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Technical Support
Frequently Asked Questions

Platform Inquiries





Sharing and Collaboration API


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.

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, reference the Windows README file.

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 4.6.1 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 100 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 6.0 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.
  • Any Internet-enabled device, for example a mobile phone, with access to WebWISER
    • Advantage: nothing to install; only an Internet browser is required.
    • Disadvantages
      • Internet connectivity required
      • Device-specific installations include a custom user interface designed to take advantage of the full power of your device.

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: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 7 or later. WISER is dependent on Microsoft's .NET Framework 4.6.1, which does not support earlier versions of Windows.

At least 40 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 4.6.1. Previous versions depended on .NET 1.1, 2.0, or 3.0. 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: Yes, the system adminstrator install MSI installer is specifically provided for this use.

Q: Why is WISER not loading my protective distance maps?

A: Protective distance mapping, unlike the rest of the WISER application, does require an Internet connection. If you have already verified that you are connected to the Internet, it is possible that a firewall is preventing WISER from getting the information it needs. To fix this, unblock the following URLs:

If your issues persist, please contact us.

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 9.3 or higher. It requires about 100 MB of disk space for installation.


Q: What Google Android devices are supported?

A: WISER for Android requires an Android device running version 6.0 or later of the Android OS. It requires about 100 MB of disk space for installation.


Q: What web browsers are supported?

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

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari

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

Sharing and Collaboration API

Q: How do I share a link in WISER for Android

A: Content within the WISER for Android app can be shared by selecting the Share icon button, which is usually located in the option menu in the top-right section of the action bar (see figure 1). Sometimes, the share button will be tucked away in the option menu. In this case, the button will contain the word "Share" instead of an icon (See figure 2). If the share button is not visible, then the content you are viewing is not able to be shared. When the button is clicked, a dialog will appear with a list of applications that support text-based messaging, such as SMS and email.

Figure 1
Figure 2

Q: How do I share a link in WISER for iOS

A: WISER for iOS uses the standard iOS share icon.

It will usually be located in the bottom-righe corner of the display for iPhone, and on the left toolbar on iPad. When clicked, an app chooser dialog will appear that includes any possible sharing options.

Q: How do I share a link in WebWISER?

A: Links in WebWISER can be shared by simply copying the URL from your browser. You can then send it though any text-based messaging channel you like (See figure 3).

Figure 3

Q: How do I share a link in WISER for Windows?

A: Similar to the other platforms, WISER for Windows will have a share button in the GUI for content that can be shared.

Q: What happens when I select a link and don't have WISER installed on my device?

A: On mobile devices, the link will open be opened in the browser and show the content using WebWISER.