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Symmetry partners for 1hpv showing 6-1 screw axis
Full cell of symmetry partners with symmetry axes displayed

SuperSym is a PyMOL plugin providing a large number of tools for visualization of space groups; unit cells; and symmetry axes, operators, and partners. Source code for all versions is available from, and the most recent code is available in regular text format from SuperSymSource.


Dependencies, Bugs, and Acknowledgments

This plugin has only been tested for PyMOL version 1.2b6pre and 1.2r1.

Pre-v1.0 PyMOL may not display objects created by this plugin properly, even if the pse file displays normally in other versions. Use at your own risk.

Symmetry axes are not defined for all space groups, and do not display properly for some.

This plugin requires cctbx and numeric python (numpy).

Primary coding and development was done by Stuart Ballard. All comments, questions, and issues should be directed to him at

Code for unit cell and symmetry axis building is borrowed from scripts created by Robert Campbell and Ralf W. Grosse-Kunstleve, available at Some of this code has been modified for use in SuperSym.

FindSurfaceResidues is utilized for some of SuperSym's graphics generation, with some modifications.

Installing SuperSym

To install SuperSym v1.2, download from In PyMOL, go to:

A file selector dialog will appear. Select PyMOL will direct you to restart, and upon doing so SuperSym will be accessible through the Plugin menu.

To use functions of SuperSym directly, without creating a drop-down menu, use the run command in PyMOL on

Note: previous errors resulting from incorrect naming of the plugin file have been resolved in v1.2.


Please post any comments, complaints, bug fix requests, useful tricks, or cool adaptations of SuperSym here.

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