Online Training Part 1: Course Logistics and Systems Pre-Check

The following article explains all of the system requirements and instructions you will need in preparation to attending an online course provided by Zemax.

If you experience an issue with the steps concerning ReadyTech, please reach out to their support team per the information provided below.

Questions concerning the sale or registration of your course can be answered by contacting

All other questions and general inquiries can be resolved by reaching out to

Once you've completed the action items mentioned below, be sure to check out Online Training Part 2: Using the Training Portal.


Authored By: Davey Dean

Published On: February 16, 2017

How to place dummy surfaces at the front and rear principal planes

For a complex lens, it can be convenient to add dummy surfaces at various locations: at the entrance and exit pupils, the nodal points, or the principal planes. This article demonstrates how to insert dummy surfaces at the front and rear principal planes of a Cooke Triplet.  The surfaces will then appear in the layout plots and can be used for various analyses.

Authored By: Erin Elliott

Published On: February 16, 2017

NSC Angle of Incidence from Ray Database Viewer

This article shows the steps for calculating the AOI based on the LMN direction cosine of a ray and the Normal vector of the surface at the intersection point.  There is a provided ZPL macro will will automatically calculate this information for the user from a ZRD file loaded in a Ray Database Viewer.

Authored By: Michael Humphreys

Published On: February 14, 2017

How to create a Zemax Archive File (*.ZAR)

This article explains how to create an archive version of your file.


Authored By: Davey Dean

Published On: January 19, 2017

Understanding the Detector Polar

The Detector Polar object stores the intensity data from NSC source rays that strike it. The Detector Polar is spherical in shape but the resulting data distributions in the angular domains are displayed in 2D. And this point can cause confusion.
The aim of this article is to explain clearly how OpticStudio maps rays striking 3D sphere onto a 2D intensity plot. It also gives some details on the conventions used in OpticStudio.



Authored By: Sandrine Auriol

Published On: January 10, 2017

Adjusting Relative Luminosity to Simulate the Visible Spectrum

Relative luminosity is very important in optical design. By defining appropriate weighting per the characteristics of the optical system, we can better model what we would expect to see. This article demonstrates a method of using wavelength weighting to model the relative luminosity of the visible spectrum as perceived by the human eye.

Authored By: Kayo Sugiyama, translated by Jade Aiona

Published On: May 5, 2017

How to Fix Scrambled Text in OpticStudio Analysis Windows

This article addresses an issue where the descriptive text inside analysis windows is unreadable or scrambled with OpticStudio. This issue has only appeared in Windows 7 with OpticStudio 16.5.

If you are having an issue where the analysis windows are nothing but black, white, or grey, see the article What to do if the graphics windows in OpticStudio are black.



Authored By: Don Dickinson

Getting Started with Python

This article will walk through the basics of getting Python setup on your system in order to run ZOS-API.  There are 2 required downloads (Python and pywin32) along with a few recommended downloads (an IDE and Python modules).   Except for the 2 required downloads, all other recommendations are based on a Zemax Engineer's personal preference and do not reflect an official endorsement as to the quality of these products or any competitors.


Authored By: Michael Humphreys

Published On: November 14, 2016

Display Pupils on a Layout Plot

You can easily show the Entrance and Exit Pupils in both the LDE and Layout Plots by using dummy surfaces and pickups to show the location of the pupils without affecting the other surfaces in your sequential system.  This article walks through how to use ZPL Macro and Chief Ray Height thickness solves in the Lens Data Editor (LDE) as well as hiding dummy surfaces in a layout plot.

Authored By: Michael Humphreys

Published On: November 13, 2016

Directory Page for Network Licenses

This page is a directory for all network licensing, installation, and troubleshooting articles.

Authored By: Alissa Wilczynski

Published On: October 19, 2016

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