User's manual for "concurrent-user online" subscriptions

Table of contents

General information


Your organization has purchased concurrent user subscription terms of 1 or 5 years to publications in the CODES–GUIDES Online Library. This manual covers access to these publications through the CODES–GUIDES Online Library user interface.

New: Historical Codes (1941-1995), National Codes and Guides from 2005 to 2011, and Provincial Codes are now available as standard non-DRM protected PDFs (Android, Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Linux), fully printable.

Important: OPN Files (Flash) are no longer supported.

The 2015-2017 National CODES–GUIDES publications and current Alberta and Quebec Codes are available as DRM-protected secure PDF files which are unlocked when users access the Online Library.

See the sections on minimum system requirements and set-up before proceeding.

Subscription features


Concurrent user subscriptions allow a number of users to simultaneously access the Codes and the User’s Guides via the Internet from a device (Mac, PC) connected to their organization's network at a registered location or through a VPN connection without having to log in. The number of concurrent users is limited to the number of licences purchased by your organization for a specified registered location (organizations may have more than one registered location).

Electronic Formats

Secure PDF Files

The Codes and the User’s Guides are available as secure PDF files:

  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is used to protect copyrighted material from reproduction and redistribution.
  • You will need to install a free DRM tool, FileOpen Plug-In for Adobe Acrobat or Reader, in order to view the documents.
  • Copy and paste function for text excerpts is enabled.
  • Printing may be limited or disabled depending on the code edition and subscription type. See the Features page for details.


With the CODES-GUIDES Online Library subscriptions, you always have access to up-to-date publications, including any approved revisions and errata. Your main Library page shows the latest printing of your publication along with the previous printings. A Revisions and Errata section at the beginning of each Code lists the changes that have been made since the text was first published.


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. However, you can copy and paste excerpts into a word-processing application, such as MS Word, and then print the page.


The publications to which you have subscribed 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 license agreement: please read it carefully before copying any extracts. Extracts 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 extracts must be acknowledged.

You can copy document extracts (text, tables, figures and intent statements) into any word-processing or clipboard software using the Adobe Reader/Acrobat or Operating System built-in functionality:

  1. Text only: highlight the extract with the cursor and press the "Ctrl" and "c" keys simultaneously, or select "Edit" then "Copy" from the menu bar. This method does not preserve exact formatting of the content.
  2. Text, tables, figures, equations, etc.: scroll to the page/content that you want to copy and use your OS screen capture tool, such as Snipping Tool (Windows 7). This method copies content as an image and preserves the formatting of the extract as it appears in the document.

Technical support

Technical support information on the CODES–GUIDES Online Library is available on the web site under Client support. You can also contact your Concurrent User site Administrator (CUA).

System Requirements

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

Accessing and viewing the publications

Once the subscriptions have been activated, your CUA will send you an email containing a link to the CODES–GUIDES Online Library Web page. Click on this link to get to the page entitled "Access my publications," which lists the active publications for your organization (see Figures 1 and 2 for examples).

Figure 1: Access my publications screen, PC and Mac

Figure 1. PC and Mac

Figure 2: Access my publications screen, Android tablets

Figure 2. Android tablets


If, at any given time, the number of users currently viewing the publication you are trying to access exceeds the number of licences purchased for that publication, the message shown in Figure 3 will appear.

Figure 3: No available licenses screen

Figure 3


Important: As new printings of the Codes are published, they will automatically be added to the list and available to you.

Viewing publications

Depending on the size of the CODES-GUIDES document and your Internet access speed, download may take a few minutes.

PC/Mac/Windows 8 Tablet

Select the link to the PDF or OPN file of the Code document you would like to view (see Figure 8).


You will be prompted to Save or Open the PDF document. If you select Open, the document will open in the Adobe application you have installed on your computer.

You can save the document on your local storage device and open it later without first logging into the CODES-GUIDES Library portal.

Android Tablets

PDF - not supported