Sparky - NMR Assignment and Integration Software

Advise: The UCSF Sparky distributions below are old and not maintained.
Please use instead the successor to Sparky Poky which is developed by Woonghee Lee (2015 - 2021+).
Ask questions on the NMR Sparky Google group.

revised May 30, 2008

Sparky image Sparky image Sparky image

Sparky is a graphical NMR assignment and integration program for proteins, nucleic acids, and other polymers. For more information about what Sparky does look at the introduction in the manual. You may also be interested in other nmr software.


Please use NMRFAM Sparky which is being actively developed by Woonghee Lee (2017). The UCSF Sparky distributions below are old and not maintained.

Please direct questions to the NMR Sparky Google group. The former Yahoo Group is no longer used.


Sparky Binary Distributions
Operating System Hardware Distribution Version Date
Windows XP, Vista, and 7 x86 3.114 7/12/07
Mac OS 10.4.11 and newer Intel sparky-mac10.4-intel.dmg 3.115 5/30/08
Mac OS 10.3.9 and newer G4 sparky-mac10.3-ppc.dmg 3.115 5/30/08
Linux 2.6.18 and newer x86 64-bit sparky-linux2.6-64bit.tar.gz 3.115 8/6/14
Linux 2.6.9 and newer x86 32-bit sparky-linux2.6.tar.gz 3.113 10/13/06

Installation instructions describe how to unpack the distribution.

The license says Sparky is free for all users. At the right is a map of registered sites from 2002.

The change log file will help you decide if it is worth updating your version of Sparky.

The distribution is about 20 megabytes and includes some sample data and the Python language.

The table lists the operating system version used to compile Sparky. The releases may run on older or newer versions of these operating systems. Please tell me ( whether it runs on your operating system and I will include that information here.

Older Sparky releases are available for older operating systems and machines.

Source code (version 3.115) is available. It may compile on platforms other than those listed above. You will need Tcl/Tk 8.4, a C++ compiler, and alot of patience.


Sparky scripts for working with CYANA and XEASY files are available from Andrew Perry.

Sparky tools to output a BMRB submission form, compute chemical shift indices, and output XPLOR-NIH distance restraints are available from Nicolas Sapay.

An extension that converts XEASY peaks lists to Sparky format is available from Enrico Morelli. This was written to get CYANA and GARANT output into Sparky.

You can write extensions, small programs that access peak and spectrum data and use the display capabilities of Sparky, using the Python language. It is included with the Sparky distributions after 3.106. Python web site


For questions about Sparky try the NMR Sparky discussion group (email

There is no FAQ.

Sparky development status and requested features and bugs.

Citing Sparky

If you use NMRFAM Sparky please cite

	NMRFAM-SPARKY: enhanced software for biomolecular NMR spectroscopy.
	Lee W, Tonelli M, Markley JL.
	Bioinformatics. 2015 Apr 15; 31(8):1325-7.

We have not written a paper describing UCSF Sparky. If you publish work that made use of UCSF Sparky you can cite it as:

	T. D. Goddard and D. G. Kneller, SPARKY 3,
	University of California, San Francisco

Thomas Goddard /