System Requirements

DirectRT will run well on most computers running Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, 7, 8, or 10. DirectRT will not run on Windows NT because NT does not support DirectX beyond version 4 (7 or later is required). It is recommended that systems running DirectRT have at least 64mb of memory, a high quality graphics card with at least 16mb of video memory and a processor speed of at least 500mhz. The log files that DirectRT produces will show you whether or not the computer in question can handle your experimental design.

You can tell which version of DirectX is installed on your machine by typing "dxdiag" from the run command on the Start menu. If DirectX is installed, doing this will tell you which version you are currently running. If you have version 7 or later installed, you can click on the "Display" tab to ensure that there are no problems or warnings given with regard to the compatibility between DirectX and your display adaptor (video card). If there are no warnings, then all should be ok. If you'll be using sound with DirectRT, you can do the same with the "Sound" tab.

Finally, it is also necessary to have a spreadsheet application installed (e.g., Excel) if you plan to edit or view the DirectRT input and output files on that machine--or if you plan to try the DirectRT on-line tutorials. All input and output files are created and saved in .CSV format that are editable using any standard spreadsheet application. See File Format for more details. You do NOT have to have a spreadsheet application installed simply to run the experiments and gather data. Note that users in a few countries may have to set their "Regional Settings" in the Windows Control Panel to that of the United States in order to correctly view and edit .csv files in Excel.

Backward Compatibility

If you are accustomed to using a previous version of DirectRT (v2000-v2014), you should be able to continue using v2016 without having to learn anything new. DirectRT v2016 is backward compatible so that DirectRT experiments from all previous versions should run the same as they always have without requiring modification. Of course, be sure to confirm compatibility for yourself with any old experiments prior to scheduling participants. As we continue to update v2016 with new fixes and features, we will post the changes on our support site at:


To install DirectRT, double-click on the downloaded file "drt2016.x.x" (where x.x indicates the current release). The installation program will guide you through the set-up procedure. After the setup is complete, follow the security instructions below to gain authorization for each workstation to run DirectRT. Note that we periodically release updated packages, so feel free to check for and download newer releases at any time from our download webpage.


To help control unauthorized distribution and use of DirectRT, it has been secured with ATX™ software protection. DirectRT will not run on any machine until this security has been disabled. To disable the security follow these steps:

Install and run DirectRT.

You will receive a message that the current workstation requires authorization to use the software, and a 14-character code beginning with a D will be displayed.

Email the code that appears to If you are an authorized user, you will receive a translation of this code which will be a registration number unique for the machine on which you have installed DirectRT (usually the same day). DirectRT should now be fully functional. If you are not yet an authorized user, you may still request a code which will allow you to use and evaluate DirectRT for up to 21 days. Important: ATX™ codes are unique to every machine. Be sure to get authorization for each machine that will be using the software. If you have any difficulty at all with this procedure, please contact us for assistance.

The Ultimate in Convenience.

If you belong to an organization that has purchased a site license then we can hard code your department's IP patterns into our software so that ANY machine conforming to that pattern (e.g., 123.123.123.*) will start up right away. Ask for details.

System Settings

We recommend the following for your general system set-up:

True colors. To allow for the full range of colors usable by DirectRT, it is recommended that you use 16, 24, or 32 bit color. Many systems are set by default to 8 bit , which provides for only 256 colors (colors or color ranges may appear as dots, patterns, or solid regions). To set this option, right click anywhere on the desktop and then select Properties. Choose settings, and then select the highest color range possible. 24 and 32 bit color ranges are both capable of displaying close to the full range of colors detectable by the human eye.

Show file extensions. File extensions, the three-letters following the period on file names (e.g., .txt, .csv, .bmp), are commonly used and referred to in DirectRT. For this reason, it is advisable that you don’t instruct Windows to hide these from you. To set this as a default in Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7, go to Computer (WINKEY+E.).  Press the Alt key to show the toolbar and select  Tools > Folder Options. Then click the View tab, uncheck Hide extensions for known file types, and click OK.