Install and launch OpenCOR

Download OpenCOR from Versions are available for Windows, OS X and Linux [1]. At time of revising this tutorial the current version of OpenCOR is 0.7.1 and we assume this version or newer. Upon first launching the OpenCOR application a window will appear that looks like Fig. 1(a).

OpenCOR application

Fig. 1 OpenCOR application (a) Default positioning of dockable windows. (b) An alternative configuration achieved by dragging and dropping the dockable windows.

The OpenCOR website contains information explaining how to use all features of the application. Of particular relevance is the user help. Here we introduce specific features and functionality, please see the website for more comprehensive coverage of OpenCOR capabilities.

Dockable Windows

The central area is used to interact with files. By default, no files are open, hence the OpenCOR logo is shown instead. To the sides, there are dockable windows, which provide additional features. Those windows can be dragged and dropped to the top or bottom of the central area as shown in Fig. 1(b) or they can be individually undocked or closed. All closed panels can be re-displayed by enabling them in the View menu, or by using the Tools menu Reset All option. The key combination Control-spacebar removes (for less clutter) or restores these two side panels [2].

Any of the subpanels (Physiome Model Repository, File Browser, and File Organiser) can be closed with the top right delete button, and then restored from the View .. Windows .. menu. Files can be dragged and dropped into the File Organiser to create a local directory structure for your files.


OpenCOR has a plugin architecture and can be used with or without a range of modules. These can be viewed under the Tools menu. By default they are all included, as shown in Fig. 2. Information about developing plugins for OpenCOR is also available.

OpenCOR plugin menu

Fig. 2 OpenCOR tools menu showing the plugins that are selectable. Untick the box on the bottom left to show all plugins.


OpenCOR version 0.7 introduced support for Python scripting, both within the application itself (see the Python console in Fig. 1) and from Python scripts outside the application. Comprehensive description of this capability is provided on the OpenCOR Python support page and in Using OpenCOR with Python (beta) we provide some brief guidance.