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Owing to its flexibility, MolScript has become one of the most widely used programs for generating publication-quality molecular graphics. Integration with the Raster3D package, to allow the production of photorealistic rendered images, has increased its popularity still further. However, this intensive use has shown the need for enhancement of some areas of the program, especially for controlling the coloring of atoms, bonds, and molecules. This work describes a heavily modified version of MolScript that has added syntax for describing complicated coloring schemes and also has new graphics commands. Enhancements include drawing split-bond ball-and-stick models, smoothly varying the color of molecules (color ramping), abrupt color changes within secondary structural units, and the creation of dashed bonds. Making use of these added features is simple because all MolScript syntax is still supported and one typically needs only to add a few control commands. The final section of this article suggests some uses for this modified MolScript and provides illustrative examples.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of molecular graphics & modelling

Publication Date





132 - 113


Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Oxford, UK.


Color, Models, Molecular, Computer Graphics, Software