ChimeraX docs icon

Automatic Styling (Smart Initial Display)

Automatic styling or smart initial display refers to automatically adjusting the appearance of a newly opened atomic model based on its contents, as described below. The lighting is only adjusted if no other atomic models are already open. If only a volume model is opened, full lighting is used.

The process includes chemical perception, which can be slow and unnecessary for pseudoatom data not meant to be interpreted as atoms in molecules (e.g., a SAXS bead model in PDB format). Generating the initial representation can also be slow, for example, drawing ribbons for a very large number of models. Automatic styling can be circumvented by using the open command with autoStyle false. See also: initial colors, markers and links, presets, model information

Automatic styling rules:
UCSF Resource for Biocomputing, Visualization, and Informatics / June 2019