JHelioviewer Handbook

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Welcome to the JHelioviewer handbook! We hope you enjoy using JHelioviewer and very much welcome any feedback. If there are any problems please submit a bug report. If you have any ideas for improvement please report it as a wish list item.

This handbook will guide you through the usage of JHelioviewer to browse solar image data from SOHO and SDO. For further details and developer information, please have a look at JHelioviewer.

Launching JHelioviewer and System Requirements

JHelioviewer is written in Java and supports Linux, Mac OS X and MS Windows (XP, Vista, 7), both as 32- and 64-bit. For Mac OS X and Windows, we offer native bundles which offer a better system integration. You can download the latest version of JHelioviewer here. A JHelioviewer folder, in which the settings and some native libraries are stored, is created in the user's home directory When you launch JHelioviewer for the first time, these platform-dependent libraries will be downloaded from our server, which will take a moment. To benefit from hardware acceleration, the graphics card needs to support OpenGL 1.4 or higher.

Mac OS X

We offer a Mac OS X application bundle as a disk image. Simply drag the JHelioviewer icon into the Applications folder:

Mac OS Install.png

Now you can start JHelioviewer like any other application on your computer and e.g. drag the icon into the Dock.


Double-click the .exe file and follow the instructions on the screen.

Multi-Platform JAR File

This is for platforms for which no native bundle is offered (e.g. Linux) or in case you should encounter problems with the native bundles. To launch it, Java 5 or higher is required. On most systems, you can start JHelioviewer by simply double-clicking the file icon. Alternatively, enter "java -Xmx1000m -jar JHelioviewer.jar" on the command line.

Basic usage

Main user interface

This screenshot illustrates the main user interface elements of JHelioviewer:

JHV 2.1 screenshot w900.jpg

  1. Tool bar - Select zoom mode (you can also use the mouse wheel or track pad to zoom when the cursor is in the main panel), toggle between panning mode (hand icon), region selection (rubber-band rectangle) and solar-rotation tracking (cross-hairs)
  2. Overview - Helps to navigate large images
  3. Movie Controls - Play image sequences
  4. Layers - Layer manager to overlay image series (top of list = top of image stack)
  5. Image Adjustments - Change colors, apply filters etc.
  6. HEK Events - Select solar event markers (will be overlaid as markers in main window)
  7. Info Bar - Display information about zoom, image quality levels, cursor coordinates, JPIP server status, metadata availability and rendering mode (OpenGL or Software)
  8. Main window - Main display panel
  9. Event Marker - Displays information about solar events, e.g. coronal holes, upon clicking

Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts in JHelioviewer

JHelioviewer has a number of mouse and keyboard shortcuts to speed up your browsing. You can see a list of shortcuts on JHelioviewer at any time by pressing the F1 key.

Mouse Shortcuts
Double left-clickZoom in
Double right-clickZoom out
Mouse-wheel upZoom in
Mouse-wheel downZoom out

Keyboard Shortcuts
ALT + cCenter the image
ALT + t Toggle fullscreen display
ALT + , Zoom in
ALT + . Zoom out
ALT + k Zoom to fit
ALT + l Zoom to native resolution
ALT + p Play/pause movie
ALT + b Step to previous frame
ALT + n Step to next frame
F1 Display help

Cool Things You Can Do in JHelioviewer

  • Browse more than 14 years worth of SOHO data as well as the latest high-resolution images from SDO/AIA.
  • Create your own movies of the Sun
  • Apply filters like color tables and sharpening to movies in real-time
  • Export movies in various formats
  • Track features of the Sun by compensating the differential solar rotation

Further topics


If your computer is connected to the Internet, JHelioviewer will automatically check for updates and will inform you if a new version is available. You can also check for updates manually in the help menu. For developer details see JHelioviewer updates.

Command Line Interface

Color Maps

JHelioviewer VSO Client (beta version)

Additional Support

In addition to this user guide, the Helioviewer team offers a number of resources that can help you use and enjoy JHelioviewer. These include:

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