Help Wanted: A free program to draw circular plasmids: for Mac or PC

Dr. Kai-Uwe Froehlich kaifr at uni-tuebingen.de
Mon Sep 15 04:59:14 EST 1997

In article <341968b2.24147966 at news.mat.uc.pt>, oba at oba.oba (Obabá) wrote:

> Hello Everybody!
> As you can see from the title of this post, I need a program
> (preferencially free or shareware), that can make diagrams of
> circular plasmids.
> I would appreciate a lot if someone could point out a site in the
> web where I could get such a program.
> Thanks in advance!
> Angelo Tome'
> Center for Neurosciences of Coimbra
> Portugal

Hi Angelo,

I have written a plasmid drawing program for the Macintosh which I 
have released as Freeware. It allows to draw circular or linear maps. 
It was originally intended for our lab use, so it is anything but polished. 
It converts lists of restriction sites and fragment/gene positions into 
Postscript files.

Its weak points in short
- It is a Hypercard stack, so you need Hypercard to run it (luckily, speed
is no problem, there are no processor intensive steps involved)
- The output are Postscript files in Illustrator format. To view and to
further edit the picture (which you will have to, see below), you need
either Adobe Illustrator, or the Shareware EPStoPICT, which produces a
fully editable, object oriented PICT version of the graphics.
- The program does not care for overlapping labels, so in most cases you
must do some fine-tuning 

On the other hand, the program
- allows "electronic cloning", so you can quickly construct new plasmids
from those already entered in the program
- can draw all plasmids at the same size, but also using the same (or any
you want) scale (that was the primary reason for me to write the program,
most commercial programs  had (still have?) no way to specify the drawing
scale (except by different magnification in the page setup)
- draws linear and circular maps, allows borders of various widths and
fills of grays, arrows...
- Output quality is great, thanks to Postscript
- The price is right

For a more detailed description, including screen shots of the output
graphics,  see

and that is also the place to download the stack:

(BTW, there is also a stack for the organization of plasmid/strain
collections available)

Dr. Kai-Uwe Fröhlich, Physiologisch-chemisches Institut, 
Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 4, 76072 Tübingen, Germany

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