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2.1.6 Dialog Boxes

There are two types of dialog boxes in ANSYS FLUENT. Some dialog boxes are used to perform simple input/output tasks, such as issuing warning and error messages, or asking a question requiring a yes or no answer. Other forms of dialog boxes allow you to perform more complicated input tasks.

A dialog box is a separate "temporary'' window that appears when ANSYS FLUENT needs to communicate with you, or when various types of input controls are employed to set up your case. The types of controls you will see are described further in this section.

When you have finished entering data in a dialog box's controls, you will need to apply the changes you have made, or cancel the changes, if desired. For this task, each dialog box falls into one of two behavioral categories, depending on how it was designed.

The first category of dialog boxes is used in situations where it is desirable to apply the changes and immediately close the dialog box. This type of dialog box includes two button controls as described below:

OK   applies any changes you have made to the dialog box, then closes the dialog box.

Cancel   closes the dialog box, ignoring any changes you have made.

An example of this type of dialog box is shown in the following figure:


The other category of dialog boxes is used in situations where it is desirable to keep the dialog box displayed on the screen after changes have been applied. This makes it easy to quickly go back to that dialog box and make more changes. Dialog boxes used for postprocessing and mesh adaption often fall into this category. This type of dialog box includes two button controls as described below:

Apply   applies any changes you have made to the dialog box, but does not close the dialog box. The name of this button is often changed to something more descriptive. For example, many of the postprocessing dialog boxes use the name Display for this button, and the adaption dialog boxes use the name Adapt.

Close   closes the dialog box.

An example of this type of dialog box is shown in the following figure:


All dialog boxes include the following button used to access online help:

Help   displays information about the controls in the dialog box. The help information will appear in your web browser.

Input Controls

Each type of input control utilized by the dialog boxes is described below. Note that the examples shown here are for a Windows system; if you are working on a Linux/UNIX system, your dialog box controls may look slightly different, but they will work exactly as described here.



Much like the tabs on a notebook divider, tabs in dialog boxes are used to mark the different sections into which a dialog box is divided. A dialog box that contains many controls may be divided into different sections to reduce the amount of screen space it occupies. You can access each section of the dialog box by "clicking'' the left mouse button on the corresponding tab. A click is one press and release of the mouse button.



A button, also referred to as a push button, is used to perform a function indicated by the button label. To activate a button, place the pointer over the button and click the left mouse button.

Check Boxes


A check box, also referred to as a check button, is used to enable / disable an item or action indicated by the check box label. Click the left mouse button on the check box to toggle the state.

Radio Buttons


Radio buttons are a set of check boxes with the condition that only one can be set in the "on'' position at a time. When you click the left mouse button on a radio button, it will be turned on, and all others will be turned off. Radio buttons appear either as diamonds (in Linux/UNIX systems) or as circles (as shown above).

Text Entry Boxes


A text entry box lets you type text input. It will often have a label associated with it to indicate the purpose of the entry.

Integer Number Entry Boxes


An integer number entry box is similar to a text entry except it allows only integer numbers to be entered (e.g., 10, -10, 50000 and 5E4). You may find it easier to enter large integer numbers using scientific notation. For example, you could enter 350000 or 3.5E5.

The integer number entry also has arrow buttons that allow you to easily increase or decrease its value. For most integer number entry controls, the value will be increased (or decreased) by one when you click an arrow button. You can increase the size of the increment by holding down a keyboard key while clicking the arrow button. The keys used are shown below:

Key Factor of Increase  
Shift 10  
Ctrl 100  

Real Number Entry Boxes


A real number entry box is similar to a text entry, except it allows only real numbers to be entered (e.g., 10, -10.538, 50000.45 and 5.72E-4). In most cases, the label will show the units associated with the real number entry.

Single-Selection Lists


A single-selection list presents a list of items, with each item printed on a separate line. You can select an item by placing the pointer over the item line and clicking with the left mouse button. The selected item will become highlighted. Selecting another item will deselect the previously selected item in the list.

Many dialog boxes will also accept a double-click in order to invoke the dialog box action that is associated with the list selection (see information on the dialog box of interest for more details).

Multiple-Selection Lists


A multiple-selection list is similar to a single-selection list, except it allows for more than one selected item at a time. When you click the left mouse button on an item, its selection state will toggle. Clicking on an unselected item will select it. Clicking on a selected item will deselect it.

To select a range of items in a multiple-selection list, you can select the first desired item, and then select the last desired item while holding down the <Shift> key. The first and last items, and all the items between them, will be selected. You can also click and drag the left mouse button to select multiple items.

There are two small buttons in the upper right corner of the multiple selection list that accelerate the task of selecting or deselecting all the items in the list. Clicking the left button will select all items. Clicking the right button will deselect all items.

Drop-Down Lists



A drop-down list is a hidden single-selection list that shows only the current selection to save space.

When you want to change the selection, follow the steps below:

1.   Click the arrow button to display the list.

2.   Place the pointer over the new list item.

3.   Click the left mouse button on the item to make the selection and close the list.

If you wish to abort the selection operation while the list is displayed, you can move the pointer anywhere outside the list and click the left mouse button.



A scale is used to select a value from a predefined range by moving a slider. The number shows the current value. You can change the value by clicking the arrow buttons, or by following one of the procedures below:

1.   Place the pointer over the slider.

2.   Press and hold down the left mouse button.

3.   Move the pointer along the slider bar to change the value.

4.   Release the left mouse button.


1.   Place the pointer over the slider and click the left mouse button.

2.   Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, move the slider bar left or right to change the value.

Types of Dialog Boxes

The following sections describe the various types of dialog boxes.

Information Dialog Boxes


The Information dialog box is used to report some information that ANSYS FLUENT thinks you should know. After you have read the information, you can click the OK button to close the dialog box.

Warning Dialog Boxes


The Warning dialog box is used to warn you of a potential problem and ask you whether or not you want to proceed with the current operation. If you click the OK button, the operation will proceed. If you click the Cancel button, the operation will be canceled.

Error Dialog Boxes


The Error dialog box is used to alert you of an error that has occurred. After you have read the error information, you can click the OK button to close the dialog box.

The Working Dialog Box


The Working dialog box is displayed when ANSYS FLUENT is busy performing a task. This is a special dialog box, because it requires no action by you. It is there to let you know that you must wait. When the program is finished, it will close the dialog box automatically. You can, however, abort the task that is being performed by clicking the Cancel button.

Question Dialog Boxes


The Question dialog box is used to ask you a question that requires a yes or no answer. You can click the appropriate button to answer the question.

The Select File Dialog Box (Windows)

File selection on Windows systems is accomplished using the standard Windows Select File dialog box(Figure  2.1.6).

Figure 2.1.6: The Select File Dialog Box for Windows

See documentation regarding your Windows system for further instructions on file selection.

The Select File Dialog Box (UNIX or Linux)

For UNIX or Linux systems, note that the appearance of the Select File dialog box will not always be the same.

The version shown in Figure  2.1.7 will appear in almost all cases, but it will be different if you are loading external data files for use in an XY plot (see the Section  29.9.2 for more information). In such cases, the dialog box will look like Figure  2.1.8.

Figure 2.1.7: The Select File Dialog Box for UNIX or Linux Platforms

Figure 2.1.8: Another Version Select File Dialog Box for UNIX or Linux Platforms

The steps for file selection are as follows:

1.   Go to the appropriate directory. You can do this in two different ways:
  • Enter the path to the desired directory in the Filter text entry box and then press the <Enter> key or click the Filter button. Be sure to include the final / character in the pathname, before the optional search pattern (described below).

  • Double-click a directory, and then a subdirectory, etc. in the Directories list until you reach the directory you want. You can also click once on a directory and then click the Filter button, instead of double-clicking. Note that the " .'' item represents the current directory and the " ..'' item represents the parent directory.

2.   Specify the file name by selecting it in the Files list or entering it in the File text entry box (if available) at the bottom of the dialog box. The name of this text entry box will change depending on the type of file you are selecting ( Case File, Journal File, etc.).


Note that if you are searching for an existing file with a nonstandard extension, you may need to modify the "search pattern'' at the end of the path in the Filter text entry box. For example, if you are reading a data file, the default extension in the search path will be *.dat*, and only those files that have a .dat extension will appear in the Files list. If you want files with a .DAT extension to appear in the Files list, you can change the search pattern to *.DAT*. If you want all files in the directory to be listed in the Files list, enter just * as the search pattern.

3.   If you are reading a mesh or case file, use the Display Mesh after Reading option to specify whether you want ANSYS FLUENT to automatically display the mesh after the file is read. All of the boundary zones will be displayed, except for the interior zones of 3D geometries. The default status of this option (i.e., enabled or disabled) is determined by your decision regarding the Display Mesh After Reading option in FLUENT Launcher.

4.   If you are reading multiple XY-plot data files, the selected file will be added to the list of XY File(s). You can choose another file, following the instructions above, and it will also be added to this list. (If you accidentally select the wrong file, you can choose it in the XY File(s) list and click the Remove button to remove it from the list of files to be read.) Repeat until all of the desired files are in the XY File(s) list.

5.   If you are writing a case, data, or radiation file, use the Write Binary Files check box to specify whether the file should be written as a text or binary file. You can read and edit a text file, but it will require more storage space than the same file in binary format. Binary files take up less space and can be read and written by ANSYS FLUENT more quickly.

6.   Click the OK button to read or write the specified file. Shortcuts for this step are as follows:

  • If your file appears in the Files list and you are not reading an XY file, double-click it instead of just selecting it. This will automatically activate the OK button. (If you are reading an XY file, you will always have to click OK yourself. Clicking or double-clicking will just add the selected file to the XY File(s) list.)

  • If you entered the name of the file in the File text entry box, you can press the <Enter> key instead of clicking the OK button.

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