Transferring and Updating a Softkey License

This article outlines how to update the support expiration information on a softkey license and how to move a softkey license from one machine to another. 

If you are working on a machine without internet access, please see our article "Activate, Transfer, or Update a Softkey License On A Machine Without Internet Access."


Authored By: Alissa Wilczynski

Published On: October 6, 2016

Troubleshooting UI Issues in OpticStudio

This article explains what to do if you install OpticStudio and experience a slow user interface. There are a number of preferences and settings that can be changed to help speed up the UI. If you are experiencing other installation problems, please see the Troublshooting your OpticStudio Installation Knowledge Base Article.

This article will walk you through the following troubleshooting steps:
  • Checking for graphics driver updates from the manufacturer
  • Changing your Project Preferences
  • Checking your Non-Sequential Settings
  • Getting help from Zemax 

Authored By: Alissa Wilczynski & Alison Yates

Published On: August 24, 2015

Troubleshooting your OpticStudio Installation

This article explains what to do if you have problems launching OpticStudio.

If you are able to run OpticStudio but have a crash or other problems while using it, refer to the following article:
How to Report a Problem or Possible Bug to Zemax Support

If you experience slow response in graphics windows while running OpticStudio, refer to the following article.
Troubleshooting UI Issues in OpticStudio
If you experience black (or white) windows when using OpticStudio, refer to the following article.
What to Do if the Graphics Windows in OpticStudio are Black


Issue: OpticStudio Requests a License Code
Issue: OpticStudio is unable to find a license key
Error: OpticStudio requires the .NET Framework
Issue: Nothing happens when launching OpticStudio
Error: OpticStudio has stopped working
Issue: OpticStudio hangs at splash screen on startup

Getting help from Zemax


Authored By: Alison Yates

Published On: October 15, 2015

Is the Hardware Key Writable?

Zemax uses a hardware key for copy protection. Users in highly secure environments need to know whether the key is capable of being written to. The short answer is No, and this article gives more details.

Updated 1/23/2017 by Don Dickinson

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: March 16, 2007

How to Upgrade a USB Key to Professional or Premium

This article describes the process to upgrade a Standard (SE) license to Professional (EE) or Premium (IE).

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: December 16, 2016

How to Run OpticStudio on an Intel-based Mac Computer

This article explains what is required to run OpticStudio on an Intel-based Mac computer and the differences between the methods that can be used. It also provides performance comparisons between the alternate methods.


Authored By: Akash Arora

Published On: March 21, 2016

What is a Ray?

This article explains:
  • What a ray is
  • Rays and wavefronts
  • Coordinates, cosines, and propagation
  • Refraction, reflection, and diffraction
  • Amplitude. phase and optical path                         


Authored By: Ken Moore

Published On: December 2, 2015

Understanding Paraxial Ray-Tracing

This article explains:
  • What paraxial rays are
  • What parabasal rays are
  • Differences between them that can cause confusion

The article is accompanied by a ZIP archive containing the samples used and a macro. This can be downloaded from the final page of the article.


Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: July 21, 2005

What is an "Effective F-Number"?

This article explains:
  • The meaning of F-Number for optical systems with non-circular stops
  • The theoretical basis for the defined effective F-Number in Zemax                               

Authored By: Ronian Siew

Published On: December 29, 2015

How to Model Corner-Cube Retroreflectors

Corner Cube retroreflectors are commonly used in a wide range of optical systems. This article describes various different ways in which these components can be modeled in Zemax OpticStudio. The treatment can be as detailed as the user needs, with effects due to face misalignment, roofline straddling, thin-film coatings, diffraction etc included as required.

Authored By: Mark Nicholson

Published On: December 14, 2015

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