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Jmol: an open-source Java viewer for chemical structures in 3D

Jmol icon

with features for chemicals, crystals, materials and biomolecules

Jmol is an interactive web browser applet.

This is a still image, but you can get an animated display of Jmol abilities by clicking here.

(The applet may take some seconds to load. Please, wait and do not reload the page in the meantime.)

The latest stable version is Jmol 13.0
How to cite Jmol
What Jmol can do
     What the critics are saying
Obtain Jmol
Learn to use Jmol
     Manuals and tutorials
     Learn by example
     Jmol community


Jmol is a free, open source molecule viewer for students, educators, and researchers in chemistry and biochemistry. It is cross-platform, running on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix systems.

  • The JmolApplet is a web browser applet that can be integrated into web pages.
  • The Jmol application is a standalone Java application that runs on the desktop.
  • The JmolViewer is a development tool kit that can be integrated into other Java applications.

How to cite Jmol

The recommended way to cite Jmol is:
Jmol: an open-source Java viewer for chemical structures in 3D.

Remember to always use uppercase 'J', lowercase 'mol' (explanation).

If you prefer, a list of articles that describe Jmol can be found in the Jmol Literature section of the Jmol Wiki.

What Jmol can do


Check out the Screenshot Gallery (still images) to see samples of what can be done with Jmol
and the Demonstration pages to see buttons and menus in action (interactive applet).


  • Free, open-source software licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License
  • Applet, Application, and Systems Integration Component
    • The JmolApplet is a web browser applet that can be integrated into web pages. It is ideal for development of web-based courseware and web-accessible chemical databases. The JmolApplet provides an upgrade path for users of the Chime plug-in.
    • The Jmol application is a standalone Java application that runs on the desktop.
    • The JmolViewer can be integrated as a component into other Java applications.
  • Multi-language
    • Translated into multiple languages: Catalan (ca), Chinese (both zh_CN and zh_TW) Czech (cs), Dutch (nl), Finnish (fi) French (fr), German (de), Hungarian (hu), Indonesian (id), Italian (it), Korean (ko), Malay (ms), Portuguese - Brazil (pt_BR), Spanish (es), Turkish (tr), Ukrainian (uk) (in addition to the native American English, en-US, and British English, en-GB).
    • Automatically adopts the language of the user's operating system, if it is among the translations available. You can change to another language if desired.
    • For up-to-date details or instructions for adding your language, see the Wiki.
  • Cross-platform
    • Windows
    • Mac OS X
    • Linux / Unix
  • Supports all major web browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, Konqueror, IceWeasel, ...
  • High-performance 3D rendering with no hardware requirements
  • File formats (see also the file formats section within Jmol Wiki):
    MOLMDL / Elsevier / Symyx structure (classic version V2000)
    V3000MDL / Elsevier / Symyx structure (new version V3000)
    SDFMDL / Elsevier / Symyx structure (multiple models)
    CTFileMDL / Elsevier / Symyx chemical table (generic)
    CIFCrystallographic Information File - standard from the International Union of Crystallography
    mmCIFMacromolecular Crystallographic Information File - standard from the International Union of Crystallography
    CMLChemical Markup Language
    PDBProtein Data Bank - Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics
    XYZXYZ format, XMol file - Minnesota Supercomputer Institute
    XYZ+vibXYZ format with added vibrational vector information
    XYZ-FAHXYZ format for Folding@home
    MOL2Sybyl, Tripos
    CSFFujitsu CAChe chemical structure, now Fujitsu Sygress
    GAMESSGeneral Atomic and Molecular Electronic Structure System output (both US and UK variants) - Gordon Research Group, Iowa State University
    GaussianGaussian 94/98/03 output - Gaussian, Inc.
    CubeGaussian, Inc.
    GhemicalThe Ghemical computational chemistry package
    MM1GPGhemical molecular mechanics file
    HINHIN / HIV files from HyperChem - Hypercube, Inc.
    JaguarSchrodinger, LLC
    MOLPROMolpro output
    MOPACMOPAC 93/97/2002 output (public domain)
    MGFMOPAC 2007 (v.7.101) graphf output (public domain)
    NWCHEMNWChem output - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    odydataOdyssey data - WaveFunction, Inc.
    xodydataOdyssey XML data - WaveFunction, Inc.
    QOUTQ-Chem, Inc.
    SHELXStructural Chemistry Department, University of Göttingen (Germany)
    SMOLSpartan data - Wavefunction, Inc.
    spinputSpartan data - Wavefunction, Inc.
    GROGromos87 format from GROMACS
    PQRModified pdb format including charge and radius
    AmberThe Amber package of molecular simulation programs
    JMEJava Molecular Editor - Peter Ertl
    CASTEPThe CASTEP software package, uses density functional theory
    FHI-aimsFull-potential / all-electron electronic structure theory with local orbitals - Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
    VASPVASP / VAMP / Vienna ab-initio simulation package
    DGridMiroslav Kohout, Max-Planck Institute
    ADFADF output - Amsterdam Density Functional
    XSDAccelrys Materials Studio
    AMPACAMPAC output - Semichem, Inc.
    WebMOWebMO interface to computational chemistry packages
    MoldenElectron density / molecular orbitals
    PSI3Output files from the PSI3 suite of quantum chemical programs
    CRYSTALOutput files from CRYSTAL, a computational tool for solid state chemistry and physics. Theoretical Chemistry Group, Univ. Torino, Italy.
    * Files which are compressed with gzip will automatically be decompressed
  • Animations
  • Vibrations
  • Surfaces
  • Orbitals
  • Support for unit cell and symmetry operations
  • Schematic shapes for secondary structures in biomolecules
  • Measurements
    • distance
    • angle
    • torsion angle
  • Support for RasMol/Chime scripting language
  • JavaScript support library (Jmol.js)
  • Exports to jpg, png, gif, ppm, pdf, POV-Ray, Gaussian, Maya, vrml, x3d, idtf, web page.
  • For more details, see the history of development.

What the critics are saying

Jmol v10: I can't believe it's Java!
But it's also open-source, so there's simply no question about it.
Get your copy now, before they run out of those virtual Java machine thingies.
It's just in time (JIT) for Christmas, from what I hear!
Warren L. DeLano, shell-shocked C/Python developer
Principal Scientist, DeLano Scientific, Author of PyMOL
December 2004.

Obtain Jmol

Jmol v. 13.0 is the latest official, stable version.
There are also prerelease versions that are being developed for enhanced functionality (odd-numbered versions like 11.7, 11.9, 12.1, 12.3).

You can get the latest stable version from this direct download link. Or, if you are interested in other versions or the prereleases, read details in the download page.

Being a .jar file, the Jmol application will be displayed as a Java icon. If you want a Jmol icon to be shown instead, you can get it from the Jmol Wiki.

Learn to use Jmol

Manuals and tutorials

A handbook has been published for learning Jmol, and there are also other publications about Jmol.

There is also a list of tutorials designed to learn the use of Jmol, and more help, within Jmol Wiki.

Finally, there is a documentation section in this web site, for more technical details.

Learn by example

You can also learn by examining web pages that use Jmol: demonstration pages within this web site, and a list of websites using Jmol in Jmol Wiki.

Jmol community

Jmol Wiki

A user-maintained site collecting a lot of information about the use of Jmol. More dynamical and frequently updated than this web site! -- visit Jmol Wiki

Mailing lists

Those with interest in molecular visualization, especially the education and research communities, are encouraged to join the jmol-users mailing list or even the jmol-developers mailing list. There you can share ideas and experiences, ask for help, give us feedback, request new features or changes, discuss implementation, submit patches, or contribute code.

Without subscribing to any lists, you can also search the archives that collect all messages posted to the lists.

For more information, please visit the Project pages section.

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