User manual for "single-user downloadable" subscriptions

Table of contents

General information

Subscription features

The electronic format (PDF) of the Construction Codes and Guides presents a number of value-added features, such as hyperlinks and instant search capability, while preserving the same layout as the printed versions.

The publications you download are specific to the computer you use to activate them (i.e. once downloaded, they are non-transferable). They cannot be installed on a network drive. A maximum of two (2) activations per publication ordered is permitted.

Once the publications have been downloaded to a computer, no Internet connection is required to view them.

The Codes and Guides contain thousands of internal links to referenced Articles, Sentences, Clauses, Subclauses, Tables, Figures, Appendix Notes and defined terms. Clicking on these links takes you directly to the text of the stated reference.


With the CODES–GUIDES Online Library downloadable files, you always have access to up-to-date publications. Your main Library page displays the most recent version of your publications as well as all the previous ones. Activating one version of a publication (e.g. first printing) gives you access to all subsequent versions of the 2010-2015 Code-cycle edition of that publication. A Revisions and Errata section at the beginning of each Code lists the changes that have been made since that document was first published (Guides are seldom updated between editions).


You can search for terms and phrases in your publication(s) by using the built-in search functionality of Adobe Acrobat or Reader, which allows searching for:

  • exact words or phrases
  • whole or partial words
  • case-sensitive terms
  • word stems

The Adobe Advanced Search mode shows all search results as a list with each entry linked to the results page and the search term highlighted. To access this mode, select Edit> Advanced Search or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F. Then select Show More Options at the bottom of the pop-up window to show additional search criteria.


Printing may be limited or disabled depending on the subscription type. See the Features page for details. You can copy and paste document excerpts (text, tables, figures, etc.) into a word-processing application, such as MS Word, and print them.


The publications you have ordered are copyrighted by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and protected by Canadian Copyright Law and international treaty provisions. Your right to reproduce portions of the documents is limited by the Licence Agreement: please read it carefully before copying any excerpts. Such excerpts may only be incorporated into a single new document and must not be altered in any way that could affect their meaning. The source of an excerpt must be acknowledged.

You can copy and paste document excerpts (text, tables, figures, etc.) into a word-processing application, such as MS Word.

Technical support

Technical support information on the CODES–GUIDES Online Library is available on the web site under Client support.

Minimum system requirements

For system requirements, see Codes-Guides Online Library System Requirements.

PDF files

The Historical Codes (1941-1995), Codes and Guides from 2005 to 2011, and Provincial Codes are available as non-DRM protected PDF files. Use any PDF reader application to view these file.

Viewing DRM-protected secured PDF files


  1. Install FileOpen and Acrobat Reader (if not installed yet).
  2. Verify FileOpen plug-in is properly installed:
    1. Open Acrobat/Reader > Preferences > 3d party plug-ins
    2. FileOpen WebPublisher should be listed there.
  3. To ensure that PDF files open in Adobe Acrobat or Reader and NOT in PDF Viewer:
    1. Open Acrobat or Reader.
    2. Go to Preferences > Internet.
    3. Check off "Display PDF in browser using" and select "Adobe Reader XXX" from the drop-down menu. Make sure it is the app with the FileOpen installed, see item 2.
  4. If using Mac 10.6 see instructions from Adobe: Acrobat PDF Plug-in Does Not Load in Safari 64-bit Web Browser on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (v10.6).

Your publications


Once you have successfully placed your publication order through the NRC Virtual Store or the NRC Construction Research Centre Client Services, you will receive a confirmation email within 1 business day containing your Sales Order Number, the list of publications you ordered, and a link to the CODES–GUIDES Online Library Web site. If you don't receive this confirmation email in your inbox, check your junk mail folder as some email systems may place it into this folder.

Important: Keep your Sales Order information handy: you will need it to activate your publications and for Customer Service or Technical Support enquiries.

Getting started

Before you can view your publications, you must complete four initial steps on the computer you will use to view the CODES–GUIDES publications:

  1. Install Adobe Acrobat or Reader.
  2. Install the FileOpen Plug-in to view DRM-protected secure PDF files.
  3. Register as a CODES–GUIDES Online Library user, or sign in using an existing account. Note that the Library is not the same system as the Virtual Store where the Codes and Guides are ordered, so your Virtual Store login will not work.
  4. Activate your publications.

The main log-in page is the starting point for new and registered users (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: CODES-GUIDES Online Library log-in screen

Figure 1


If you are a new user, click on "Click here to register," which will take you to the registration form (see Figure 2 in the next section).

If you are a registered user, you can activate and access your publications by logging in with your User Name and Password.

Registering as a user

From the main log-in page (Figure 1), new users are directed to the registration form (see Figure 2). Enter your information in the mandatory fields (read the instructions carefully).

Figure 2: Registration form

Figure 2


Click on "Register" to submit your registration. A confirmation screen will appear (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Registration confirmation screen

Figure 3


Activating publications

Important: Activation must be carried out on the computer you are going to use to view the publications. The PDF documents will be locked to the computer on which they are initially opened. They cannot be transferred and viewed on a different computer.

You can activate all your publications at once or only some of them. You can always activate your remaining publications at a later date.

Once you are registered as a user, you can activate the publications that you ordered. You will need the following information to do so:

  • the User Name and Password used to register for the CODES–GUIDES Online Library
  • the Sales Order Number

If you have multiple Sales Orders, repeat the activation steps for each Sales Order. When you log in, all active publications will be available to you, regardless of the Sales Order.

To activate your publications:

  1. Go to the main log-in page for the CODES– GUIDES Online Library.
  2. Enter your User Name and Password, then click on "Log in." The page shown in Figure 4 will appear.
    Figure 4: Access my publications screen

    Figure 4

  3. Click on "Activate subscriptions" to start the activation process. The page shown in Figure 5 will appear.
    Figure 5: License agreement screen

    Figure 5

  4. Enter the Sales Order number for the order that contains the publications you would like to activate.
  5. Read the Licence Agreement. You must accept the terms stated in this agreement to proceed. Click on the box beside "I agree with the Terms…," then click on "Continue." A list of ordered publications will appear (see Figure 6 for an example).
    Figure 6: Select publications screen

    Figure 6

  6. Select the publications you would like to activate and click on "Activate subscriptions." The page shown in Figure 7 will appear.
    Figure 7: Register your computer screen

    Figure 7

  7. Click on the "Download" button. You will be prompted to Save or Open the PDF document.
  8. Click on "Save" to download and save your publications on your local storage device.
  9. Open the saved PDF file to complete the activation process.
  10. Click on "Log out" to end the session.

Subsequent downloading of active publications

Important: Keep your User Name and Password for future use. You will need them to log in to check for updated versions of your active publications, to activate new publications or to download an active publication again in the event that your initial file gets damaged or lost. As new printings of the Codes are published, they will automatically be added to the list and will be available to you for downloading. No additional activation will be required.

If your locally saved and activated PDF file has been damaged or lost you can download it again. Simply log in to the CODES-GUIDES Online Library. Your active publications will be listed on the page entitled "Access my publications". Figure 9 shows an example.


Click on the link indicating the printing of the publication, under the document title (Figure 8). You will be prompted to Open or Save the PDF file. You can save the PDF file to any folder on your hard drive.

Figure 8: Active publications screen

Figure 8


Viewing publications

Once the publications have been downloaded to a computer and activated, no Internet connection is required to view them. To view your active publications, double-click on the PDF file you saved on your computer. The document will load and open in Adobe Acrobat or Reader.

Resetting your password

You can re-set your password by clicking on "Forgot password?" from the main log-in page. You will need your User Name and the email address provided upon initial registration. Fill out the form (see Figure 9) and click on "Reset password."

Figure 9: Forgot your password screen

Figure 9


You will receive an email containing your new temporary password and a link to the "Change Password" page. Click on this link and follow the instructions on screen to change your temporary password (see Figure 10).

Figure 10: Change password screen

Figure 10


User name lookup

You can look up your username by clicking on "Forgot user name?" from the main log-in page. You will need the email address that was provided to us on initial registration. Fill out the form (see Figure 11) and click on "Lookup User Name."

Figure 11: Forgot user name screen

Figure 11


You will receive an email providing your user name for the Codes-Guides Online Library.

Changing your e-mail address

You can update the-mail address registered for your Codes-Guides Online Library user account by logging in to the Codes-Guides Online Library and clicking on "Change E-mail".

Figure 12: Access my publications screen

Figure 12


Fill out the form (see Figure 13) and click on "Change E-mail."

Figure 13: Change e-mail address screen

Figure 13