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Open Babel is a community-driven scientific project including both cross-platform programs and developer library designed to support molecular modeling, chemistry, and many related areas, including interconversion of file formats and data.

This wiki can be edited by any contributor who creates an account and logs in to ensure proper attributions and citation. It currently includes 251 articles that we're working on, including user tutorials, developer guides to Open Babel, release notes, cheminformatics references and more.

We're just getting started. You can help too--there's still plenty to do!

Suggestions, comments? Contact the openbabel-discuss mailing list.



Currently does NOT (yet)

  • Generate coordinates for SMILES strings. (i.e., all coordinates will be zero when converting from a SMILES string or other "0D format".)
  • Handle 2D→3D conversion (and coordinate generation).
  • Offer all features of SMARTS
  • Function completely bug-free.
  • Handle a variety of important file formats.
  • Make coffee.


In the beginning there was Babel. And it was useful, liked by many and lived many years. And eventually there was OBabel which never saw the light of day. And OBabel lead to OELib. This was good and open and free. And into this day, what was OELib has become Open Babel (C++) and JOELib (Java) and both will remain free and open.

So maybe it's not an epic story. But it's a continuing one. Open Babel is a commnunity effort -- many thanks to many previous contributors!