Quick Start Guide

First, install Vapor from our downloads page.

Sample data can be found here.

Launch Vapor

After following the installation instructions for your platform (OSX, Linux, or Windows), launch the application by doing the following:


Vapor3 will be located within your Applications folder. Double click on Vapor3’s icon.


Unless you chose a different directory during installation, Vapor3 will exist in C:\Program Files\VAPOR\vapor.exe. Double click on the executable.


From a BASH shell, navigate to the directory you installed Vapor3 into. Then issue the following command:

user@localhost:/vaporInstallDir$ bin/vapor

Load Data

There are two ways to get data into Vapor3.

To load data, do one of the following from the File menu:

  1. Load a .vdc file after converting your data into a Vapor Data Collection (VDC)
    File->Open VDC
  2. Import your data, if your datatype is supported.
Loading a .vdc file   Importing data
_images/loadData1.png or _images/importData.png

Create a Renderer

Now that we’ve loaded data, we can create a new Renderer.

Vapor3 displays all of your renderers in a table in the upper left corner of the application. Next to this table are controls that let you create New renderers, Delete renderers, or Duplicate existing renderers.


Vapor3’s Renderer Table.

Click on New. This will raise a window that will let you choose from the currently available renderers. Pick the Slice Renderer by double-clicking on the Slice button.


Vapor3’s New Renderer Dialog

Notice that your new Slice Renderer has been added to the Renderer Table. By default, all renderers are disabled after being created. To enable your Slice renderer, click the Enabled checkbox in the Renderer Table that’s in the same row as your new Slice.

Now that you have your first Renderer, you can do the following:

  1. Change the displayed variable in the Variables Tab
  2. Change the color mapping of your variable in the Appearance Tab
  3. Modify the orientation and region that your renderer is drawn to in the Geometry Tab
  4. Add annotations and color bars in the Annotations Tab

At this point, we’ve created our first renderer. To customize it, we need to get familiar with the four tabs listed above. The Variables Tab and Appearance Tab are the most important to get started with. We also encourage you to watch active demonstrations in our Video archive.

If you have any questions, bug reports, or feature requests, see our Help section. Thank you.