Graphics Programs

This page describes various graphics programs developed and/or supported for use with GAMESS, primarily for use in visualizing GAMESS output.


GAMESS' most closely integrated graphical interface is MacMolPlt, which is now available for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows desktop platforms. MacMolPlt is extremely useful for showing results from the output files of GAMESS, and consequently no user of GAMESS should be without this program. MacMolPlt was developed by Brett Bode specifically to show GAMESS results, such as structures, reaction paths, molecular orbitals, electron density, vibrational modes, and so on. A basic front end molecule building capability is included. The journal reference for MacMolPlt is:

B.M.Bode and M.S.Gordon J. Mol. Graphics and Modeling, 16, 133-138 (1998)


Another useful program is Avogadro, which is a interactive molecule builder, with the capability to produce template GAMESS input files. This program is also available for all three desktop platforms.

2D contours

The GAMESS source code distribution contains some older programs for two dimensional graphics. These are: PLTORB for orbital contours or orbital gradients, DENDIF for total density or density difference, or local kinetic energy differences, MEPMAP for electrostatic potentials, and MOLPLT for structures. Look in the GAMESS source distribution's subdirectory named gamess/graphics for further information about these 2D programs. Their output is either X-windows, or PostScript.

Third Party

Finally, here is a list of programs available from third parties, developed by other groups, that you may find useful. We do not regularly use these programs at Iowa State, nor do we try very hard to keep this list of links up to date, so we cannot provide any support beyond the information that is given on this page.