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Get the (Ansys) Help You Need When You Need It

July 05, 2024

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Marcy Jordan | Director R&D Documentation, Ansys
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Like most folks, when I have a question that needs an answer, I open my favorite search engine. But what happens when the best, most complete answer isn’t available there? The answer received, unfortunately, can be incomplete, outdated, or just plain wrong, which is frustrating and problematic.

A Brief History of Ansys Documentation

Since 1970, like the company itself, Ansys technical documentation has undergone many changes. When the company began, documentation was typed, photocopied, and then placed into binders to be shipped to customers. A change or correction required scissors, transparent tape, and a very steady hand.

We eventually started printing and binding our technical documents at our corporate headquarters in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, still shipping them along with products. As documentation technology moved forward, so did Ansys documentation, and we shipped a self-contained Microsoft Compiled HTML Help-based system on the install media alongside the products, which we later replaced with an installable, searchable, indexed help system that we developed in-house. In 2017, upon release 18.0, we debuted our technical documentation site, Ansys Help, for most Ansys products. This always has been behind a login, but that is about to change.

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What’s Changing?

On July 10, Ansys launched a public version of the Ansys Help site, making it easier than ever for anyone to access the latest product user guides and reference manuals through public search engines. In the past, this information was available only to licensed users.

What’s on the Ansys Help Site?

  • Reference manuals. Depending on the product, these can range from manuals that provide details about materials and theory information to guides that show you how to interface with products.
  • Product user guides. These are the “how-to” books that dig into an application’s features and how they work, enabling you to get the most out of a product.
  • Tutorials. These step-by-step guides walk you through using a product with examples that you can follow.
  • How-to videos. These videos, hosted on YouTube but accessible from Ansys Help, provide quick demonstrations of product features and functionality. The videos are a great option for anyone who prefers learning by watching instead of by reading manuals or completing tutorials.

Why Did We Choose to Make Ansys Help Available Publicly?

We want to be your source of truth about our products, and we want our content to be as easy as possible for you to access. From now on, whether you are a current or potential user, if you go to the web with questions about how to use our products or are curious about product features, you can get answers and information directly from the public Ansys Help site.

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Will All Ansys Documentation Be Public?

The simple answer is no. Our product managers worked with technical documentation specialists to identify any content, such as Ansys intellectual property, that should be available only to licensed customers. Such content will remain private and be accessible strictly to licensed users. But most of our content will be on the public site for your perusal.

The private site experience remains the same as it has been since the site was launched. It still will be available to licensed users, accessible just as it was before: through their installed Ansys products or by logging in with their Ansys ID.

We are excited about this next step in our long history of creating and delivering documentation at Ansys. We love hearing what you think, so we welcome your feedback about not only this initiative but our documentation in general at docfeedback@ansys.com.

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