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Vensim Help

The SDM-Doc tool was developed by the Global Security Sciences Division at Argonne National Laboratory, and was inspired by Oliva’s (2002) work on HTML model documentation.

For a description of the tool and its purpose, see: Martinez-Moyano, I. J. (2012), Documentation for model transparency. System Dynamics Review, 28: 199–208. To summarize, SDM-Doc will analyze your model in a number of different ways and is an accepted standard on model documentation.

The official version of SDM-Doc can be found on the System Dynamics Society website at


Getting SDM-Doc

SDM-Doc needs Java Runtime in order to work. At the time this was written, the current website for official Java Runtime downloads was It is advised to search for the latest download site in case it has changed. Download and install the Java Runtime.

Now download and unzip SDM-Doc from the official website


Setting up Vensim to use SDM-Doc

First, download and unzip SDM-Doc from the official website.

The next thing to do is to tell Vensim where SDM-Doc can be found. The easiest way to do this is to click Tools->SDM-Doc. If it is not set up, you will be prompted to search for SDM-Doc.

If you need to change this in future, click Tools->Options (or Preferences on MacOS) and navigate to the "Paths" tab. On Vensim PLE, the path to SDM-Doc is on the main options page. Click the browse button and navigate to where you downloaded SDM-Doc. On Windows, select "SDM-Doc.vbs" and on MacOS select "SDM-Doc.command". Now click OK.



Starting SDM-Doc with your model.

If you have SDM-Doc setup correctly, simply click the "Tools" menu followed by "SDM-Doc". Vensim will launch SDM-Doc with the active model.