE was COE. I saw a lot of folks that I haven’t seen in a LONG time. And got some good info. One thing that I learned had to do with Offline Concurrent Licensing and that is what I’m going to talk about.

When we first started using Offline Concurrent Licensing it was a true blessing for both me and everyone else. For me I didn’t have to get Temporary licenses for people anymore. Everyone else liked it because they didn’t have to purchase a separate license or tie there existing license to a laptop.

Things were wonderful. Life was good. My days went by so much easier. And then it happened. One of our customers called and said hey I can’t check out a license. I can see the license but when I select Extract I get the following error ‘License not added: Driver not running’.

Customers called me and asked how do i fix this? I was like I have no idea… but now i have an answer, and it isn’t to remove CATIA and reinstall it.

CATIA is installed with enough LUM to recognize a Nodelock Key and to know that if there is an i4ls.ini file in the proper directory then to look at the server that is called out in it for the License. Well to extract an Offline License a LUM Driver needs to be running. So what has happened is that the driver isn’t running for some reason or another. Restarting your machine won’t start it. Removing and reinstalling CATIA typically doesn’t fix it. Installing LUM and configuring it as a server doesn’t work either. The one tried and true method to get it to work is to reinstall your entire machine. But that isn’t very practical.

So you are asking yourself OK Jon what is the answer. Well my fellow CATIAHotline PLM’er.. here is the answer. Open up a command prompt and go to your CATIA install directory. I’m using R17 on my laptop so the path for me would be C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B16\intel_a. Secondly change directory into the reffiles directory. In here you will find the following files; lumdevdi.exe and LUMDriver.sys. You will need to execute the lumdevdi.exe from the command prompt. Give it the old college try. If this works then you are done. If this doesn’t work then you will need to contact IBM and they will send you instructions to try next.


Another trick to try. Jim S. Sent this to me.

You send a weekly email a few weeks ago about not being able to reserve an offline license.
You made a suggestion on how to fix it and if that didn’t work you recommended calling IBM.

I was one of those that it didn’t work on and I called, called and recalled various IBM braches who wouldn’t do much for me because we didn’t have a contract number. Most people I talked to didn’t even know what LUM was?

Luckily I know a few people at IBM and they put me in contact with someone who had a fix.

The first one they sent was the same as yours.

When that didn’t work they sent me another one that did.

I’m attaching it for your readers who may also be having this problem.”

Here is the file to download: Lum_Fixer.

Thanks for this Jim.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0717 – CATDUAV5 revisited

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

CATDUAV5 and an alternate way to run it.

As I have stated in the past CATDUAV5 should be ran pretty much when ever you can. The more you run it the more it helps you later on. If you have never ran it and decide to run for the first time you may realize that there are many errors in your part. People there for decide not to run it for this reason. My thoughts on this are this. Not running CATDUAV5 because you are worried there may be a problem is like not going to the doctors when you have a pain because you are afraid he will tell you something is wrong. It is just plain silly.

I again recommend running CATDUAV5 all the time. Because this is such a Huge subject I’m going to re-address it.

When to use it?? Well as often as you can. Basically DS recommends doing it all the time. I’m a firm believer in it now. I recommended it before I came back into the Engineering world and I support it way more now. I don’t believe it gets ran enough.

Why to use it?? To find small problems before they become HUGE problems.

How to Use it?? First take the files that you wish to run CATDUAV5 on and save them into a folder.

Secondly inside of CATIA Select Tools -> Utilities.


Next Double-Click on the CATDUAV5


Change it from Check to Clean


Select your input files. If you are going to ‘Clean’ a Product make sure you check Pointed to Documents before you select the CATProduct.


Select Member to pick the appropriate files. If you want to replace the existing files with the clean ones then check the box that says ‘Keep in same Location’ and Over Right Existing files


Select OK and Run. You will get a report to look at to ensure that it was completed. Remember to run this till you have no errors.

See you at COE


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0716 – Registering the OLE Link for CATIA

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

When I double click on a CATPart or Product CATIA Doesn’t Start??

What has happened is the OLE Link has been broken. This can happen for many reasons. One being you have installed R16 and then removed R15. Windows remembers that R15 was removed and removes the association that says .CATPart, .CATProduct, blah blah blah is a file that when double clicked on it starts with CATIA. Well if you are having this issue here is the answer to your prayers.

First Start a Command Prompt. Second, change directories to the intel_a/code/bin directory of your CATIA install folder. Lastly type in the following CNEXT.exe /regserver and select <Enter>. If that was hard to follow then take a look at the image below.


Well that is it for this week. Happy CATIA’ing…


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0715 – Showing all the Font Sizes in the Pull Down

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

What happened to all the different Text Font Sizes??

Font Size is what this email is about but before I get into it. I just wanted to say that the intent of last weeks email wasn’t to speak badly of any Application Engineer’s or Sales Reps, but to let you know that this years COE looks loads better than the one I went to. My good friend brought this to my attention so with that I wanted to let everyone know that. So on with the Email.

Right around R14 Dassault decided for some reason or another to round off the values for the text height. Why they would do that I’m not sure but they did. But here is the 2 step process to follow to correct this. Now do be aware that this is a CATSetting. So if you want to always see this you will need to restore your ‘Good’ CATSettings and then back them up after you have modified the Font Size to your liking.

First you will need to select the Text Icon.This makes it active so that you can modify it. Next move your cursor to the Graphics Property


As you can see the Pull down menu for the Font Size is now editable.. But the issue remains It is 0.01. Now we all know that is incorrect.


You can see for yourself in this picture that we don’t have 2 fonts at 0.01 in.. Well we may but I’m fairly certian that we don’t.


When your right click over the Font Size area a menu will pop up. You will need to go to the very bottom of the menu selecting the arrows at the bottom to extend past the Message Log. Here you will find the Set Text width and Set precision menu selections.


The first thing we will do is set the text width. This tells CATIA to make the trailing Zeros more than 2 numbers. You can set it to what ever you want to but for the purpose of this Mailer I chose 5 spaces.


The next one is the important one. Where the ‘Set text width’ tells CATIA how many spaces to show after the decimal the ‘Set precision’ tells CATIA how precise we want to see it. For example if you left the precision at 2 but had the width set to 5 you would see for the first font size 0.01000 in instead of 0.00984 in.


As you can see now we can tell what the Font Sizes are.


Till Next week.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0714 – COE Baby

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

COE BABY… it is right around the corner, and because I’m not with The Company that I won’t mention here I get to go.

What is COE and why is the conference a good thing to go to?

Well I’ll tell you what my experience is….
I went to the COE here in Seattle. It was truly a CATIA Geek paradise. You got to put a face to the name. Meet the industry leaders. Network with people who have similar problems. Take quick classes. Listen to presentations by real-people that have solved real-problems and not just a Business Partner’s Application Engineer that says what the Sales Reps say. But don’t sell the Sales Reps short as they have an expense budget just for this event and if you like to go out after wards and let them schmooze you then hook up with one and Bam you are partying it on down the strip.

OK So I went to there site and well instead of rewriting what is already done (and I’m not a marketing guy) I’ll just add the link for there site and leave it at that.

Oh shoot I almost forgot.. 2 great reasons to go. No. 2 reason you get to meet me as like I said above I get to go this year and the No. 1 reason to go to COE this year. It is in Vegas Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0713 – On Those Pesky Toolbars that Disappear

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

On Those Pesky Toolbars that Disappear.

Suppose that one day you want to project a 3D line onto a sketch. You first look for the Project Icon and find that it isn’t there. You say to yourself, “Hmm… It must be turned off.” You right click over the toolbar area and discover that it is, in fact, checked. You assume, based on prior experience, that it must be hidden at the bottom. You then drag every toolbar out of its ‘Parking’ place and still you are at a loss as to where it is. Are you losing your mind? Have you forgotten how to correctly view the toolbars in the first place? And most importantly, what do you do?

What has happened is a bug in CATIA where when you ‘X’ out a toolbar it just goes away, never to return again. There is no need to adjust your medication (at least not based solely on this phenomenon). You can solve this issue in several ways, with the first being to remove all of your CATSettings. This can be a pain, however, as it will remove ALL of your configured options. (See: How to remove CATSettings) If you backed up your CATSettings after making your needed customizations, you

Customize is located towards the bottom.
Customize is located towards the bottom.

can simply restore them. (See: How to restore backed up Settings). There is also a third way, which does not involve directly manipulating your stored settings. While simple to implement, this option can lead to other issues. (Although not as drastic as removing all of your settings.) Right click over the toolbar anywhere and select ‘Customize’. You can also select ‘Tools -> Customize’ and it will take you to the same place. You will be presented with the Customize Window. Here you can do a lot of different customizations, one of the most popular being to set what pops up in the Start Menu, making it quicker for you to jump into the Toolbench you wish to use. This is also the menu you would use to create custom commands. There are a few others but the one that we are going to concentrate on is the Toolbars Panel. Here is where we can reset all our toolbars in just two easy steps. Select Restore all contents, and then select OK. This will return all Toolbars to on, bringing back from the unknown the toolbars that have been displaced. The next step in our little quest is to

select Restore position and then select OK. This will return all of the Toolbars to the CATIA Default position. Now be aware that this is the ‘CATIA’ Default, your Default. This means that if you have developed a toolbar in an ‘Admin’ Environment you will lose that toolbar. This is the only draw back of this fix, and it can be quite annoying as it requires repositioning everything by hand. Now in a perfect world this wouldn’t happen, but as we live in a CATIA World we are sometimes stuck with work arounds such as this. This is just one more reason why it is critical to back up your CATSettings. If you spend hours worth of your time customizing CATIA to look and feel a way that you want, please back up your settings.

It is an easy thing to do, and you can even go so far as to start each day new… That and a Good cup of Coffee will make everything right in the world… (until, of course, the next bug hits).

CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0712 – Reordering CATDrawing Sheets

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

When Dassault Created V5 it was under the impression that Drafting was on its way out and Model Based Definition was on its way in. So with that in mind Dassault didn’t put a lot of effort into the Drafting functionality until later on in the release process.

With that in mind there are lots of issues that Dassault has overcome to make the Drafting package as robust as they can. Though they have accomplished a lot there seems to be some things that seem to have been left out. But they are improving on it every day.

So with that out of the way on to the tip / trick for this week. How do I reorder the Drawing Sheets once I have created them?

Answer is Cut and Paste. Right Click over the sheet that you want to reorder and select Cut and then right Click over the Drawing Name and select Paste. This will ‘ReOrder’ the sheet to the bottom of the list.

Try it out and see if you can get the hang of it once you get going on it it is fairly easy.

I asked one time why they don’t allow drag and drop. I was told that they couldn’t do it on Unix and they wanted CATIA to behave the same on both the Windows and the Unix Platform so they didn’t allow it on the Windows Platform.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0711 – Cleaning up the other garbage CATIA puts on your machine

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

A few weeks ago we discussed removing the CATSettings and why we do it and how to back them up. If you don’t remember you can read about it here. This week we are going to talk about the other stuff CATIA dumps on your machine.

In the Environment file there are 3 other ‘Temporary’ locations that are constantly dumped into beside the CATUserSettingPath (the CATSettings Folder). They are as follows;

CATTemp – This folder is where the Temporary Settings such as Roll and Save, Screen Dumps, XML, etc… are stored.
CATErrorLog – The location for the Error Log.
CATReport – Any reports that CATIA creates will be defaulted here.
There are 2 other locations that are not defined in the Environment file. The are the CATCache Location and the C:\Temp Directory.

CATCache – This location is where CATIA Stores your local Cache. This created by using the Visualization Mode and/or by using the Caching feature in the Product Structure using the DMN License.
C:\Temp – This is a directory that is the depository for all miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t get dumped into the other Locations that are defined already. Seems a little redundant but hey I’m not a programmer and I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation for it. Though i did say it wasn’t defined in the Environment file it is but it is called DSKEY_TEMP so it isn’t defined very well.
The CATCache location by Default is C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Local Settings\Dassault Systemes\CATCache.

The CATTemp location by Default is C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Local Settings\Dassault Systemes\CATTemp.

The CATErrorLog location by Default is C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Local Settings\Dassault Systemes\CATTemp\error.log.

The CATReport location by Default is C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Local Settings\Dassault Systemes\CATReport.

Oh and C:\Temp or the DSKEY_TEMP ….. Well it is located in C:\Temp

Now that you know about these locations you can more readily remove them. I advise removing them at the same time as you do the CATSettings as they to get messed up. So just to recap. Remove these when ever you feel like it. But more frequently that you have in the past.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0710 – How to use the CATIA Documentation and what happened to the PDF’s Part 3

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

CATIA Documentation Part 3

So last week we got into the second part of this series; accessing the CATIA Doc’s once they are installed, sharing them with your coworkers, and other software that is needed to ensure that your installation is usable by not only you but by all.

Just a recap of what we laid out last week. We are done with No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 now on with No. 4.

1. Getting the Software and installing it.
2. Once it is installed how to share it and what is the Ideal way to do it and what I have gotten to work.
3. Any additional Software that is needed to make it work
4. Using the Doc’s using the Search and the Printing capabilities and what happened to the PDF’s.

Using the Doc’s.
The CATIA Documentation is very intuitive. It gives you many examples on which you can learn the functionality of CATIA V5. So lets say you want to know how to us some function in CATIA. Well if you are in the middle of that function inside of CATIA you can select F1 (If that doesn’t work then refer back to last week’s email). Or you can open up the documentation and start at the home page. There are 2 parts to the Documentation. One is the user interface,
this is the one that the majority of you will use all the time. Then there is the Automation side. This will be used by some of you the majority of the time. If you are unaware as to what it is then you are with the Majority not the Minority.

Let us assume that you are getting very savy with CATIA V5, but you need some assistance in creating a background view in Drafting. Well you know that the background view is in the Generative Drafting toolset so all you need to do is access that toolset in the doc’s and then look through the list until you find something that pertains to the Background View.


You can select the Binoculars at the top of the screen. This will take you to the Search page. Then you can type in the Keywords that you wish to search for and see if you can narrow it down.

The Printing Capabilities and what happened to the PDF’s

I’m going to answer the latter first then the first later. The PDF’s were an extra CD so Dassault decided that instead of sending out the Doc’s with the PDF’s they would enhance the capabilities of the Printing feature inside of the CATIA Documentation. You can Now print off the entire page and it’s direct links by selecting the Print button. This will not go past the first link.

One last thing is that if you hit F1 and the subject that you are wanting information on is not mapped then it goes to the ‘Selecting Objects’ window.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0709 -Configuring The CATIA Documentation and Additional Software Needed Part 2

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

A few things to cover before diving into the CATIA Doc’s Part 2. We are finally live on the Web. To quote Chris W. who has been very helpful in setting this up, “BAM! We’re up…”
I am going to set up a link from the blog page to it so that site won’t be monitored anymore.

As always I’m open to suggestions. So on with the Doc’s…

CATIA Documentation Part 2

So last week we got into the first part of this series; the grooviness of the CATIA/Enovia Documentation, how and where to get them, and installing the CATIA Documentation. This week we are going to focus on three things; accessing it once it is installed, sharing it with your coworkers, and other software that is needed to ensure that your installation is usable by not only you but by all.

Just a recap of what we sent out last week. We are done with No. 1 and onto No 2 and No 3.
1. Getting the Software and installing it.
2. Once it is installed how to share it and what is the Ideal way to do it and what I have gotten to work.
3. Any additional Software that is needed to make it work
4. Using the Doc’s using the Search and the Printing capabilities and what happened to the PDF’s.

Accessing the CATIA Documentation, both inside of CATIA and outside of it.
So you have installed the documentation and are eagerly wanting to learn CATIA using them. Well my fellow PLM’er you aren’t that
far away from becoming a CATIA Expert. If you installed the CATIA Documentation when you installed CATIA it should work out of the box with out any additional work from you. But if you installed it Post installation then we have a few things to accomplish to ensure that it works. One way I will cover in this email and the other way will be covered in a later email that will deal with the Environment file.

If you installed the Doc’s when you installed CATIA you should only have to select Help -> CATIA V5 Help or you may just push F1. Either way will start your CATIA Session will start up in your the Browser that you have chosen as your default browser and inside of it will be your CATIA Doc’s. (This would be a good time to mention that the Doc’s can be used in both Internet Explorer and Mozilla.) Not only will it start it up in your browser with out any assistance from you but it will start up accessing the very function that is active in your CATIA/Enovia Session. For example if you have selected the Hide/Show Icon and need to know how to do that. Select F1 and your CATIA Session will start up explaining how to Swap visible space and to place geometry into it. In most help pages you will be given examples and a step by step for using that application. Pretty cool huh?

Now lets say that you didn’t install the Doc’s after you installed CATIA. Well if that is the case then when you select F1 or Help -> CATIA V5 Help what will happen is that CATIA will Pop up an window called ‘Doc Installation Path’ basically saying ‘Where are the Doc’s?” It will give you the opportunity to point your CATIA Session to the appropriate directory by giving you a file manager to surf to your location. To access them just surf to the location that you installed them at. The default is C:\Program Files\Dassault Systems\BXXDoc. Then select OK and try to start the Doc’s again.

Now if that doesn’t work (Which believe it or not Sometimes things inside of CATIA don’t work the way they are suppose to) the other thing to try is inside of the CATIA CATSettings. You can access the CATSettings by select Tools -> Options inside CATIA. Select the General Work bench -> Help. This will open up the panel where you can either type in the path or you can select the Folder icon and surf to it and set it. Make sure that you enter the path up to the English Directory. (Issues with the CATSettings Click here for that email)

How to share it.
So if you have installed the Doc’s vs. just reading this and the previous email and are now at this point then you know how long it takes to load them. Well how about installing them on multiple machines? I thought not. So the next best thing would be to share them. Well there are a few different ways to do this as well. You can share them via NFS or using http. Using Windows you can share it with NFS by right clicking over the folder and selecting sharing. Using the same method you can share them via http but to do that you must install IIS. With Unix you can share to other Unix machines using NFS or http. For http it is best to use Apache. If you want to share them with NFS to another UNIX machine that is built in. But you must use Samba to share them via NFS to a windows
machine. I have found that with the scripts that are used and need to be executed that using NFS is the better of the 2 methods.

Additional Software.
To run the CATIA Documentation on your PC you will need one of the following browers;
Microsoft Internet Explorer at a minimum level of 6.0 (Click here for the lastest IE)
Mozilla 1.7 with Java plug in installed. (Click here for the lastest Mozilla)
In addition to a Java-enabled Web browser, Java Plug-in at level 1.4 is required to search online documentation. (Click here for the lastest Java)

Next week is last in this series for the CATIA Online Doc’s. We will be talking about using them, searching in them and printing them off.

Oh and as always if you want to be removed from the list then let me know or if you know of someone who would benefit from these then let them know to let me know so that then they can know.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0708 -Getting and Installing The CATIA Documentation Part 1

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er,

CATIA Documentation Part 1

Ah such a huge part of what has made CATIA V5 better than V4. The Doc’s are filled with so much information that a user can teach themselves to use CATIA/Enovia with just the doc’s. A few of my former co-workers taught and still do teach themselves on how to use CATIA just by using the documentation. There are a few things that we need to cover to make sure that you can use the CATIA Documentation to its fullest. We are going to break this up into a 2-3 part email so as to not over load you with information.

Getting the Software and installing it.
Once it is installed how to share it and what is the Ideal way to do it and what I have gotten to work.
Any additional Software that is needed to make it work
Using the Doc’s using the Search and the Printing capabilities and what happened to the PDF’s.
Getting the Software and installing it.

The CATIA Documentation is always shipped with the CATIA Code. But, what if you didn’t get shipped the code but rather downloaded it from a server at your office, had your Business Partner burn a CD and it shipped to you, or you got it some other way? So you were able to get to code but the question is now how do you get the Doc’s? Because the Doc’s contain so much information they are HUGE and downloading them is not practical. The CATIA V5R17 is being shipped on 4 CD’s, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in site for them to get any smaller. So back to the original question, how do you get them? Well the easiest way to do it is to order them via the IBM Techsupport Website. (Click here for the email concerning that) If you have already signed up as an IBM Registered User for PLM Technical Support you may click here to order them. . If you haven’t registered I would recommend doing it but for now you may just need to contact your business partner.

Dassault Systemes releases Service pack Documentation. It has been said that they will release 3 versions of the doc’s; General Availability (GA), Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 4. I have personally only seen GA and Service Pack 2. The bummer for the Doc’s is that unlike the Code Service Pack there is no Delta – meaning that you must remove and completely reinstall the Documentation.

Installing the doc’s is very easy to do. But like all things CATIA there are a few different ways to do it. When installing the Doc’s the very, very, very first thing to do is to turn off any virus scan software or monitoring software. The Doc’s take a LONG time to load and will take even longer if every script/html/file is scanned during the loading process.

The first and most obvious way to install them is to do it at the same time you install CATIA/Enovia. There is a check box asking you if you would like to install the Documentation after installing the Code. If you check yes the Installer will prompt you to insert CD 1 of 4 for the Documentation after the Code has been unloaded and continue on till all 4 have been loaded.


If are installing it after the Code has been installed or you are installing it on a machine without CATIA installed on it you insert CD 1 and if the auto run doesn’t start up then you will need to execute the Setup .exe on the CD.

Either way you will need to follow the prompts. You will be asked to select the Documents you wish to install. Dassault has added a feature to the installation to auto select the products you have installed there fore reducing the amount of space used. My recommendation is to install all the materials. You will never know when you want to find out about how to set the XXX on a Surface.


You can copy all the contents of all the CD’s into one folder, for example C:\V5Docs. Then you must delete the index files C:\V5dDocs\online\CATIA_INDEXFile.DSidx and C:\V5Docs\online\CATIA_INDEXFile.SOLidx. Then copy the following files to replace the ones that were deleted. C:\B17doc\onlineCATIA_INDEXFile.DSall to C:\B17doc\online\CATIA_INDEXFile.DSidx and C:\B17doc\online\CATIA_INDEXFile.SOLall to C:\B17doc\online\CATIA_INDEXFile.SOLidx

Please be aware that if you cancel the first 2 installations at anytime the installer will REMOVE all the files that have been placed on the machine.

Next week More about the CATIA Doc’s


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.


CATIA PLM Weekly Email 0701 – IBM PLM Technical Support Web Site

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er

Information regarding the IBM PLM Technical Support Web Site.

This is an IBM web site designed to help you (the CATIA/Enovia customers) with your PLM Software. There are lots of things that are covered on this site including:

Service Packs – Downloading and ordering them
Hotfixes – Downloading them.
Software needed to run CATIA/Enovia – LUM, Fortran
Problem Search Database
Program Directories
Software/Hardware Requirements for both V4 and V5.
Announcements – End of Support dates, Software and Hardware updates
Flashes – tell about when a service pack is available
To access many of the features of the IBM PLM Technical Support Web Site, you need to register yourself as a CATIA/Enovia Customer. To do this you will need your 7 Digit IBM Customer Number. Call us if you do not know your IBM Customer Number.

Register with IBM (General registration). Select here to do that:
Register to IBM for CATIA/Enovia Support (Specific registration :
Here is where you will need your IBM Customer Number enter it and select OK

IBM may need more time to process your request. Your request will be processed and you will receive a confirmation.
Once you receive confirmation you will start to get emails from IBM stating when service packs are available and you will then be able to download them and order them just by selecting them from a list.
For more information regarding the IBM PLM Technical Support Web Site, contact us.

Trial Weekly Email 0602 – Reading the Minimal Version inside of the CATIA File

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er

CATIA V5 / Enovia DMU – Version, Release, Service Pack, Hotfix issue

Three facts regarding CATIA V5 / Enovia DMU, and the Version, Release, Service Pack, Hotfix issue.

Typically, CATIA V5 data cannot be read in an earlier version of CATIA V5, or Enovia DMU V5.
Every year, there are at least two “release” levels, many service packs, and many hotfixess offered for CATIA V5, and Enovia DMU V5.
There is no “standard” version for companies developing CATIA V5 data; therefore it seems that no two companies are operating in the same version of CATIA V5.
All of this complexity can be remedied by installing the very latest version of CATIA V5 / Enovia DMU, keeping up to date on the latest service packs, and hotfixes as well. However, if your company has chosen a “standard” version of CATIA V5 / Enovia DMU, or if you absolutely need to stay in sync with the people you need to share data with, then the this issue really becomes a software management problem.

How do we know what Version, Release, Service Pack, and Hotfix is required to read the CATIA V5 data sent to you: We have found an easy way to get that information. Simply open the CATIA file inside of your favorite Word Processor, and search for the “Minimal” Version To Read.

Step 1. Start up your word processor. (Notepad, WordPad, Word, StarOffice, etc.)

Step 2. Select File -> Open

Step 3. Surf to the CATIA File and select Open. Hint you may need to change it from Text files to All Files

Step 2. Select Edit -> Find

Step 3. Type in ‘Minimal’ (minus the quotes) and select Go.

My search showed the following after the words MinimalVersionToRead CATIAV5R14 .

We have found this works on all .CATPart, and CATProduct files … other CATIA V5 data types would need to be tested.

Trial Weekly Email 0601 – CATDUAV5

Attn: CATIAHotline PLM’er

In our pursuit to constantly meet or exceed our customer’s expectations, we are doing a trial of a weekly email for you, our valued customers. Each email will contain Tips and Techniques regarding your Dassault Systemes Software.

First Tip:


This is a tool that not many use to the extent it was created for. For those of you that used V4 this is the V5 equivalent of the /cln or CATCLN utility from V4. Dassault recommends running this:
before recovering external data
before going into a new CATIA Release
To ?recover? broken links when opening CATProduct incidents
when updating a component
many other uses …
So basically you should run this quite often. You can access CATDUAV5 from inside of CATIA, Select Tools -> Utilities then select CATDUAV5, or you can access it outside of CATIA by selecting START / All Programs / CATIA / Tools / Batch Management.

Please remember, we are here to support your installation, administration and usage of Dassault PLM products. Support Engineers for CATIA, Enovia DMU, Smarteam, and many other software products are available to assist you. To review the status of your support contract, contact us at the phone number or email address below, or speak with your sales representative.