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ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform application designed to visualize data sets of varying sizes from small to very large. The goals of the ParaView project include developing an open-source, multi-platform visualization application that supports distributed computational models to process large data sets. It has an open, flexible, and intuitive user interface. Furthermore, ParaView is built on an extensible architecture based on open standards. ParaView runs on distributed and shared memory parallel as well as single processor systems and has been successfully tested on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, IBM Blue Gene, Cray XT3 and various Unix workstations and clusters. Under the hood, ParaView uses the Visualization Toolkit as the data processing and rendering engine and has a user interface written using the Qt cross-platform application framework.

The goal of this Wiki is to provide up-to-date documentation maintained by the developer and user communities. As such, we welcome volunteers that would like to contribute. If you are interested in contributing to ParaView or to this wiki, please post a message on the ParaView Discourse forum at

For new users, download and install the ParaView binaries for your local computer, and then read The ParaView Tutorial. Additional tutorials are located under #Books and Tutorials below.

You can find more information about ParaView on the ParaView web site: For more help, including a list of all sources and filters, check out

ParaView In Use

Some examples of how ParaView is used
Screenshots generated by ParaView
Links to documentation of ParaView installations on various HPC sites




Instructions for downloading source as well as pre-compiled binaries for common platforms.
Collection of release notes for official ParaView releases.
Git is the revision control system that ParaView uses. If you would like to have the bleeding edge version of ParaView, or you would like to contribute code, this link describes the method you must use to get the code.
Downloading nightly binaries for development versions of ParaView.
Compiling and installing ParaView from source.
Building ParaView with Mesa 3D.
Information about the official ParaView builds and versions of various dependencies used.

Server Setup

Configuring your cluster to act as a ParaView server.
Using the ParaView client to start the servers.
Customizing server startup and connection processes using XML-based configuration scripts.
Strategies for distributing server configuration xmls.
To run ParaView on clusters with head nodes - compute nodes
Configure your cluster environment such as DISPLAY, or Cave settings using *.pvx xml files.
A guide for configuring a cluster to run ParaView

Importing Data

How to write out data in a format that Paraview understands
More information on data formats ParaView supports and how to load them.
How to write a VTK reader that will read your data directly into ParaView.
How data is loaded in parallel for various readers.

Finding Data

Selecting and focusing on subset of a dataset using queries.
Selecting and focusing on subset of a dataset.

Analyzing Data

Creating visualizations to compare effects for change in parameter(s).
Computing statistics and using them to assess datasets.


Animating file series.
Saving animations on the server without client connection.
Using Animation View to setup animations.
Creating animations involving camera movements.


Using and writing new plugins to extend ParaView's functionality.
Including extensions into ParaView at compile time.
A simple wizard application developed by MIRARCO that provides boilerplate code for some of the most common plugin types.
Please post plugins that you have created that may be useful for other users.
Writing custom applications based on ParaView.
Building plugins for deployment with Released ParaView binaries.

Python Scripting

Environment variables to set when using a Python shell besides pvpython/pvbatch.
Scripting ParaView using python
Generating/Processing data using python.
Using the python shell interface in paraview including generating python trace.
Collection of python scripts for some common tasks.

GUI Features

Synchronizing filters, clip planes, camera etc.
Creating visualizations for Print and Screen.
Details of ParaView's xml colormap file format and collections of colormaps for use with ParaView.
Using ParaView Copy/Paste inside information tab and spreadsheet view
Packaging pipelines into a single composite.
How to configure ParaView's image compressor for use during remote rendering.
Using ParaView's Memory Inspector Panel and its debugging features.
The locations where ParaView saves settings files (also known as config or configuration files).
Using and customizing the Properties Panel.
Using ParaView with Space Navigator
What can be done with the spreadsheet column sorting and how it works
Searching in long lists and tables in the ParaView GUI.
Design document

Other Features

Loading restarted data for different file formats.
Exporting scenes as VRML, X3D etc.
Backwards compatibility for ParaView state files (*.pvsm).
Information of the changes that have been done undercover to support and improve collaboration.
Export publication quality 3D scenes and charts.
Annotating scenes with mathematical equations.
Documentation describing how to configure and use the surface LIC plugin.

Books and Tutorials

The official ParaView guide available from Kitware. Book Errata
You can download the open-source PDF edition from the downloads page.
API documentation auto-generated from the source files.
An introductory and comprehensive tutorial.
The official ParaView Catalyst User's Guide v2.0 corresponding to ParaView 4.3.1.
Beginning and advanced tutorial sets, each presented as 3-hour classes by Sandia National Laboratories
Short course on ray tracing with a focus on ParaView w/ OSPRay at TACC
These howtos are instructions for some common operations.
ParaView related books, articles, and papers

Design & Implementation

ParaView GUI Testing framework.
Providing details about blocks, hierarchies, assemblies etc. to the client.
Details on handling multiple views in client-server framework.
Dealing with composite datasets in VTK.
Understanding ParaView's views and representations.
Understanding Time implementation.
Compiling ParaView and VTK on BlueGene and Cray Xt3/Catamount.
Suggestions for online help documentation changes.
A place to document ServerManager configuration XML hints.

ParaView based Applications

Documentation about the StreamingParaView application.
An application for visualizing and processing Velodyne LiDAR data

Web Visualization with ParaView

Documentation for the ParaView Web Visualization Framework

In situ Analysis with ParaView

Documentation for using ParaView for co-processing

Plugins Distributed with ParaView

Included Plugins

Community Contributed Plugins

Guidelines for Contributing Plugins


A quarterly newsletter for developers designed to deliver detailed technical articles related to Kitware's open source products including ParaView.
Often new users may say "Surely Paraview can do X... but I can't find it!". This terminology map should help!

Developers Corner

Discussion Forum

A forum for ParaView discussion, both its use and development, is available at

Plugin Development

Handy Developer Info

Release Testing

ParaView: [Welcome | Site Map]