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OpticStudio Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This articles answers Frequently Asked Questions about the OpticStudio release. 


Alison Yates
Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  • I'm a Zemax user. What's OpticStudio? 

OpticStudio is the next evolution of Zemax optical design software. It features the same Zemax core engine, but with a new, intuitive user interface. This UI, combined with a comprehensive array of features and unmatched functionality make OpticStudio the preferred design platform for engineers, researchers and designers around the world. Built on Zemax’s core physics engine, OpticStudio is fast, reliable and accurate. 
  • If I have a Zemax license, do I have to buy a new license to run OpticStudio?

No. If you have a Zemax license with a current support contract, you are eligible to download OpticStudio. If you have a Zemax license with expired support, you can simply renew support on your key and you'll instantly be eligible to download OpticStudio. 
  • What are the new features in OpticStudio?

    • Customizable workspace with quick-nav ribbon menus
    • Complete overhaul of the Interactive Help system, eliminating the PDF manuals
    • Cutting edge 2D/3D charting tools with interactive cursors
    • CAD-like design visualization with interactive 2D/3D modeling
    • New session files allowing data to be stored with the file itself, reducing calculation time 

Technical Questions

  • Can I run both Zemax and OpticStudio?

Yes! The default installation path of OpticStudio is different than that of Zemax, allowing you to run both simultaneously while you come up to speed on OpticStudio.
  • How many instance of Zemax and OpticStudio can I run?

Just as in Zemax, you can run two instances of OpticStudio. If you run both Zemax and OpticStudio, you are still limited to 2 instances of the Zemax engine, meaning you can run one instance of Zemax and one instance of OpticStudio. 
  • I'm still using Windows XP. Will I be able to run OpticStudio?

OpticStudio does not support XP. System requirements are available here. 
  • Can I run OpticStudio on my Mac?

OpticStudio requires a Windows Platform to run. Many users run OpticStudio on their Macs using Parallels or Bootcamp. Please see this Knowledge Base article for more

Support Related FAQs

  • Does Zemax Technical Support also cover OpticStudio?

Yes. If you have current support on your key, Zemax Technical Support can answer your technical questions on any Zemax product; additionally, having current support on a Zemax key automatically makes you eligible to download OpticStudio.  
  • How do I get support?

We have a global team of optical engineers available 24 hours a day during the business week. Email us at
  • In what languages can I get support?

Our global team has staff fluent in English, Chinese, and French. Additionally, we have distributors fluent in other languages, such as Japanese and Korean. 
  • Where did the 1000-page Zemax manual go?

OpticStudio has a fully-redesigned in-line help system that will help you get fast answers to your questions about features and analyses. For more on using the help system, see this KB article.