Accessing the Online Help Library


This task explains how to access the online help library.

The Version 5 documentation is totally Web oriented, using HTML, GIF and JPEG standard formats, allowing easy access and navigation using a standard Web browser. Navigation aids includes full text searching and a framed layout allowing a direct access from the table of contents to the information.

The online help library can be installed either at the same a time as you install the code, or later after the code has been installed.

For detailed information about the former, refer to "Installing the Online Documentation" in Unloading Your Product Code on Windows, and for the latter, refer to Installing the Online Documentation After Installing the Software (Windows and UNIX).

  1. Select Help > Contents, Index and Search.

The welcome page of the Version 5 online help library is displayed:

If you installed the online documentation in the default location, the welcome page will be displayed immediately. If you installed the online documentation elsewhere, you must first update the CATDocView variable in your environment to reference the environment containing the online documentation.
If you do not reset the CATDocView variable, a dialog box will prompt you to specify the location:
  • if you installed the online documentation locally on your computer, you can specify a path like this, for example, on Windows:


    where "online_doc_folder" is the name of the folder in which you installed the online documentation.

  • if you installed it elsewhere on the network, you must first map the appropriate network drive before starting a session, then specify a path as above when prompted.

Via the Tools->Options command, in the General category, select the Help tab. The Location field for the CATIA Documentation Location option displays the path of the folder in which the online documentation is installed. The path is the same path you entered when installing the online documentation: the path displays the value of the CATDocView environment variable.

When there are no settings, the value for the CATDocView variable is not displayed in the Location field, but in the directory chooser accessible by clicking the Path(s) selection icon.

When you request help using the Help->Contents, Index and Search command (or press the F1 key for contextual help), the online documentation may not be displayed. This may be because the online documentation may have been physically moved to another location. If the online documentation is not found, the following dialog box appears:


Browse to select the online documentation location. Selecting the location updates the Location field for the CATIA Documentation Location option, in the Help tab accessible via the Tools->Options command.

Note: You can also type the location in the Location field for the CATIA Documentation Location  option. You must enter the real location; otherwise, the path you enter will be ignored.

Note that UNC (Universal Naming Convention) names on Windows is allowed. For example, you can specify the following path type:


  1. Point to the different icons to the left to display the icons for the corresponding online users guides, then click on the icon of your choice to access the documentation.

  1. Click the Infrastructure icon to get familiar with Version 5 fundamentals, or the icon for the workbench you need information about.

In each case, the information you require is displayed in a framed layout:

  1. Select the Home button to return to the home page.

When the Home page is displayed, it provides access to the following:

  • the full online documentation library
  • the Search button to perform a full text search throughout the online library: for more information about searching, refer to Searching the Online Help Library
  • the Conventions page
  • the Trademarks and Copyrights page.

When a specific online book is open, the Home page also provides access to the online documentation Print icon.


Printing Online Documentation

Located in the banner of the Home page, the Print icon:

provides access to the print engine allowing comfortable document previewing and printing.

When an online document is open, selecting this icon opens a separate preview window. The print engine retrieves not only the page you are currently viewing, but also the pages to which the current page is linked (down to the first level only). The print engine then previews them together in the print window using a custom-built style sheet providing a much more comfortable layout than that provided by the preview command of your browser.

The print engine is all the more useful since documentation in PDF format is no longer delivered.

To print online documentation:
  1. Open the online documentation page that you want to print.
    For example, the What`s New? page:


  2. Click on the Print icon.
    The What`s New? page is displayed in a separate preview window:

    along with the Print dialog box of your browser:

    Resizing the preview window also alters the layout of the current page.

  3. Before printing the document, make sure that the text and images are not truncated.

    Text and images may be truncated because the print margins controlled by your browser may not be set appropriately. To reset the margins if necessary, use the print preview command of your browser. For example, for Internet Explorer 6, select File-> Page Setup..., or File-> Print Preview... to access the preview window, then the Page Setup icon:

    set the margins to 0, and make sure that no information is truncated. You can also, of course, use the other functions in the Page Setup dialog box.

  4. Once the margins have been set correctly, use the Print dialog box to print the document.