Updating the ParaView User’s Guide

September 6, 2014

There are several things new in ParaView 4.2. Lots of changes, both visible and under the covers, have gone into making this an exciting release for the entire team. Not to be left behind, the ParaView Guide is also getting a makeover. While a lot still needs to be done to get the guide ready for the public eye, the plan is to get it out in time for Supercomputing 2014 (fingers crossed, I don’t need to go back and edit this!) My goal with this post is to point out some of the highlights, old and new, of this new edition.

Things that remain the same as before are as follows.

  • The guide is geared towards users of ParaView, rather than developers. Thus explanations on how how to write plugins or custom applications based on ParaView are not included by design. Instead expect descriptions of various aspects of the graphical user interface as well as the Python scripting interface.
  • The guide will be available in digital as well as print form. A PDF version of the guide will be available for download free of cost. For those who prefer a hard-copy, printed edition will be available for sale. The printed edition will include everything that is included in the freely available PDF. In addition, it will include extra chapters on case-studies for using ParaView, not available in the PDF version.
  • The ParaView open-source community will be able to be involved in making the guide as useful and as up-to-date as possible. Of course, all community contributions will be included in the freely available PDF version.

Now for the parts that are brand new:

  • The guide will no longer be a collection of Wiki articles. Instead, we are migrating to LaTeX. This makes it easier to format, edit and maintain the document.
  • The LaTeX source files will be included in the ParaView source repository, thus making it easier to edit and update as new features are added or old behaviors are modified.
  • The guide is split into two parts:
    • Part 1: User’s Guide, that describes step-by-step the core ParaView functionalities.
    • Part 2: Reference Manual, that include details descriptions for various components of ParaView UI and Python scripting API.
  • The guide focuses on the Python scripting API just as much as the graphical user interface. Whenever possible, after describing an UI functionality, it explains how to do the same in a Python script.

As a teaser, here are a few pages from the guide. Just note that it’s being proof read and edited, these pages are extracts from a very early draft — in others words hold off on the urge to fix typos and grammatical errors just yet!



A page from the section describing getting information about data in the ParaView UI.



Soon after, a page describing the same i.e. how to access data information using the Python scripting interface.


An extract from the section describing the Clip filter in Python.


Extract from the Selecting Data chapter. The guide explains concepts, rather than just describing the UI.

Update Jan 20, 2015: The ParaView Guide is now available for download and/or purchase. See ParaView 4.3.1 release notes for details.

Update Apr 07, 2015: The ParaView Guide – Community Edition LaTeX files are now available here.

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