useful 3rd-party tools & utilities for use with ANSYS
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Text Editors
  • PeDAL: an APDL Editor developed by PADT, integrated with the ANSYS Help system and with syntax highlighting, to name a few of its features.
  • GNU Emacs and XEmacs: free, popular UNIX (and Windows) text editor
    ANSYS mode files are available from Emacs Wiki page, such as AnsysMode (the latest version is here but also downloadable here) and AnSys (also downloadable here).
  • PSPad: free text editor.
    APDL definition file, courtesy of Peng Yuan.
    APDL and LS-DYNA definition file and screenshot of PSPad coutesy of Lubomir Novotny
  • CAxEdit: CAxEdit is a simple text editor geared towards providing a productive environment for Engineering Design Process needs. It offers features like Folding for selectively hiding text regions, syntax highlighting, end of line conversions and many more.
  • TextPad: shareware Windows-based text editor
    Download one of two syntax files: APDL (by Bob Weathers) or APDL2 (by Randolf Mock and Markus Michel)
    or download the syntax definitions from TextPad's website.
  • UltraEdit: shareware Windows-based text editor
    Download ANSYS/APDL highlight syntax definitions (Wordfiles) from UltraEdit's website.
  • Nedit: a free UNIX text editor with color syntax highlightling. Download a simple ANSYS and LS-DYNA .nedit preferences Gzip or Text (by Stefano Lucarelli). Ungzip it and rename file to .nedit and place in your home directory (Save your old .nedit preferences, as needed). From the author:
    I use it to colour in red comments and to make blue everything which follows three asterisks. Words contained between % are highlighted in blue too. In order for the highlighting to work, the file has to have the .inp extension.
    I use it also for LS-Dyna files (extension .k), where commands (everything which follows an asterisk) is blue and comments are in light green.
    In order to make it work, you have just to copy the .nedit file in your home directory. Please make a backup copy of your present .nedit file, if any.
    Please note that this is a very simple usage of syntax highlighting capabilities available in nedit, but they are just what I found interesting for me."
  • Vim/Gvim
  • ConTEXT
  • EditPlus
  • SunEdit
  • SciTE: extra files that enable keywords recognition, batch processing, auto-completion and calltips can be found in the extras section of the SciTE site.
  • jEdit: powerful, free text editor
    Download the APDL v2 Edit Mode v0.9.9 + by Sven Gleich based on the APDL.xml version 0.9.8 by Randolf Mock. The instructions are in the file in the zip file.
Chart Digitizers
  • DigXY
    From Bryan Baskin: "It's shareware for 30 days then disables. It allows you to take a scanned image, rotate the data section to line it up properly and then take data points. Pretty useful stuff, even if it is a Winders program."
  • WinDig
    "WinDIG is a free data digitizer for Windows 3.x and 9x. Very useful to get back curves and points from scanned images."
  • Engauge Digitizer - Digitizing software
Graphics-related Tools
  • pdfPost: converts model/results data to a 3D PDF document. Comes with ANSYS Workbench Mechanical plug-in and APDL macro library
  • GIMP: the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is one of the most powerful but free graphics utilities. A must have.
  • Ghostscript/GSview: View postscript files on PC as well as convert from PS to PDF format.
  • Platypus Animator: Converts multiple JPEG and TIFF files to AVI file.
  • Alter Image: Useful for converting images to different formats on PC, especially PNG. Note that ANSYS 5.7 should support PNG.
  • tiff2png: Useful to convert TIFF to PNG for UNIX/LINUX. Note that ANSYS 5.7 should support PNG.
  • SnagIt: Captures image, text, and video.
  • Color Picker: Useful colorpicker tool (like the colorpicker in Adobe Photoshop).
    From Don Shaffer: "This is very helpful as a color picker tool. It also has a useful color mapper converter between several different color selection standards."
    "This tool may be helpful if one wishes to match the color contour bands from another program that has its color maps coded in one of the other standards."
    "Also the picker tool would be useful to an individual that is color challenged. Using the tool one can visually pick the color mapping that would be compatible. Then using the Ansys color mapping tool one may specify the RGB values for the contour level."
  • IrfanView
    From Marco Perucchi: "There is an extremely useful freeware image viewer that you might want to mention under 'Graphics-related tools'. It is called IrfanView and it can open and save (and hence also convert) almost all graphics file formats."
ANSYS Customization
CAD Import
  • ACIS 3D Open Viewer: Useful for viewing ACIS/SAT files if importing issues occur. This way, one can determine if the problem lies in the Connection Kit for SAT translator or with the SAT file itself. The ACIS Viewer can also translate SAT files to older versions of ACIS kernel.
  • Parasolid Partviewer: Useful for viewing Parasolid files if importing issues occur. This way, one can determine if the problem lies in the Connection Kit for Parasolid translator or with the Parasolid file itself. The viewer can also translate Parasolid files to older versions of the Parasolid kernel.
  • CADfix
  • CAD/IQ
File Management Utilities
Unix Utilities for Windows
  • Cygwin: Many UNIX utilities for DOS/Windows.
  • PsTools: PsTools from Sysinternals is handy for manipulating processes.
Excel Tools
  • XlXtrFun: Extra Functions for Microsoft Excel, including 2D variable curve fitting (free add-in)