Welcome to ETABS

ETABS is a full-featured program that can be used for the simplest problems or the most complex projects. This topic briefly describes the newer features in the program and directs you to manuals and technical support to help you get started using this version of the program.

Start Page and Model Explorer

Among the more significant changes in this latest version is the function of the display windows. Experienced ETABS users likely noticed that when the program first launched, a Start Page window displayed. It is unnecessary to close this page before initiating work on a new or existing model. Simply click the New Model or  Open Existing Mode command, or click on the name of a model in the Recent Models list.

 In addition to the traditional 3D, Plan, and Elevation views, a Model Explorer window offers quick access to many forms used to define and assign properties or review model geometry, display output plots, review and export data tables of  model  input and output, and manage printed output. A Report Viewer window offers easy-to-use and efficient options  to review reports before printing or exporting the report in a Microsoft Word-compatible format.

The topics in the Getting Started book of this Help provide overviews of how to use the program, including suggested step-wise instructions for the Modeling Process and design (Composite Beam Design, Concrete Frame Design, Shear Wall Design, Steel Frame Design, and Steel Joist Design) as well as an introduction to Static Nonlinear (Pushover) Analysis.


Several resources can be accessed from the Start Page with a simple mouse click, including Technical Tips that relate to frequently asked questions, the Watch & Learn movies that demonstrate how to use the program, an array of manuals (e.g., User's Guide, the CSi Analysis Reference manual and the like),  the Knowledge Base wiki that provides in-depth articles about the integration of engineering expertise and techniques with the advantages of computer technology, and the CSi website that provides information about the company, products, training, licensing and many other topics. Checking the Resources  is a good first stop before contacting technical support because many of the most common, as well as some esoteric, questions are answered there.  

Technical Support

Support is available, free of charge, for 90 days after purchase and for the term of the maintenance agreement. Please call CSI’s offices to inquire about the maintenance agreement. Beyond the 90-day period, users may purchase a yearly SUM subscription plan, which offers Support, Upgrades and Maintenance. Priority technical support is available only to current SUM subscribers; users without a current SUM plan can still obtain technical support, but it will be available via e-mail on a Non-Priority basis only.

For SUM subscribers, standard phone and fax support is available in the United States from CSI support engineers via a toll call between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Pacific time, Monday through Friday, excluding US holidays.

If you are experiencing problems using the software:

If you cannot find a solution:

When you call, you should be at your computer and have the following information:

When you send a Fax or e-mail, include the following information:

Find information in this Help file using any of following:


Three Dimensional Analysis of Structures
With Emphasis on Earthquake Engineering
Edward L. Wilson

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book, contact CSI for cost and shipping.