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ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform application designed to visualize data sets of size varying from small to very large. The goals of the ParaView project include developing an open-source, multi-platform visualization application that support 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 succesfully 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, please contact us on the ParaView mailing list

You can find more information about ParaView on the ParaView web site: For more help, check out

ParaView In Use

Some examples of how ParaView is used
Screenshots generated by ParaView



Instructions for downloading source as well as pre-compiled binaries for common platforms.
Compiling and installing ParaView from source.

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.

Generating Data

How to write out data in a format that Paraview understands

Python Scripting

Scripting ParaView using python
Generating/Processing data using python.
Using the python shell interface in paraview
Beginning and advanced tutorial sets, each presented as 2 hour classes by Sandia National Laboratories


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.

Other Features

Creating visualizations for Print and Screen.
Synchronizing filters, clip planes, camera etc.
Loading restarted data for different file formats.
Packaging pipelines into a single composite.
Selecting and focusing on subset of a dataset.
Exporting scenes as VRML, X3D etc.
Backwards compatibility for ParaView state files (*.pvsm).
The locations where ParaView saves settings.

Books and Tutorials

The official ParaView guide available from Kitware.
Slides for the advanced topics tutorial by Sandia, Kitware, and LANL.
Slides on topics for installing and using ParaView on visualization clusters.
Beginning and advanced tutorial sets, each presented as 2 hour classes by Sandia National Laboratories
Material and notes from the Supercomputing '08 tutorial by Sandia and Kitware.
Slides for the advanced topics tutorial by Sandia, Kitware, and CSCS.
Material and notes from the Supercomputing '08 tutorial by Sandia.
This Wiki is full of useful information and tutorials about ParaView.
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.


Quarterly newsletter for developers designed to deliver detailed technical articles related to Kitware's open source products including ParaView.

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