Frequently Asked Questions
What is ANSI?
ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system. Read What Is ANSI? - an Overview.
Learn more about ANSI.
What is an American National Standard?
An American National Standard is a document that has been sponsored by an ANSI-accredited standards developing organization (SDO)
and then approved by ANSI’s Board of Standards Review (BSR) as meeting certain criteria for openness, balance, due process, and consensus in standards development –
the ANSI’s Essential Requirements. ANSI’s SDO and American National Standard approval processes work in tandem to help make standards development
in the U.S. an equitable and open process that serves both U.S. business and the public good. People routinely search for ANSI Standards.
ANSI Standard is technically a misnomer for “ANSI accredited standards,” since ANSI itself does not develop the standards.
What most people think of as ANSI Standards are actually standards developed by one of the 250+ standards developers accredited by ANSI,
and then approved by ANSI as having met the due process criteria spelled out in
ANSI’s Essential Requirements.
Are the documents at the ANSI eStandards Store in electronic Adobe Acrobat PDF format only?
All documents on the ANSI eStandards Store are in electronic Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
Please download this PDF file to your computer upon purchase. Sorry, ANSI does not sell or ship documents in hard copy.
What is a DRM protected document?
Some PDF files are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the request of the copyright holder. You can download and open this file to your own computer but DRM prevents opening this file on another computer, including a networked server.
Some copyright holders may impose other restrictions that limit document printing and copy/paste of documents.
Why are some documents non printable?
Those documents cannot be printed at the request of the copyright holder.
What documents are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM)?
They are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) and will require the File Open plug in: AGA, AIAG, ASHRAE, ASIS, ASME, AWS, AWWA, BHMA, CGA, CITRA, ICC, IESNA, IEST, IPC, LIA, MSS, NASPO, NEMA, NFPA-Fire, NSF, PMI, SAE & WMMA.
Are documents protected with Digital Rights Management (DRM), compatible with Kindle and iPad?
The following collections are not compatible with iPad or Kindle: AGA, AIAG, ASHRAE, ASIS, ASME, AWS, AWWA, BHMA, CGA, CITRA, ICC, IESNA, IEST, IPC, LIA, MSS, NASPO, NEMA, NFPA-Fire, NSF, PMI, SAE & WMMA.
What payment options do I have?
You can purchase standards through the ANSI eStandards Store using a credit card, deposit account or keycode.
My order won’t go through or my credit card keeps getting rejected, why?
Transactions are generally declined for your security. Be sure the billing address and phone number
exactly match your credit card statement and the account number, card type, expiration date and CCV number are entered
online exactly as they appear on your card. It is also possible that the purchase exceeds the maximum credit limit for the card.
You can try to use a different card.
I forgot my password, what should I do?
From the login screen, you can select the radio button, “Forgot my password” and a new password will be e-mailed to you instantly.
How do I purchase standards online?
- Search for standards by keyword or publication number in the search box.
- Browse standards by developers or groupings by clicking on the icons, pull down menus or navigation tabs. Standards are available as individual documents, collections, site licenses and subscriptions. View a product comparison chart if you are not sure which product is best for you.
- Review the results of your search. You can click "Add to Cart" or you can click the document title for the document details.
- Follow the onscreen prompts in the shopping cart to change quantities, choose a payment option, update the cart, continue shopping, checkout…
- Checkout – read and accept the End User License Agreements applicable to your purchase. There may be multiple agreements.
- Once you have clicked on the "purchase" button, your order will be processed immediately online. You will then see the purchase confirmation screen. From this screen you can print a receipt. To print a copy of the order receipt, click on the order number in the purchase confirmation page.
- You will shortly receive an e-mail confirming your order.
How do I use standards tracking with the Alert option or RSS?
Click on “Alert” in the top navigation bar. You will be asked to register if you have not already done so.
Search for an ISO or IEC standard in the search box at the top of the webpage. The Alert Me option is to the left of
the “Add to Cart” button. Click on “Alert Me” to add to your Alert Profile. The Alert Me feature is available on ISO and IEC documents only.
RSS is available for standards tracking on all SDO pages or each department page and also on news pages.
How do I know whether I should buy indivdual standards, packages or a site license?
Standards are available a number of different ways, each offering different benefits. Individual standards or multiple copies of individual standards can be cost effective for a small number of standards or authorized users. Predefined packages and site licenses group related standards together for convenience and are more cost effective for certain situations. View a product comparison chart to determine which product is best for you. Hyperlink should go to updated product comparsion chart.
View a product comparison chart to determine which product is best for you.
How can I download the purchased standards?
In order to download the file(s) you have purchased, please use the following instructions depending on your browser type.
You have seven days to download the file(s).
- Click on the download button in the top navigation bar at the top of the webstore page after completing your order.
- You will then be taken to the Order History page. Click on the order number you wish to access.
- Move your curser over the Document# or Document Title option.
- You can left click on your mouse to download and save the document.
- Left click on Download File Button.
- Click on Save option and you will then see a "Save As" dialog box.
- Please make sure that the file type is either a PDF or ZIP file.
- You'll be able to select the location and file name to save the document.
- You can click on the disk icon on the Adobe navigation bar, or click on the "Save" option on the File pull down menu.
- You'll get the "Save a Copy" dialog box by clicking on either selection.
- You'll be able to select the location and file name to save the document.
If you've purchased documents from the AGA, AIAG, ASHRAE, ASIS, ASME, AWS, AWWA, BHMA, CGA, CITRA, CSA (Z662 only), HI, ICC, IESNA, IEST, IKECA IPC, LIA,
MSS, NASPO, NEMA, NFPA-Fire, NSF, PMI, SAE, TCNA, WMMA collections, please follow these instructions:
What is a deposit account and how can I set one up?
- This step applies to uses of Adobe Reader 10 only.
- In order for the file open files to work correctly with Acrobat 10, you must have “protected mode” turned off BEFORE opening the ANSI files for the first time, otherwise they will fail to open afterwards.
- To turn it off, open Acrobat Reader X, open Edit, then Preferences, and under the General setting, uncheck “open in protected mode”. Then make sure to close out all adobe acrobat products.
- These files are protected at the developer’s request with Adobe Digital Rights Management (DRM).
- DRM prevents emailing, networking or transferring the standard.
- To download the file to your computer, left click on the Product# or Document button.
- You might be asked to download a plug in that will allow you to view the file, if not, click here to install the File Open plugin.
- The PDF will open in Adobe Reader and you can click on the File pull down menu to Save a Copy.
- Right clicking will give you the option to save the document to your computer in order to transfer the file to an End User.
- You can transfer the file to an End User as long as you have not opened the file.
- Left click on the Download File Button and click on Save button.
- You will then see the “Save As” dialog box.
You can purchase standards with your deposit account number. Select the payment type radio button for “deposit account” when. Enter your Deposit Account number and password instead of a credit card number. Follow this link for more information and to setup a deposit account.
How can I qualify for a member discount or learn more about membership?
How do I get a keycode and how is it used?
What are cookies and what if I don’t have them enabled?
- A keycode is a number assigned to a company based on membership with one of ANSI’s partnered members in order to access specific collections of standards. If you want to find out whether or not your company is involved with one of our partnered members, contact our customer service department by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (1.212.642.4980).
- In order to acquire the file(s) in your shopping cart, please check the Key Code radio button under
"Choose a payment option", then click "Checkout". In the new window screen enter your keycode number and click the "enter" button.
- A cookie is a bit of information that saved on your computer; it will help the store identify who you are when you visit the site. It also keeps track of the standards that you want to purchase.
- In order to enable cookies, use the help feature in your browser by pressing the F1 key and searching for “cookies” or “enable cookies”.
What is Acrobat Reader and Portable Document Format?
Why charge for standards?
- Via the eStandards Store, ANSI offers national and international standards directly over the World Wide Web. The documents are available in Portable Document Format, which requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in for viewing.
- PDF is the preferred file format, because it preserves the look and style of the document. PDF also reduces the file size thereby shortening the download time.
- The documents are not editable, nor do they permit selecting for cutting and pasting text. They do permit printing and searching on the full text. No password is required to open the files.
- However, some of the older documents are scanned at 300 dpi and converted to PDF+Text. If the document you have is a scanned version, it is because an original, electronic source file was not available. We are also working closely with developers to track down electronic text which we may not have had access to during production. This is due to a variety of factors, including platform/OS issues between author and our production team. In the late 80s and early 90s, authoring file formats (and OSs and fonts, etc.) were much less stable than they are now.
End User License Agreement
- Though the electronic development and dissemination of standards does reduce costs such as printing, warehousing, and shipping hard-copy standards, the cost of producing and distributing - as well as maintaining - standards and standards-related information remains. Most expenses related to standards development and maintenance remain regardless of the method of distribution.
- Summarized below are several of the factors impacting the final price of a standard.
- Supporting the standards development process.
While most of the people working on standards development are volunteers, standards developers incur expense in the coordination of these voluntary efforts. From the time a new project is started through the final balloting and adoption of a standard and the subsequent maintenance procedures, much effort is involved in supporting the volunteers who actually write the documents. Meetings are scheduled; minutes and draft documents are distributed; and there remains a constant requirement for public notification about the activity. For international standards, the cost of standards also covers the cost of operating the ISO and IEC central secretariats.
Hundreds of staff employed by ANSI and Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) across the nation provide direct support for the domestic and international technical development activities of the volunteers.
- Supporting the standards users.
Once a standard is written and approved, users need to know it is available for their use. Catalogs and indexes must be created and maintained, whether in print or electronic format. Users may also need help in identifying the particular standard that is applicable to their need; this often goes beyond the kind of information available in a catalog or database. Directly charging for this kind of support would impose a barrier to the dissemination of the information in the standards, which is what the user ultimately wants. In light of this, operational expenses are recovered through the sale of standards.
In addition, considerable resources are expended in educating federal, state, and local government regulators and legislators as to the value and integrity of voluntary standards, and often, defending in the courts a standard and the process under which it was developed. Standards sales also support the staff time required to promote the global acceptance of international standards. These are important values for the users of standards who rely on marketplace acceptance of these standards to operate commercially.
- Intellectual property and commercial value issues.
The information contained in a standard is the intellectual property of the developing organization.
When others want to use this property, they are expected to pay a fair value for it.
If incorporating the content of a standard is deemed necessary in the development of a product or service,
obtaining this intellectual property should be seen as no different from obtaining any other component of the product.
- Electronic dissemination
While less expensive than paper-based development and distribution, electronic standards do incur production, warehousing and distribution costs in terms of manpower, facilities and equipment.
We hope this information provides some insight as to why there is a charge for standards, regardless of the distribution method.
To assist you in understanding the proper use of downloaded electronic standards from our webstore, we have a reference of all the end-user license agreements indicating the specific collection(s) to which each applies. These agreements will be displayed as part of the ordering process for the purchaser to accept prior to the completion of the purchase transaction.
What if I can’t find the answer to my question here?
If you didn't find an answer from the information above, please let us know the specific problem. Click here to e-mail us.
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You may also visit and obtain a hard copy version of a standard from any of the below listed vendors:
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