About Settings

Types of Data Created by Version 5

Version 5 creates two types of data:
  • application data contained in the documents you create
  • and setting files which are non-editable

There are two types of settings:

  • temporary settings
  • permanent settings.

Certain Version 5 applications also create preferences.

What Do Settings Files Contain?

Temporary settings contain settings of a temporary nature (album screen captures, roll file information,...)

CATTemp contains two folders or directories:

  • Album: contains screen captures created using the Tools->Image->Capture... command
  • CNext01.roll: roll file.

Temporary settings are created in a location referenced by the CATTemp variable.

Permanent setting files store customization you perform mainly using the various tabs provided by the Tools->Options... command. For example, application window customization, background colors, part and print settings, etc.

Permanent setting files are identified by the suffix: *.CATSettings, and are created in a location referenced by the CATUserSettingPath variable.

Deleting either types of files deletes your customization.


How Do You Specify Settings?

You specify settings using the Tools->Options... command which displays the Options dialog box:


The left-hand column contains a list of categories used for organizing the different groups of settings. There are general settings for all configurations and products, and settings for each type of configuration installed. The category names are the same as those listed on the Start menu. 

To access the settings for a specific configuration, click the "+" to display the subcategories. Clicking on the subcategory displays the settings tabs for that subcategory.


Where Are Settings Files Located on Windows?

The location of settings files on Windows platforms is inspired by the general data and settings management requirements operating on the Windows 2000 platform, which provides an underlying infrastructure allowing you to separate user data, user settings and computer settings.

The mechanism used is the CSIDL value mechanism. This implementation allows:

  • your permanent settings (CATSettings) to roam as part of your user profile (CSIDL_APPDATA)
  • your temporary settings (CATTemp, etc.) to be still stored in the user profile, but prevents them from roaming (CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA).

The following table will help you determine where your settings are now located:



CATUserSettingPath C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATSettings
CATTemp C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATTemp
CATCache Obsolete
CATReport C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATReport
CATErrorLog C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATTemp\error.log
CATMetasearchPath C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATTemp
CATW3PublishPath C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\DassaultSystemes\CATTemp

CSIDL Values in Environment Variable Paths

The values:

 C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data

are the defaults on these Windows platforms for the CSIDL_APPDATA values.

The values:

 C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data

are the defaults on these Windows platforms for the CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA values.

Location of Settings Files on UNIX

Permanent settings are stored in the CATSettings directory in your home directory; temporary settings are stored in the CATTemp directory, also in your home directory.

Administrator Settings

If you start a session in administrator mode using a specific environment, you can lock settings so that other users running a session with the same environment inherit those settings and cannot change them. For full details how to do so, refer to Locking Settings.


Default Settings and Recommended Settings

Default settings are provided by applications. However, we recommend the following settings to enhance performance:

  • 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 the graduated color background
  • 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.


Accessing Settings Without Running a Session

You do not need to start a session to be able to access your settings.

On Windows

1. Change to the default folder in which you installed the product.

On Windows, the default folder is:

C:\Program Files\Dassault Systemes\B18\intel_a\code\bin

2. Enter the command:


You can also access the Options dialog box using the Start->Programs->CATIA Tools menu, and running the Settings Management V5R18 command.
The Options dialog box is displayed.
This function is useful for administrators because it allows you to set up user settings without having to start an interactive session first.

Specify your settings as usual.


1. Log on as root or end user.

2. Enter the command:

/usr/DassaultSystemes/B18/OS/code/command/catstart -run CATOptionsMgt

  Note: The button used for dumping settings is only available when accessing settings from an interactive session, and not when using the CATOptionsMgt command, because no CATIA object is associated when starting the tool. this means that the macros generated would be not be resolved and different from those generated via the Tools->Options... command in an interactive session.

What Are Preferences?

Preference files contain user preferences set by the user when using certain applications. For example, certain drafting user choices, the last height of a pad (Part Design), the list of values entered in certain editable fields, are stored as preferences, but are not settings. Preference files are a convenient means of storing and recalling user preferences from one session to another.

Consequently, unlike settings, preferences are created by certain applications, and not via the Tools->Options... command.

Preference files are identified by the suffix: *.CATPreferences, and are created in the same location as settings, referenced by the CATUserSettingPath variable. However, preferences cannot be administered, and consequently are not referenced by the CATReferenceSettingPath variable.