NGLVieweR - Visualize and interact with Protein Data Bank (PDB) and structural files in R and Shiny

R-CMD-check Lifecycle: experimental CRAN status

Click here to view a Shiny application integrating most features of NGLVieweR.


NGLvieweR provides an R interface to the NGL.js JavaScript library. It can be used to visualize and interact with protein data bank (PDB) and structural files in R and Shiny applications. It includes a set of API functions to manipulate the viewer after creation and makes it possible to retrieve data from the visualization into R.


NGLVieweR is available through GitHub



You can load a PDB (or any other supported structural file) directly or use a PDB code of a structure on The below minimal example loads the PDB file and displays the structure in a “cartoon” representation.

#Load local pdb file
NGLVieweR("C:/7CID.pdb") %>%

#Load protein by PDB code
NGLVieweR("7CID") %>%


There are functions provided to:

In Shiny apps, you can manipulate the NGLVieweR widget after creation using specific “API”" calls. Users can for instance add/remove representations, make snapshots, add labels or highlight specific regions. See the Get started section for a complete overview.