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iMolview a Mobile App for iPhone/iPad and Android

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Explore 3D Molecules With Your Finger Tips

iMolview is an app for the iPhone/iPad and Android that lets you browse protein, DNA, and drug molecules in 3D. The app has a direct link to the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and DrugBank and has a fast and easy to use interface. Touching the molecules via the screen allows you to interact immediately with the 3D structures in a unique way. You can zoom in and out, rotate, spin, pan, and clip the 3D molecules with your finger tips in ways that are impossible using a traditional mouse and desktop computer.


iMolview can be downloaded directly onto your iPhone or iPad by visiting the Apple App Store. or onto your Android device Google Play Store.

Screenshot Gallery

Fully Interactive Molecules on the iPhone and iPad
Fully interactive molecules at your finger tips!
Distances and Angles
Measure and display distances and angles.
New in v1.5 Superimpose Protein Structures
Load multiple protein structures and superimpose.
Fully Interactive Molecular Documents
Read in fully interactive documents created in ICM-Browser.
Browse protein, DNA, and drug molecules in 3D on the iPhone or iPad
Browse molecules from the Protein Data Bank and DrugBank - zoom in and rotate!
Customizable Representations
A rich set of customizable molecule representations, colors and inertia rotation.
Display molecule surfaces
Download chemicals and proteins and display their molecular surfaces.
iMolview Menu Options
A rich selection of features to choose from.
Slide Menu (v1.4)
Save a representation of your 3D molecule in a fully interactive 3D slide.
Save Documents (v1.4)
Save all your slides in a single file document.

Watch iMolview in Action


iMolView allows you to search for drugs such as 'ibuprofen' or 'gefitinib' in DrugBank, or proteins like 'insulin' or 'thyroid receptor' in the PDB and immediately explore their structure and annotation. This handy app allows you to quickly and easily view and interact with 3D molecules anywhere and at any time whether you are at the bench, at a conference, or just having coffee with colleagues!

The key features are:

Release Notes

Note: iMolview is under active development and is frequently updated with new features and bug fixes.

Version 1.7

Version 1.6

Version 1.5



Version 1.4

Version 1.3

Version 1.2

iMolview Help

How to Display PDB Files

Here are some ways to read in PDB files into iMolview:

1. Enter PDB Code in the Search Panel

The standard way to read in PDB files is to simply type in the PDB code in the search panel at the top of the screen.

2. From any Website

If your PDB file is saved on a web server (at any URL) you can download it by going to the Menu button and selecting Load File(icb/pdb) From The Web.

3. Search the NCBI Web Page and Download

Load your PDB/ICB Files via iTunes

Click to enlarge image.

Navigation in the 3D View of the Molecule

Rotate Touch with one finger and drag it in the appropriate direction. You can also let molecule spin the by flicking the screen quickly. Adjust 'Inertia' parameter in the 'Settings' section to let the molecule spin longer or indefinitely
Zoom in/outTouch the screen with two fingers and move them apart/together.
Z-RotateTouch the screen with two fingers and twist in the appropriate direction.
PanTouch the screen with two fingers and move them in any direction.
ClippingTouch and move one finger on the right margin. Touching in the top/bottom half initiates movement of the back/from clipping plane. Two finger touch on the right margin initiates slab movement (back and front plane simultaneously).
SelectTouch and hold one finger at an atom/residue until floating label balloon appears. Tap on the balloon to select.
Cancel selectionDouble tap anywhere in the 3D view.

Entire molecules/chains can also be selected by touching and holding on the bottom tab bar. Sequence segments selections are done by touching/holding on the sequence view. Once selection is initiated, beginning/end flags appear and can be dragged to extend or shrink selected sequence segment. Selections are visually represented in 3D view as green crosses floating on selected atoms.

While the selection is active, tapping on the 'target' icon in the bottom of the view centers on selected molecules/residues/atoms. Also, display representations and coloring are applied to the selection.

Saving Slides and Documents

Slide is a combination of a view point and graphics representation. In iMolview you can create multiple slides and access them later after the document was saved.

To create a slide:

Repeat these steps to create more slides

To modify or delete an existing slide hold your finger over the appropriate item. The possible actions are:

To switch between slides you may use Menu/Slides or arrows on the sides of the center button.

After all slides are done you need to save your molecular document. Goto Menu/Documents/Save Current Document and give it a name. The document will be saved into History folder and can be loaded later. This file can also be copied to your PC,MAC or Linux and opened with free ICM-Browser, or you can embed this document as a live 3D object into web page using ActiveICM technology.

Displaying Electron Density

Tools/Load Electron Density Map

Loads electron density map from Uppsala EDS server (http://eds.mbc.uu.se/eds/). Once map is loaded you can toggle its display using 'Misc' panel in the main menu. In addition map can be contoured around selected atoms:

New icons in 'Misc' panel:

Using custom URL scheme imolview://

Custom URL scheme can be used to launch iMolview from different applications (Safari, Keynote and others). It has the following format:



# opens the document and sets the default view.
# opens slide 1
# opens slide 'Slide2'
# opens default view for PDB '1xbb' sets background color to white
# loads PDB and highlights the ligand
imolview://?PDBCODE=1xbb&BGCOLOR=white&RUN=display a_A,N ribbon transparent;color 
ribbon rgb={200,200,200}; display cpk xstick a_H; center a_H