The ChimeraX Window
ChimeraX has an all-in-one window interface in which various
panels can be shown, hidden, and repositioned.
Panels can also be detached (undocked) from the main ChimeraX window
and subsequently reinserted (docked).
The overall window also contains the main window
for 3D graphics, a title bar at the top,
and a status line for transient messages across the bottom.
By default, a Toolbar with icons
lies right below the title bar.
Near the bottom right corner are additional small icons:
– toggle main window to fill overall window
– toggle main window between 3D graphics and Rapid Access
(see File History)
using ChimeraX fullscreen,
Panels and General Window Controls
A panel may appear within the ChimeraX window:
- when a tool is started (for example, from the
or with the command tool show)
- as the result of a calculation (for example,
the interfaces command
shows a chain-chain network diagram)
- as the result of opening
a certain type of data (for example, opening a density map starts
Panels may include clickable icons, interactive 2D representations
like network diagrams, and (rendered) HTML with links and images, as in the
Users can define custom panels of buttons with the
A panel can be:
- dismissed by clicking the “x” button
on its title bar (if the panel is docked; a generic close-window button
if the panel is undocked) or by unchecking its name in the
context menu of any docked panel's title bar
- shown (if active but hidden) by checking its name in
the bottom section of the Tools menu
or in the
context menu of any docked panel's title bar;
some panels remain active when dismissed, others do not
- undocked from the main ChimeraX window
by clicking the “rectangles” button
on its title bar or by dragging or double-clicking its title bar;
tools without a title bar
and Command Line) have a
context menu option to Undock
- if dockable,
redocked by dragging or double-clicking its title bar, with the
dragged location controlling where and how the panel will be inserted
- tabbed with other panels, with only one shown at a time.
Tabs are shown at the bottom of the panel.
A tabbed set of panels can be docked/undocked collectively by dragging
its top bar, and an individual tabbed panel can be untabbed
(separated from the others) by dragging its tab.
The overall window or any undocked panel can be resized by dragging
any corner and moved by dragging its title bar.
The boundaries between docked panels or between panel(s) and the
main window can be dragged to expand one side and shrink the other
while keeping the overall window dimensions the same.
The overall window can be toggled to hide/show the current panels
by clicking the “nested squares” button
near its bottom right corner.
This allows expanding the main window with a single click
without losing the overall window configuration.
and Command Line
are excluded from this toggling.
A context menu is raised by right-clicking*
parts of the interface.
See also: selection context menus,
Right Mouse icons
*for Mac trackpad or single-button mouse,
Ctrl-click replaces “right-click” for showing context menus
A general context menu can be accessed from the title bar of any docked panel.
In addition, panels may have their own specific context menus
(away from the title-bar area), typically including:
...and certain tool
preferences, when applicable:
- Start at ChimeraX Startup
– whether the tool should start automatically upon subsequent
- In Favorites Menu
– whether the tool should be listed in the
- Dockable Tool
– whether panels of the tool should be allowed to reinsert automatically
when dragged over the main window, as opposed to remaining separate;
initially true for all panels except the
- Save Tool Position
– save whether a tool panel is docked, and if so,
whether it is on the left, right, top, or bottom side of the main window
(but not the specific order when multiple panels are docked on the same side);
if undocked, save panel size and screen position
Tool preferences can also be set with the
Using ChimeraX Fullscreen
To use ChimeraX graphics fullscreen with controls on a separate screen:
- the Command Line and icon
Toolbar can be undocked
from the graphics window by choosing Undock from their
respective context menus,
then dragged to the other display
- other tool panels can also be
dragged to the other display, or closed, or hidden collectively using the
icon in the status line
- command ui statusbar false
hides the status line
- command ui fullscreen true
makes the ChimeraX window fill the screen and hides its title bar
- command ui menubar false
hides the menus (on Windows)
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