Where to find more help & information

This article is part of the Getting Started with OpticStudio free tutorial.

Whether you're new to OpticStudio, re-learning the software, or are a long-time user - knowing where to find resources will be sure to make you more successful, sooner. Within this article, we will outline the resources provided to you by Zemax. We will show how to access them, and in which situations they will be the most beneficial. 

Authored by: Alexandra Culler


Downloading OpticStudio provides users with a large swath of both online and offline resources. From software downloads to discussion posts; guided tutorials to sample files, your license offers you many ways to learn. There is sure to be something that can help you get started with your design. This article will provide steps for accessing each type of resource. 

Online resources

Zemax.com Account Page

What you will find here:

  • Software downloads for OpticStudio, OpticsBuilder, and OpticsViewer.


  • Your permissions, based on your license type and status


  • Your support tickets, including currently active cases
  • Links for opening a support ticket or for scheduling a call with our staff
    • Note: This is only available to End Users or License Administrators of a supported license
  • The licenses you have access to. If you are a License Administrator, this is where you will add End Users to a license. See this article for more information: I'm a License Administrator. What do I need to know?



Requirement(s) to access:

  • The Zemax Account Page requires you to log in with the primary email address you provided to the company. If you're not sure what your email address is, email support@zemax.com

To access your Zemax account page, click here: https://www.zemax.com/pages/profile 


Guided training


What you will find here:

  1. A link to Individual Training. This will take you to our online learning platform OpticsAcademy. OpticsAcademy courses may be purchased online as a full class, or as individual modules. The full courses are CPD accredited. The courses feature videos and notes put together by our Customer Success team. The notes are available for download, the videos are open for a limited time after starting the course. 
  2. A link to purchase Group Training. This is useful if you have purchased many licenses at once, or a license with many seats. Our team offers live classes, or a blended training where users take an OpticsAcademy module and have a live Q&A session with our Customer Success team. 
  3. A link to Free Tutorials. These are collections of Knowledgebase articles put together by our Customer Success team. When read sequentially, the articles should provide you with an adequate understanding of the featured topic. Topics include: Lasers & Fibers, Zemax Programming Language, spectrometer design, and more. 

Requirement(s) to access:

  • None. The links are open to the public. If you choose to purchase a paid training, the names of any attendees will be required.

To access guided training options, click here: https://www.zemax.com/pages/training 


The Zemax Knowledgebase

What you will find here:

  • Tutorials and guides regarding all of our products. All Knowledgebase articles are written or vetted by Zemax staff.
  • Content which is broken up into area of interest. 
  • Application-specific guides based on popular search teams and questions our team receives from users.


Requirement(s) to access:

  • None. All knowledgebase articles can be accessed by anyone, anywhere.

To access the Knowledgebase, click here: https://support.zemax.com/hc/en-us 


The Zemax Community

What you will find here:

  • Daily conversations between power users, consultants, former Zemax staff, and more regarding our products.
  • FAQs and tips & tricks posted by Zemax staff
  • Events and newsletters geared towards current users of our products. 
  • The Zemax Code Exchange: a forum which hosts coding solutions created and vetted by our staff.



Requirement(s) to access:

  • All forums (except the Code Exchange) can be viewed without a login.
  • To post, you must be logged into your Zemax account
  • To view the Code Exchange, you must be logged in and be listed as an End User of a supported license. Read more about that here: Code Exchange - a new and exclusive forum | Zemax Community.

To access the Community, click here: https://community.zemax.com/ 


Offline resources

Help System

OpticStudio comes equipped with a massive help system featuring a powerful search capability. Every component of our software is logged within the documentation and features a quick link to the relevant section of the help. When using a tool in OpticStudio, simply click the blue question mark to access the related information within the help system:




The help system is provided as a separate program and in PDF form. When using the help system interface, you are able to search for a topic using a keyword, or by its location within the user interface:




To access the help system, use one of the following methods:

  • Click a blue question mark within an analysis in the software
  • Navigate to Help...Help System
  • Navigate to the Start menu, open the Zemax OpticStudio folder, and click Help

Pre-provided sample files

With your download of a Zemax product, you will be provided with a Zemax folder. This is typically found in the Documents folder but can be moved by following the guidance here: Can I change the {DATA} folder?

The Zemax data folder provides sample files which represent typical design forms in both Sequential and Non-Sequential Mode. These design forms can be used as a basis for any project. The sample files are broken up by mode and then by design type. For example, several telescope designs are available within the folder {Documents}\Zemax\Samples\Sequential\Telescopes. The Zemax\Samples folder offers OpticStudio as well as OpticsBuilder designs.

In addition to these, ZOS-API and ZPL sample code is provided within the Zemax data folder. These are found in the {Documents}\Zemax\ZOS-API Sample Code and {Documents}\Zemax\Macros folders, respectively. 

Design Templates (SUB license only)

For users who have a subscription license, the Design Templates offer over 600 ready-made design start points. Users can search based on design criteria such as wavelength, field size, and maximum allowed aberration (Seidel). 




To access the Design Templates, navigate to Libraries...Design Templates. The window may open in the background. 

Can't find what you're looking for?

Global search

When you make a search on Zemax.com, the results are pulled from all corners of the website. You will see relevant Knowledgebase articles, forum posts, white papers, and more. Navigate to https://www.zemax.com/ and click the magnifying glass icon to begin your search. 

Ask the Community

Anyone with a Zemax.com account can make a post on the forums. Chances are your question is already answered on the forums. Even if it's not, experts are active on the forums every day and will be happy to address your inquiry. Navigate to https://community.zemax.com/ and click + Create Topic to get started. 

Open a case

Users with an active license are able to reach out directly to our technical staff. The average case turn-around time is 36 business hours. For questions which require an immediate answer, users can schedule a same-day phone call with our staff. Phones are open between 2am and 4pm PDT. Navigate to https://www.zemax.com/pages/profile#support-tickets to get in touch. 

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