[Chimera-users] how to display coordinate axes

Elaine Meng meng at cgl.ucsf.edu
Fri Jan 17 10:17:53 PST 2014

Hi Michael,
If you mean axes that will move along with your structures and show how their current coordinate system(s) are oriented, there isn't a built-in option, but you can open the attached BILD object file in Chimera to display such axes. It shows the axes (X red, Y yellow, Z blue). The file should be named with the suffix .bild to be recognized automatically.

The BILD text file is very small and simple.  You can edit the colors, 
scale, offset etc. as desired.  The format is described here:

I hope this helps,
Elaine C. Meng, Ph.D.                       
UCSF Computer Graphics Lab (Chimera team) and Babbitt Lab
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California, San Francisco

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On Jan 17, 2014, at 7:53 AM, Michael H Peters wrote:

> Hi:  I have a simple question - How do I display the lab or fixed frame coordinate axes?  I am using the windows 32 bit UCSF Chimera on my desktop.  In rasmol the command is "axes on".  I cannot find anything similar in Chimera.
> Thanks for your help.  An axes display is critical if you need to know the spatial orientation wrt the lab frame.
> Best wishes, Michael

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