JSmol is the extension of the Java-based molecular visualization applet Jmol (jmol.sourceforge.net) as an HTML5 JavaScript-only web app. It can be used in conjunction with the Java applet to provide an alternative to Java when the platform does not support that (iPhone/iPad) or does not support applets (Android). Used in conjunction with the Jmol JavaScript Object (http://wiki.jmol.org/index.php/Jmol_Javascript_Object), JSmol seamlessly offers alternatives to Java on these non-Applet platforms.

JSmol can read all the files that Jmol reads. You can do all the scripting that Jmol does. You can create all the buttons and links and such that you are used to creating for Jmol. All of the rendering capability of the Jmol applet is there. JSmol has both a console and a popup menu.

JSmol is integrated fully with JSME and JSpecView.

A "lite" version of JSmol provides minimal functionality (balls and sticks only) for extremely small-bandwith apps.

Released 1/12/2013


  • Faithful reproduction of Jmol in HTML5.
  • Capable of reading all of the file formats that Jmol reads.
  • Fully scriptable, with all of the scripting capabilities of Jmol.
  • Fully supported by the Jmol development team as the logical successor to the Jmol applet in a Java-free environment.
  • Integration with JSME (2D drawing app) and JSpecView (spectroscopy)
  • Direct connections to databases, structure, surface, and spectroscopy providers.

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User Reviews

  • JSmol took us out of the bottleneck of Java security restrictions and platforms lack of support. So we can continue developing web materials with the excellent and ever expanding capabilities of Jmol.

  • Easy for use.

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • As a Jmol Web page application developer, one problem has always bothered me. Java browser plugins can be a real nuisance for users. For more than a decade, this nuisance was worth the effort because Jmol was the molecular visualization gold standard. With the decline of the Java browser plugin (There, I said it!), Jmol is still the gold standard for molecular visualization. It simply goes by a different name, JSmol. In a few short months, Jmol developers led by Bob Hanson have produced JSmol. The beauty of JSmol is that it IS Jmol. If the Java plugin tickles your fancy, that's just fine. JSmol will render as the familiar Jmol applet. If on the other hand, you are tired of messing with the Java plugin, then JSmol will render in its HTML5 incarnation. The HTML5 browser rendering of JSmol carries with it almost all of the functionality of the Jmol applet, including Jmol's powerful scripting language. It also brings Jmol's powerful molecular visualization to the mobile device sandbox. Your iPad is no longer limited to "watching the pretty molecule spin." Jmol's evolution as a powerful molecular visualization tool has always been driven by the creative cooperation of developers and users in an open source environment. The key to this cooperation is the powerful scripting language. Users do not have to worry about low level programming. They can develop applications by working in Jmol's high level scripting environment. As a chemist, I have always thought of this scripting language in this way: I do not speak Jmol's language. Jmol speaks my language. This development approach continues with JSmol - JSmol script IS Jmol script. I must admit that I'm happy to free my users from the Java plugin hassle. There, I said it again! I am, however, absolutely excited about moving into the realm of mobile devices. I have no doubt that the historic cooperation between developers and users will lead to some pretty creative things using JSmol in the mobile environment. We're not going to be doomed to simply "watching the pretty molecule spin." Thank you Bob and the development team for all the work that it took to launch JSmol. Otis Rothenberger

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Additional Project Details


Korean, French, Ukrainian, Dutch, Czech, Finnish, Italian, English, Portuguese, Chinese (Traditional), Swedish, Turkish, Indonesian, Malay, Chinese (Simplified), Danish, Japanese, Hungarian, Basque (Euskara)

Intended Audience

Science/Research, Education

User Interface

Java Swing

Programming Language

JavaScript, Java