User Interface

Completely Customizable Graphical User Interface

ETABS offers a single user interface to perform modeling, analysis, design, and reporting. There is no limit to the number of model windows, model manipulation views, and data views.

Enhanced DirectX Graphics

DirectX graphics with hardware-accelerated graphics allow for navigation of models with fly-throughs and fast rotations.

Multiple Views

Users can view moment diagrams, load assignments, deflected shapes, design output and reports all in a single screen.

Quick Navigation and Data Management

The ETABS model explorer enhances your ability to manage data in your model. You can define, duplicate, and modify properties in groups and drag-and-drop properties right onto the models for assignment. User-defined displays can be set up easily in the model explorer for quick navigation.


Wide array of templates for quick model generation.

ETABS has a wide selection of templates for starting a new model quickly. At this model template stage, you have the ability to define grid and grid spacing, the number of stories, the default structural system sections, default slab and drop panel sections, and uniform loads (specifically dead and live loads).

Physical Model

The physical model is made up of objects that represent the physical structural members. Physical model views accurately display insertion points, member orientations, object intersections, and other geometric details captured by the object model.

Analytical Model

Analytical model views display the finite element model of the structure which is made up of the connectivity of the joints, frames, and shells and defined meshing. When the analysis is run, the analytical model is auto-generated from the model and its assignments and settings.


One of the most powerful features that ETABS offers is the recognition of story levels, allowing for the input of building data in a logical and convenient manner. You can define your models on a floor-by-floor, story-by-story basis, analogous to the way a designer works when laying out building drawings.

Enhanced Drafting Utilities

Intelligent snaps make model generation simple by detecting intersections, extensions, parallels, and perpendiculars automatically. Easily import an architectural DXF/DWG into the background of the ETABS modeling window and use it as a template to trace over to help you create your model. Turn layers on and off to pick which layer(s) you want to see. You can also right-button click on an element to quickly convert an area into an ETABS structural object.

Multiple Grid System Definition

In ETABS, grids can be defined as Cartesian, cylindrical, or general free-form grid systems. There is no limit to the number of grid systems in a model, and they can be rotated in any direction or placed at any origin within the model.

Developed Elevation Feature to Generate Custom Elevations

Developed elevations can elevate any drawn path on a plan view. This is particularly useful for elevating a facade that takes a very unique shape. Once the developed elevation is drawn, it will then be added to the list of elevations in the model.

Comprehensive Interactive Database Editing Tool

CSI software stores model data and other information in database tables which may be edited directly through interactive database editing. This powerful feature allows models to be developed or edited quickly.

Model Explorer Functionality

The model explorer allows easy access to model definition data, including property forms, load definitions and object forms, as well as analysis and design results in graphical, tabular and report formats.

Wide Array of Meshing Tools

Engineers have many options when it comes to mesh generation in ETABS. Simply select the area object and then select the rules for the automatic mesh generator to use. You also have the option to manually mesh objects into the model. This is referred to as external meshing. This results in a one-to-one correspondence between object and elements.

Building Components

Section Properties / Section Designer

ETABS has a built-in library of standard concrete, steel, and composite section properties of both US and International Standard sections. Section Designer is an integrated utility, built into SAP2000, CSiBridge, and ETABS, that enables the modeling and analysis of custom cross sections.

Shell Elements

Shell elements are used to model walls, slabs, ramps, decks, planks, and other thin-walled members. Shell objects will be meshed automatically into the elements needed for analysis.

Wall Stacks

Customizable wall configuration templates help you define your wall section properties with ease by drawing multilevel wall configurations in a single click. When you draw walls using the wall stack, all pier and spandrel labeling is automatically assigned.

Piers / Spandrels

Pier and spandrel labels produce integrated shears and moments for design purposes, for walls modeled with area finite elements. For example, an assemblage of 20X20 meshed shear wall areas could have results displayed and reported as if it were a single column.

Floor Diaphragms

Rigid, semi-rigid, and flexible floor diaphragms can be defined in ETABS. Diaphragms can be assigned to joint objects or area objects.

Powerful Nonlinear Elements to Accurately Represent the Behavior of a Structure

Nonlinear static analysis can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including analysis of a building for material and geometric nonlinearity; forming the P-delta stiffness for subsequent linear analyses; and performing static pushover analysis and staged construction.

Nonlinear Layered Shell Element

The layered shell allows any number of layers to be defined in the thickness direction, each with an independent location, thickness, behavior and material. Material behavior may be nonlinear.

Link Elements

ETABS has a many different link elements available for users to accurately represent the behavior of a structure. Link elements types include linear, multi-linear elastic, multi-linear plastic, gaps, hooks, dampers, friction isolators, rubber isolators, T/C isolators, and triple pendulum isolators.

Nonlinear Hinges

For nonlinear static, and nonlinear direct-integration time-history analyses, users may simulate post-yield behavior by assigning concentrated plastic hinges to frame and tendon objects.


Increase Productivity With the Use of Auto Lateral Loading

ETABS will automatically generate and apply seismic and wind loads based on various domestic and international codes.

Seismic Loading

are available. Upon selection of a code, the Seismic Load Pattern form is populated with default values and settings that may be reviewed and edited.


In ETABS, automatically calculated wind loads may be applied to diaphragms (rigid or semi-rigid), or to walls and frames, including non-structural walls such as cladding that are created using shell objects, and to frames in open structures.


Define a Wide Array of Loading Conditions in ETABS

Define specific loads to model a wide array of loading conditions with built-in user loading options.

Force / Moment

ETABS is robust when it comes to assigned loads. Uniform or non-uniform surface loads can be assigned in any direction, not just gravity. Uniform or trapezoidal loads can be defined on lines in any direction. The Force Load is used to apply concentrated forces and moments at the joints and along the frame elements.


Displacement loading represents the effect of support settlement and other externally imposed displacements upon the structure. Displacement loading can act through restraints as well as linear and nonlinear spring supports. Multiple-support dynamic excitation can be considered for structures supported on varying soils conditions or over large spans.


Automatically add analytical cladding to entire structure for loading purposes. The "cladding" consists of shell objects, with a None section property, that are added around the outermost perimeter of the structure. The intent of this command is to facilitate application of wind load.


The Temperature Load creates thermal strain in the Frame element. This strain is given by the product of the material coefficient of thermal expansion and the temperature change of the element. Temperature loads may be based on a user-specified uniform temperature change for the object, or they may be based on previously-specified joint object temperature changes at the joint objects at the ends of the frame object, or they may be based on a combination of both.

Live Load Reduction

Live-load-reduction factors may be assigned on a member-by-member basis. This may be done either within the graphical user interface, once design is complete, by right-clicking on a member, or it may be done using interactive database editing.


Perform Several Kinds of Analyses Using ETABS

CSI Solvers have been tried and tested by the industry for over 45 years. The SAPFire® Analysis Engine can support multiple 64-bit solvers for analysis optimization and perform both eigen analysis and Ritz analysis. Parallelization options are available to take advantage of multiple processors.

Static Analysis

Static analyses for user-specified vertical and lateral floor or story loads are possible. If floors with out-of-plane bending capability are modeled, vertical loads on the floor are transferred to the beams and columns through bending of the floor elements. Otherwise, vertical loads on the floor are converted automatically to span loads on adjoining beams, or point loads on adjacent columns, thereby automating the tedious task of transferring floor tributary loads to the floor beams without the need to explicitly model the secondary framing.


P-delta analysis captures the softening effect of compression and the stiffening effect of tension. A single P-delta analysis under gravity and sustained loads can be used to modify the stiffness for linear load cases, which can later be superposed. Alternatively, each combination of loads can be analyzed for full nonlinear P-delta effects. P-delta effects are included for all elements and are seamlessly integrated into analysis and design.

Wide Array of Dynamic Analysis Tools Available for Both Linear and Nonlinear

ETABS dynamic analysis capabilities include the calculation of vibration modes using Ritz or eigen vectors, response-spectrum analysis, and time-history analysis for both linear and nonlinear behavior.

Response Spectrum Analysis

Response-spectrum analysis determines the statistically-likely response of a structure to seismic loading. This linear type of analysis uses response-spectrum ground-acceleration records based on the seismic load and site conditions, rather than time-history ground motion records. This method is extremely efficient and takes into account the dynamical behavior of the structure.

Time History Analysis

Time history analysis captures the step-by-step response of structures to seismic ground motion and other types of loading such as blast, machinery, wind, waves, etc. Analysis can use modal superposition or direct-integration methods, and both can be linear or nonlinear. The nonlinear modal method, also called FNA for Fast Nonlinear Analysis, is extremely efficient and accurate for a wide class of problems. The direct-integration method is even more general, and can handle large deformations and other highly nonlinear behavior. Nonlinear time-history analyses can be chained together with other nonlinear cases (including staged construction) addressing a wide range of applications.

Modal Cases

A modal case defines the type and number of modes to be extracted from the model. An unlimited number of modal cases may be defined. Each modal case results in a set of modes, and each mode consists of a mode shape (normalized deflected shape) and a set of modal properties, such as period and cyclic frequency.

Eigen Vector Analysis

Eigen vector modal analysis finds the natural vibration modes of the structure, which can be used for understanding the behavior of the structure. It also determines the undamped free-vibration mode shapes and frequencies of the system, which provide an excellent insight into the behavior of the building.

Ritz Vector Analysis

Modes are generated by taking into account the spatial distribution of the dynamic loading, which yields more accurate results than the use of the same number of natural mode shapes. Ritz vector modes do not represent the intrinsic characteristics of the structure in the same way the natural (eigen vector) modes do.

Robust Nonlinear Analysis Tools Available

Nonlinear analysis methods are best applied when either geometric or material nonlinearity is considered during structural modeling and analysis.

Staged Construction

Incremental construction sequence modeling and loadings can be modeled in ETABS. Nonlinear effects can be considered such as large deflections, yielding, and gap opening and closing. Time-dependent creep, shrinkage, and strength-change effects will all so be taken into account.

Pushover Analysis

Pushover analysis features in ETABS include the implementation of FEMA 356 and the hinge and fiber hinge option based on stress-strain. The nonlinear layered shell element enables users to consider plastic behavior of concrete shear walls, slabs, steel plates, and other finite area elements in the pushover analysis. Force-deformation relations are defined for steel and concrete hinges.


Linear (bifurcation) buckling modes of a structure can be found under any set of loads. Buckling can be calculated from a nonlinear or staged-construction state. Full nonlinear buckling analysis is also available considering P-delta or large deflections effects. Snap-through buckling behavior can be captured using static analysis with displacement control. Dynamic analysis can be used for modeling more complex buckling, such as follower-load problems.

Direct Integration Time History

The nonlinear modal method, also called FNA for Fast Nonlinear Analysis, is extremely efficient and accurate for a wide class of problems. The direct-integration method is even more general, and can handle large deformations and other highly nonlinear behavior. Nonlinear time-history analyses can be chained together with other nonlinear cases (including staged construction), addressing a wide range of applications.

Performance-Based Design

Complete Automation of Performance-Based Design

Performance-Based Design (PBD) is a major shift from traditional structural design concepts and represents the future of earthquake engineering. These new procedures help assure that the design will reliably meet a desired level of performance during a given earthquake.

Steel and Concrete Material Models with Performance Levels (Confined and Unconfined)

ETABS introduces new special-purpose options and algorithms for the practical and efficient application of these procedures.

Steel and Concrete Fiber Models for Shear Walls and Columns

The fiber hinge model is more accurate in that the nonlinear material relationship of each fiber automatically accounts for interaction, changes along the moment-rotation curve, and plastic axial strain. Fiber hinges are ideal for dynamic behavior since they capture nonlinear hysteretic effects.

Stable and Fast Nonlinear Analysis (FNA) Implemented for PBD

The fundamental component of PBD is nonlinear dynamic analysis where an attempt is made to capture the real behavior of the structure by explicitly modeling and evaluating post-yield ductility and energy dissipation when subjected to earthquake ground motions.

Piers and Spandrels

Acceptance criteria can be assigned to piers and spandrels that can measure forces or stresses as a ratio of the square-root of the concrete compressive strength f'c.

Options for Hysteretic Stiffness and Strength Degradation

Fiber hinges are ideal for dynamic behavior since they capture nonlinear hysteretic effects.

Performance-Based Design – Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria can be assigned to material properties, hinges, piers, spandrels, links and panel zone properties for use in performance checks.

Performance Check: Greater Control of Entire Model

The Performance Check feature now provides greater control over the calculation of the demand-capacity ratio (D/C ratio) for the whole model, as well as for each object individually. A performance check can now include acceptance criteria from links, strain gauges, pier and spandrel forces, and panel zones, along with frame and wall hinges which were previously available. Multiple demand sets can be specified as well as multiple combination methods, allowing more control over the Performance Check results.

Customizable Results Display

Enhanced plots, output tables and graphical display allow the user complete control for accessing all output.

Output Tables

The output tables have been enhanced to tabulate the demand-capacity ratio (D/C ratio) for the whole model, as well as for each object individually.

Graphical Display

Graphical display of performance check results (Display > Performance Check) has been enhanced to include acceptance criteria from links, strain gauges, pier and spandrel forces, and panel zones, along with frame and wall hinges which were previously available.

Time History Plots

A new plot function "Acceptance Criteria D/C Ratio" has been added. This plot function can be used to display the demand-capacity ratio (D/C ratio) for a specified group and specified performance level for all steps of a multi-stepped load case (e.g. time-history).

Performance Check Usage Ratio Diagram

A new menu item (Display > Performance Check Usage Ratio Diagram) which shows the demand-capacity ratio (D/C ratio) for all demand sets in a performance check and for a specified performance objective. This display is a visualization tool to show the relative contribution of each demand set and/or object type in a performance check.


Utilize Interactive Design Capabilities to Maximize Efficiency

Design of steel frames, concrete frames, concrete slabs, concrete shear walls, composite beams, composite columns and steel joists can be performed based on a variety of US and international design codes.

Steel Frame Design

Fully integrated steel frame design includes member size optimization and implementation of design codes. ETABS allows users to interactively view design results at any frame member, change the parameters or section properties, and display the updated member results.

Auto-Select Lists

When creating an ETABS model containing steel or concrete frame objects (frames, composite beams, and joists), determining explicit preliminary member sizes for analysis is not necessary. Instead, apply an auto-select section property to any or all of the frame objects. An auto-select property is a list of section sizes rather than a single size. The list contains all of the section sizes to be considered as possible candidates for the physical member, and multiple lists can be defined.

Concrete Frame Design

Concrete frame design in ETABS includes required area of steel calculations, auto-selection lists for new member sizing, implementation of design codes, interactive design and review, and comprehensive overwrite capabilities.

Composite Beam/Column Design

Comprehensive composite beam design includes member sizing using auto-select lists, calculation of camber and stud requirements, implementation of US and many international design codes, and comprehensive overwrite capabilities.

Shear Wall Design

Shear wall design includes calculation of reinforcing requirements for both overturning and shear, demand/capacity calculations of defined reinforcement, US and international design codes, and comprehensive overwrite capabilities.

Concrete Slab Design

ETABS will calculate the minimum reinforcement requirements of area, intensity, or number of bars. Design will be performed at multiple stations. Design strips can be non-orthogonal and of varying width.

Output and Display

Accessing model output and design results in ETABS is straightforward and practical.

Output analysis and design results for further post-processing, presentations, or project submittals are simple tasks in ETABS.

Analysis Results

Finalized member design, deformed geometry, moment, shear, and axial-force diagrams, section-cut response displays, and animation of time-dependent displacements outline a few of the graphics available upon conclusion of analysis.

Tabular Output

ETABS has the ability to display and dock tables for all input data, analysis results, and design results. Organize the tables in any way you like by dragging and dropping them to any location of the ETABS environment. Tables support sort, cut, copy and paste for use in other programs. Print or save tabular data to Access, Excel, Word, HTML or TXT.

Shell Force and Stress Contours

Display of shell forces and stress contours can be based on load case, load combination, or modal case. Users can show resultant forces and shell stresses on any component in any direction. Control the stress contour appearance by showing undeformed, deformed, or extruded shapes, with or without loading values.

Deformed Shape

Users can display deformed geometry based on any load or combination of loads, as well as animations of modes.

Reaction Diagrams

Support reactions can be displayed graphically on the model either as vectors or as tabular plots for selected reaction components.

Report Generation

The report generator features include an indexed table of contents, model definition information, and analysis and design results in tabulated format.

Customized User-Defined Reports

Reports are viewable within ETABS with live document navigation connected to the Model Explorer and directly exportable to Microsoft Word.

Design Output Reports

Professional-quality design reports are generated automatically, which include detailed information for steel frames, concrete frames, concrete slabs, concrete shear walls, composite beams, composite columns and steel joists.

Import and Export

ETABS supports many industry standards for importing and exporting data.

Autodesk® Revit®, Tekla® Structures, AutoCAD® (DXF/DWG), BricsCAD®, CIS/2, IFC, IGES, and SDNF are all supported. ETABS also supports exporting of a model to a Microsoft Access database. If users are using other analysis packages, ETABS can import files from STAAD and STRUDL®.

Learn how CSI products work with other BIM software to provide efficient, integrated and open design workflows.

With CSI software, collaboration between different AEC teams is handled efficiently through compatibility with other BIM software.

AutoCAD® and BricsCAD®

CSiXCAD, a CSI-developed plug-in for AutoCAD® and BricsCAD®, streamlines drawing production by interacting with SAP2000 and ETABS directly. CSiXCAD provides a live link between structural models defined and maintained in SAP2000 and ETABS and the drawings documenting them in the CAD software. CSiXCAD generates a full 3D model and generates an initial set of drawings automatically that can then be refined within the CAD software.


CSiXRevit, a CSI-developed plug-in for Revit®, provides a bi-directional link between SAP2000, ETABS, and/or SAFE and Revit. Structural modeling can be done in one program and later synced with another with full control over what model information is transferred between the CSI software model and the Revit model.


The link between Tekla® Structures and SAP2000 or ETABS allows models to be started in either product, then transferred to the other. Round-tripping of models is possible, including accepting of changes when transferring from SAP2000 or ETABS to Tekla Structures. It is also possible to merge changes to a Tekla Structures model to an existing SAP2000 or ETABS model.


Support of IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) data models provides compatibility with other BIM-enabled applications. SAP2000, CSiBridge, and ETABS all support import and export of IFC 2x3 and IFC 4 formats.

CSI's Application Programming Interface (API) allows engineers and developers to exploit the power and productivity of CSI software programmatically.

Build custom solutions on top of the CSI Platform to automate your workflows and increase your efficiency.

Multiple Language Support

The API is compatible with most major programming languages, including Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), VB.NET, C#, C++, Visual Fortran, Python, and Matlab.

Smart Spreadsheets

Employ the API from within an Excel spreadsheet to create, modify, and run a model, then extract the results back to the spreadsheet for further processing.

Build Custom Plugins

Plugins created with the API can be accessed directly from within CSI software, allowing users to utilize custom commands in conjunction with the regular software features.

Cross-Product Development

The CSI API is currently available for ETABS, SAP2000, and CSiBridge. To maximize your development efforts, the CSI API has been made as consistent as possible between the products to allow tools and applications created using the CSI API to be adapted easily for all CSI products. Starting with ETABS v18, SAP2000 v21 and CSiBridge v21, it is now possible to develop cross-product API tools that work with all three products. This allows you to write the code once and use it in all three products. These versions of the API are also forward-compatible to future major versions of these products without the need for recompiling.