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Technical Support
Frequently Asked Questions

Platform Inquiries







Q: How do I get WISER?

A: WISER is available to download from this web site. Please go to our download page and get the desired version of WISER for your machine/device. If you are unable to download WISER, you may contact us to request a CD. However, download access is preferable so that you can keep current with WISER updates; see below for more details on CDs.

A web-based version of WISER, WebWISER, is also available. Only an Internet browser is required. Both PC- and mobile-based browsers are supported.

Q: Can I request a CD??

A: Yes. However, unless you have technical difficulties with downloading, we strongly encourage you to instead download WISER from this web site. A WISER CD simply contains the same setup programs that you would download. Downloading is preferable to ensure you get the latest and greatest, and it facilitates getting updates when they become available.

The primary benefit of a CD is for installing WISER on computers that do not have Internet connectivity. You are welcome to copy the downloaded setup programs to a CD to support this. In fact, our WISER for Windows download page includes an extra download for this purpose. Much larger than the normal download, it includes the 3rd party dependencies (Microsoft .NET Framework) that would otherwise need to be downloaded if not present on the target computer.

If, after considering the above, you still need/desire a CD, then contact us with your request.

Q: How do I install WISER?

A: The WISER download is a setup program that will install the correct files to your desktop/laptop and, if applicable, your mobile device. After downloading the Windows setup program to your PC, double-click on it and follow the instructions it presents. For detailed instructions, read the corresponding README files for the Windows or BlackBerry platforms.

Q: What operating systems / versions are required?

A: See the separate questions for:

Q: What other software is required?

A: WISER for Windows® requires the Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 or above. The WISER setup program will verify if this is already installed and, if not, will automatically download and install it. Note that the .NET installation requires administrative privileges.

Q: The WISER installation is prompting for a user name and password. Where do I get them?

A: WISER does not have a user name or password. The prompt you are seeing is generated by Microsoft Windows, which is requiring administrative user credentials to install software on your computer. Please contact your information systems support personnel for assistance.

Q: I uninstalled WISER, but the additional system dependencies that were installed did not get uninstalled. Why? Can I remove them?

A: WISER for Windows depends on the Microsoft .NET Framework, which the WISER setup program will install if required. However, uninstalling WISER will not uninstall .NET because .NET is system software, and there is no way to know if other applications on your PC require it. If you are sure it is not required for anything else, you may uninstall it by going to the Windows Control Panel and selecting Add/Remove Programs.

Q: How much memory is required? Why so much?

A: The vast majority of the memory required for WISER is storage space for the WISER database. WISER contains a wide range of information available for each substance, and that wealth of substance data takes considerable space.

WISER for Windows® requires approximately 35 megabytes of hard disk space.

Q: How are upgrades of the downloadable versions of WISER handled?

A: The downloaded WISER setup program will automatically upgrade previous installations of WISER. To ensure you are aware of new releases of WISER, please subscribe to the WISER e-mail list.

In addition, WISER for Windows provides an automatic update check capability. If enabled (via the File-->Preference menu option), and if connected to the Internet, WISER will automatically check the WISER web site for a new version each time it is started. This check can also be manually invoked by selecting the Check for Updates option from the Help menu.

WISER for iOS and WISER for Android depend on the built in OS mechanisms for updating mobile applications. Please see the settings for your specific mobile device for more information.

Q: Can I just download the WISER data?

A: No, a data-only download/update capability is not available, and it wouldn't provide any savings or benefit over the complete download and install. The database alone comprises 90% of the download, whereas the application is very small and fast to install. So, to ensure that users always have the latest versions of the application, database, and documentation, the only downloads we provide install everything.

Q: This FAQ doesn't answer my question; how do I get my question answered?

A: Please contact us. Feedback/questions are monitored daily, and we will do our best to answer questions immediately.

Platform Inquiries

Q: Can you recommend a mobile device for running WISER?

A: A summary of options follows:

  • iOS
    • iPhone/iPod touch/iPad devices: WISER for iOS
    • Advantages
      • Internet connectivity not required to run WISER
      • iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad support
    • Disadvantages
      • WISER for iOS and WISER for Android are the best versions of WISER offered for mobile devices. This includes support for devices that do not require a cell phone subscription (iPod touch/iPad) along with the use of a truly modern user interface.
  • Android
    • Android devices: WISER for Android
    • Advantages
      • Internet connectivity not required to run WISER
      • Support for Android devices running Android OS 2.1 or later
    • Disadvantages
      • WISER for iOS and WISER for Android are the best versions of WISER offered for mobile devices. This includes support for devices that do not require a cell phone subscription (Android tablets) along with the use of a truly modern user interface.
  • BlackBerry
    • Touch screen and non-touch screen BlackBerrys: WISER for BlackBerry
      • Advantages:
        • Allows quick and easy access to WISER information
      • Disadvantages:
        • Internet connectivity required to run WISER
        • Not finger friendly on touch screen BlackBerry
  • Any Internet-enabled device, for example, a Blackberry or iPhone, with access to WebWISER
    • Advantage: nothing to install; only an Internet browser is required.
    • Disadvantages
      • Internet connectivity required
      • While fully functional, the mobile version of WebWISER that is served to the BlackBerry is presented with a very simplistic user interface to provide maximum support of older BlackBerry browsers.

Q: Why isn't WISER available for [fill-in-your-platform here]?

A: Our goal with the WISER project is to provide a solution that can operate in a standalone, disconnected mode on the platforms that are most common for our primary user base: emergency responders. These platforms include Microsoft Windows PCs, Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices, and Google Android devices. For other platforms, support is available via WebWISER, the functionally-equivalent, Internet version of WISER. It can be accessed from any web browser, including those on mobile devices such as BlackBerries.

Funding and resources are limited, so we cannot support development for platforms which are not common among our users, and on which WebWISER is available as an alternative. See the following questions for further details regarding specific platforms.

Q: What about Mac OS or Linux support?

A: These platforms are supported by virtue of the availability of WebWISER, the functionally-equivalent, Internet version of WISER. Apple's Safari is one of the browsers included in our testing.

In general, Macintosh and Linux machines are not commonly used in the field by emergency responders, and thus users of these platforms are satisfied with the availability of WebWISER. Therefore, there are no current plans to develop standalone versions of WISER for Macintosh or Linux.

Q: Any plans to support the recently announced Palm WebOS platform?

A: Such devices are supported by virtue of the availability of WebWISER. We currently do not have plans for a downloadable, standalone version of WISER for this platform.

Q:What features are supported on each platform?

A: See the WISER capability chart.


Q: What versions of Microsoft Windows are supported?

A: WISER for Windows requires a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer running Windows XP or later. WISER is dependent on Microsoft's .NET Framework 3.5, which does not support earlier versions of Windows.

At least 35 megabytes of hard disk space is required for WISER, excluding .NET. If your computer does not have the required version of .NET installed, the WISER for Windows setup program will aid in downloading and installing it.

Q: I have an old version of Microsoft .NET Framework on my PC from a previous WISER installation. Can this be removed?

A: WISER for Windows depends on Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. Previous versions depended on .NET 1.1 or 2.0. It is recommended to not remove these in case you have other applications depending on them, even though the latest version of .NET should support backward compatibility with such applications. However, .NET 1.1 can be removed without affecting WISER. .NET 2.0 cannot, as .NET 3.x builds on top of it.

Q: I need to push a WISER installation out to multiple computers. Does WISER have a silent install option?

A: A silent install can be achieved by executing the setup program with "/SILENT" or "/VERYSILENT" command-line parameters, e.g.,

				 WISER_Windows_Setup.exe /VERYSILENT

The "/SILENT" option will still display a progress dialog, while "/VERYSILENT" will not display anything.

It may also be relevant to know that the setup is not a MSI (Windows Installer) package (WISER is packaged using the InnoSetup installation tool.)

Q: When I try to use the protective distance mapping feature WISER crashes.

A: Your Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installation did not successfully complete. Please download and install .NET from here.

Q: Why are the right and bottom edges of windows being cut off?

A: WISER for Windows will not display properly unless the normal (default) setting is used for the DPI scaling (font size) option. Please see the Known Issues section of the README for details on how to fix this.


Q: What Apple devices are supported?

A: WISER for iOS requires an Apple iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad device running iOS 7.0 or higher. It requires about 50 MB of disk space for installation.


Q: What Google Android devices are supported?

A: WISER for Android requires an Android device running version 2.2 or later of the Android OS. It requires about 100 MB of disk space for installation.


Q: What BlackBerry devices are supported?

A: WISER for BlackBerry requires a BlackBerry device running operating system 4.5 to 7.1. It requires 52k of disk space for installation. Connectivity to the internet is also required.

Q: Why does WISER for BlackBerry require a connection to the internet?

A: WISER for BlackBerry leverages WebWISER, WISER's web implementation, to deliver its content. This type of implementation is a direct result of technical feasibility issues with older  BlackBerry devices. WISER relies on a relational database, and a freely distributable database for BlackBerry devices is not currently available, across most BlackBerry operating system versions, that can fill our needs.

Q: How do you disable compatibility mode to run on touch screen devices?

A: On BlackBerry Storm devices, you will need to disable compatibility mode otherwise a blue border will be displayed around the application. This problem also affects the SureType virtual Keyboard making navigation and selection of fields or buttons very difficult. To turn off compatibility mode:

  • Go to options, then advanced options
  • Highlight WISER
  • Click on the menu button
  • Select disable compatibility mode
  • Once compatibility mode is disabled, restart your application.


Q: What web browsers are supported?

A: Theoretically, WebWISER should work with any PC- or mobile-based web browser. It is tested against a BlackBerry browser and against the following PC-based browsers:

  • Google Chrome 30
  • Mozilla Firefox 24
  • Internet Explorer 7 on Microsoft Windows
  • Safari 5

It is highly recommended that the latest versions of the indicated browsers be used.

Q: Why does some WebWISER content not display properly on my BlackBerry?

A: In the Browser Configuration Options, make sure that the options "Support HTML Tables" and "Support Style Sheets" are checked (enabled). Without these options there is certain content that will display very poorly. It is also recommended that the "Show Images" option be set to include HTML pages; the PDA-friendly version of WebWISER has intentionally been designed to avoid images as much as possible, but some content, in particular the WISER Tools, will not be useful without images.