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Undocumented Features (46 entries)
 
_BUTTON
  Provides information on what button a user pushed in a dialog box. Useful in conjunction with the MULTIPRO command (see below)
0 if the OK button was pressed
1 if the Cancel button was pressed

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_STATUS
  Executing an ANSYS command, whether in a macro or elsewhere, generates the parameter _STATUS. This parameter reflects the error status of that command:
0 for no error
1 for a note
2 for a warning
3 for an error
[STI: Please see Ch. 4.7 "Using the _STATUS and _RETURN Parameters in Macros" in the ANSYS APDL Guide for more information. A similar parameter _ERROR returns 0 for no error, 1 for warning, 2 for error after a command.]
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*GET,,ACTIVE
  *GET,Parm,ACTIVE,,SYNAME,,START,1
Gets the first 8 characters of the OS name (such as INTELNT). For more than 8 characters, use "9" for the START modifier. Note that some platforms may change between 5.4 through 5.6 (such as HPPA 8000).

A list of returned values for systems are shown below (for 8.0, although some systems listed below may no longer be supported):
RS6000 64
RS6000
HPPA 7000
HPPA 8000
HPPA 8000-64
HP IA64
SGI32
SGI64
SUN-USIII
FUJITSU
SOLARIS64
SOLARIS
DECAXP-OSF1
WINDOWS 64
INTEL NT
LINUX IA32
LINUX IA64
SUN4 SPARC

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*GET,,ACTIVE
  *GET,Parm,active,,date
Gets current system date (year, month, then day), for example, "20000704.0" for 07/04/2000.
Where year=nint(currdate/10000); month=nint((currdate-year*10000)/100); date=currdate-(year*10000+month*100)
[STI: I haven't found a way to grab the current time yet...]
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*GET,,ACTIVE
  *GET,Parm,active,,update
At 5.5, get the current ANSYS version or update number. For example, in 5.5.2, it returns 19990107.0. For 5.5.3, it returns 19990405.0
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*GET,,ACTIVE
  *GET,parm,ACTIVE,,AGREE
Gets agreement number
[STI: I found this one for a customer wanting to encrypt a macro for a specific company (agreement number). Kinda cool, IMHO.]
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*GET,,COMMON
  *get,parm,COMMON,,d3com2,,int,31
Gets the status of /UIS,MSGPOP. When writing macros you sometimes don't want those pesky warning messages to pop up all the time, so you use /uis,msgpop,3 to suppress them and put them back on with /uis,msgpop,0. The problem is if your macro is called by a macro that changed the msgpop status, then you kind of mess stuff up. The answer is to get the msgpop status before you change it then set it back.

Example usage:

*get,_oldMPS,COMMON,,d3com2,,int,31
/uis,msgpop,3
! Do my stuff
! ...
! ...
! ...
! Done with the stuff I want to suppress messages on
/uis,msgpop,_oldMPS

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*RETURN
  *RETURN,value
Break reading from an input file
Where value=0 returns to the top level, -n returns n levels, n returns to level n
Useful when breaking *DO loops or *IF conditional statements, for example.
[STI: Implemented at 5.7?]
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/AUX02
  Binary file dump. Enter /AUX02 to find list of applicable commands.

Example usage from John Swanson:

/aux2 ! enter file dump utility
file,foo,rst ! specify file name
form,long ! dump the full record of information
dump,2 ! dump the second record (index record) xxx is the 11th integer
ptr,xxx ! dump the record at pointer xxx (this is an index of all the load sets.) The last non-zero integer is the last load set. The others are the load sets in order. This is the way to get the other load cases. Call this pointer yyy
ptr,yyy+103 ! this is the location of the double precision header for this load set (103 skips the integer header) omegay is the 13th value.

If you look at the file fdresu.inc (File Descriptor Result) on the distribution media you will see a full description of the structure of the .rst file, and you may be able to derive or modify the above sequence for accessing other information.


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/AUX03
  Results file editor. Enter /AUX03 to find list of applicable commands.
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/CONFIG
  /CONFIG,PRXY,1
At 6.0, if Poisson's ratio is not input, a warning is presented to the user to let him/her know that a default value of 0.3 will be used. This configuration command changes the warning to a note, so there will not be a ton of warning messages issued during solve.
An alternative is to add in the config6x.ans file:
PRXY_DEF = 1
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/CONFIG
  /CONFIG,NODBB,1
Toggles whether or not the backup database file (jobname.dbb) will be written upon SAVE or /EXIT
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/CONFIG
  /CONFIG,NOCMDDB,1
or
NO_CMDDB=1 in config56.ans
Supresses addition of command history in database log file (LGWRITE).
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/CONFIG
  /CONFIG,NOELDBW,num
Controls writing of results info
1=do not write results to *.db but only *.rst
2=do not write results to *.rst, only *.db
3=do not write to either *.rst or *.db)
[STI: I use /CONFIG,NOELDB,1 to give max memory during solution rather than filling up database space -db with results. Please see CSI's Tip of the Week on memory management for more details. This was documented from 5.7 onwards, I believe.]
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/CONFIG
  /CONFIG,RESUPRES,0
or
RESUPREC=0 in config145.ans

In ANSYS 14.5, stresses, strains, and other element quantities are written in the result file (.rst) as single precision to save space (DOF solution and reaction forces are still written as double-precision). This command, when invoked before solving, will store all results in double-precision.
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/DEBUG
  The /DEBUG command generates debugging at various points in the output. You can specify one of three formats for /DEBUG: solution debug format, element debug format, and general debug format.
[STI: Please see this link for more details on /DEBUG]
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/DEMO
  /DEMO,num,1
Allows graphics benchmarks to be performed (getting a rough idea of graphics card performance). This command rotates the model "num" number of times and prints a summary of stats.
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/DFLAB
  /DFLAB,dofnum,dlabel,flabel
Changes DOF #dofnum to "dlabel" (D) and Force to "flabel" (F). DOF numbers range from 1-32. For example, DOF number 1 is UX, 2 is UY, etc.
This should be the first command issued upon entering ANSYS.
/DFLAB,19,PRESSURE changes PRES label (#19) to PRESSURE
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/MSTART
  /MSTART,MTOOL,off
This turns off/on the Mechanical Toolbar. For ANSYS/Professional, if you want to start ANSYS without the Mechanical toolbar, add the following lines to your start56.ans file:
/MSTART,MTOOL,OFF
/MSTART,MAIN,ON
/MSTART,INPUT,ON
/MSTART,TOOL,ON

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/NERR
  /NERR,,,field
Ignores all error messages
If field is set to -1, ANSYS will keep running unless a fatal error occurs. All errors are written to jobname.out and jobname.err.
If field is set to -2, ANSYS will behave the same but errors are reported to jobname.err only, not jobname.out.
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/TRACK
  /TRACK,MonLevel,PrintLevel,SumLevel
The /TRACK command issues a message when the program logic enters and leaves some of the higher level subroutines. Subroutines TrackBegin and TrackEnd (see Chapter 6 of UPF Guide) set up the /TRACK command.
MonLevel is the level for timing monitoring. PrintLevel is the level for enter/exit printout, and SumLevel is the level at which the timing sum is output. Each of these arguments can be any value between 0 and 9 (default is 0).
You can use the /TRACK command to identify which section of code is causing the program to abort. For example, to flag up to eight levels of subroutines to determine when the program logic enters and leaves them, you would issue the command /TRACK,,8.

Another very useful feature is to use /TRACK to get contact element statistics during solution in a batch run. Use /TRACK,,1,-1 and you will see contact & solution stats printed at the end of the run (batch only).


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/TXTRE
  /TXTRE,file,88
This option allows placement of an image on the screen (anywhere you want). A typical example of putting your own picture/logo in the bottom-right corner of the Graphics window is shown below:
/txtre,file,88,'MYLOGO','PNG',,2
/anum,1,13,1.5297,-0.98938
/lsym,1.556,-0.990,0,88,0.000,1
where "MYLOGO.PNG" is the name of your image file and "2" can be "0" for pixmap/bitmap, "1" or "jpeg" for JPEG, and "2" or "png" for PNG, as noted in the online-help for /TXTRE.

A similar command (this one is documented in /TXTRE) to replace the graphical ANSYS logo with your own is:
/txtre,file,51,'MYLOGO','PNG',,2
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/UIS
  /UIS,MSGPOP,4
Suppresses error message pop-up dialog box. (Error messages will still be recorded in the jobname.err file and output window/file.)
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/UNDO
  /UNDO,on
Turns on UNDO feature which is active for most commands (prior to session editor at 5.6). Saves a file to "jobname.undo". Valid options are "on, off, prompt, status".

UNDO
After /UNDO feature is activated above, this command actually undos the last command.


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3D Graphics
  By setting the environment variable ANSXXX to 1 and using OpenGL graphics (-d 3d), one can resize the window to any aspect ratio (not limited to max ratio of 1:1.67). Note that this doesn't work under Windows; it works for UNIX with OpenGL only (on HP-UX, you need to run the OpenGL version of ANSYS).
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ANSYS and Tcl/Tk customization
  John Swanson
  Information on using Tcl/Tk with ANSYS to create customized GUI. Tcl/Tk is used in ANSYS, such as the Contact Wizard, Solution Control Wizard, or Materials GUI at 5.7/6.0.
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ANSYS and UIDL customization
  John Swanson
  UIDL is the ANSYS language used to define the dialog boxes and Main Menu. This information is related to learning more about UIDL to create custom dialog boxes. An alternative is to use Tcl/Tk.
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ANSYSSTANDARD.TLB
  You can swap the command line to the bottom by making a small change to the GUI resource file:

In your ANSYS 6.1 directory, go to docu/english/toolbars. Edit ANSYSSTANDARD.TLB and change the line that says:

*ANS_STD.location: n
to
*ANS_STD.location: s
[where "n" is for north and "s" is for south]

Likewise, to change the location of the "Main Menu" from left to right, edit:

*ANS_MAIN.location: w
to
*ANS_MAIN.location: e
[where "w" is for west and "e" is for east]
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CNTR
  CNTR,PRINT,nlevel
CNTR,print,0 (default) - only print the troubleshooting when solution diverges in the end
CNTR,print,1 - above + print the troubleshooting when bi-section occurs
CNTR,print,2 - above + print the message for each load step
CNTR,print,3 - above + print the message for each sub-step
CNTR,print,4 - above + print the message for each iteration and much more

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DEBUG
  When creating macros or input files, it is often useful to execute them one line at a time to determine where your programming logic breaks down. Placing this command as the first line in the file allows you to do this.
Type in "debug" to see command syntax.
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Dynamic Prompt Timeout
  The dynamic prompt appears for 2 seconds by default in 6.0. To lengthen the time before the dynamic prompt disappears, do the following:
1) Make a backup of the file 'C:\Program Files\Ansys Inc\ANSYS61\LIB\Euidl1.0\scripts\anscmdprompt.itk'
2) Edit 'anscmdprompt.itk' at line 468, which contains the string " set _helpWinAfter [after 2000 \", and change the value to the time in miliseconds you wish to have the help visible.

[At 7.0, this is controlled by line 69 ' variable _helpWinTimer 20000' instead, and default is 20 seconds]
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dynprompt57.ans
  At 5.7, the dynamic input file prompting was introduced, where the command format was displayed as you typed a command.

Modify "dynprompt57.ans" to add your own macro argument format, so when you type your own macros, the proper arguments are also displayed.

[STI: at 6.0, this file is called "dynprompt60.ans", where the last two numbers indicate the version number.]
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Graphics Startup
  GRPHENTR=1 in config56.ans
Allows startup of GUI mode without requiring the "-g" option when using command "ansys56".
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jobname.solc
  Regarding the undocumented jobname.solc feature:
  1. Open up a text editor and place and /solu commands you want (not /SOLU itself). Main use I've seen of jobname.solc is really to change CNVTOL or NSUBST, although I think other options are available.
  2. Save file as jobname.solc in working directory.
If I recall correctly, jobname.solc will be deleted when it is read from, similar to jobname.abt. Also, I think it works on the next substep.
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KEYW
  KEYW,BETA,1
Turns on GUI filtering of Beta features in releases of ANSYS. Add to "start5x.ans" file prior to launching ANSYS.
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KEYW
  KEYW,ALPHA,1
Turns on GUI filtering of Alpha features? I find this pretty useless since the features are not as good/robust as beta (above), but it is cool to see upcoming features of ANSYS.
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KEYW
  KEYW,QALOGKEY,1
Shows detailed information from the granule (GRN) files in the jobname.log file. This is handy to find out what the granule function name is (Fnc_xxx) for a given dialog box/menu.

When plotting experimental and calculated curves for *MOONEY/*EVAL, this isn't recorded in the log file. Using this keyword will show the commands necessary to plot the curves together (or you can manually use /NOERASE like I do).


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KEYW
  KEYW,PR_SGUI,1
Supresses "Solution is done" message [5.5.3 and above]

Setting this keyword will not have an adverse effect on the menus, but to be safe, use the above setting for the SOLVE command only, then reset PR_SGUI to zero after SOLVE.


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KEYW
  KEYW,SIMPLOFF,1
At 5.6, the "Abridged Menu" with the Solution Control Wizard is the default. I find that since the abridged menu or Solution Control wizard doesn't support all nonlinear or dynamics options, this confuses customers. If you put this in your start56.ans file, this will always show the unabridged menu (similar to 5.5 and prior versions). (STI)
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KEYW
  keyw,cuwidget
Resets menus in case they may be grey and inaccessible.
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KEYW
  KEYW,PR_SGVOF,1
When redefining arrays in an interactive session, the user is prompted if they really want to redefine an existing array. The above command disables this prompt in ANSYS 15.0 and above, so if an existing array is redefined with the *DIM command, it will do so silently.

See also *DEL,,NOPR.
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MULTIPRO
  Useful means of prompting user for input for multiple variables (a cleaner alternative to *ASK).
The MULTIPRO macro is located in the "docu" directory (e.g., /ansys55/docu). This allows a user to specify a dialog box to prompt a user for several pieces of info (better alternative than several *ASK commands). View the MULTIPRO.MAC macro in a text editor to see how to use this command.
(Another nice use for MULTIPRO is a simple OK/Cancel dialog box)

Also, there is the Tcl version of the MULTIPRO macro with a Test macro.
Lastly, there is also a ANSYS and Tcl (10/20/99) package by John Swanson which covers a lot of applications of Tcl, including multiprompt.tcl.
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OUTEQ
  OUTEQ outputs all results from equilibrium iterations while in /SOLU.
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Status Bar
  *ABSET,title40,[BAR|KILL|BOTH]
Creates a customized status/progress bar for use during a macro to give feedback to the user as to what % complete the macro is at.

*ABCHECK,percent,newtitle
Updates the status bar to "percent" complete with information printed as "newtitle"
What is useful is to make "newtitle" a parameter (%PARAM%) as well.
It is recommended not to call *ABCHECK more than 20 times in a loop. Also, be sure to check _RETURN values prior to issuing this

*ABFINI
Removes status bar

[STI: See ALSM.MAC, VLSM.MAC, and JB_FORC.MAC macros in the Macros page for examples]


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tlbrlist61.ans
  Although undocumented, tlbrlist61.ans can be used to create customized toolbars. Copy this configuration file to your home or working directory. The contents of "tlbrlist61.ans" contain filenames, and these can be changed to point to different files.

The actual toolbar information is contained in ANSYSSTANDARD.TLB (icon toolbar) and ANSYSABBR.TLB (abbreviation toolbar). These can be copied and modified to suit one's needs, although one should know some Tcl/Tk and ANSYS to do this.


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UVBREFRESH
  UVBREFRESH updates the Main Menu (UIDL).
First, set the environment variable UIDLVB to 1. It can be set in your .cshrc file with "setenv UIDLVB 1".
In ANSYS, at the BEGIN level, type UVBREFRESH to re-index and re-read the granule files. Note that this doesn't work with the root menu MenuRoot.
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