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The Inspector is a powerful tool which provides a possibility to view and edit the properties (attributes) of the selected nodes, whether it is one node or a group of different nodes. Simply, select a node and open the Inspector to see what is available.

You can open the Inspector as follows:

  • Interface > Inspector
  • Shortcut: Ctrl+2 on Windows and Linux or Cmd+2 on Mac
  • Via the context toolbar of a selection


  • Please refer to the Selecting section to learn how to select objects in SAMSON.

Attributes and groups#

The Inspector shows attributes for the selected nodes. Attributes are grouped into corresponding node type groups and attribute groups inside of each node type group. You may see several node type groups (e.g. Atom, Bond, Residue, etc.) in the Inspector depending on what nodes are selected.

Inspecting a group of nodes: a residue with all its descendants selected

Select any atom, and you will see all the attributes of these atoms grouped into attribute groups.

Inspecting an atom

Attributes can either be modifiable or not. For example, for an atom, you cannot modify its atomic weight, element name and symbol, since they depend on the element type; however, you can modify the element type, and once you do, all the dependent attributes will be changed accordingly.

For some attributes, you can reset their value to the default one. For that, hover above the attribute's description and if the cursor changes as in the image below you can double-click on the label to reset this attribute to its default value.

Reset attribute to its default value


The Inspector shows the attributes' values for the last selected node of this type even if there are several nodes of this type that are selected. For example, if you have several atoms selected, it will show the position of the atom that was selected as the last one.

If you modify some attribute values, they will be modified for all the nodes of the same type accordingly.

Select multiple atoms and try to modify the position through the Inspector. You will see that all atoms in the selection change their positions (check that the "Relative" option is on).

Inspecting multiple atoms

Inspecting multiple atoms: change positions


If you want to move a group of atoms without changing the relative positions of atoms inside the group, do not uncheck the "Relative" checkbox. If the "Relative" checkbox is unchecked, the positions for all selected atoms will be modified to the same value. Try it, you can always undo thanks to the history mechanism.

Filtering attributes#

You can use the filter to see matching attributes only.

The Inspector controls

Having at least one atom selected, start typing "position" in the filter and you will only see the matching attributes.

Filtering attributes

Now, let's try and change one of the attributes as shown in the image below. When modifying the atom's position you will see how it moves.

Changing attributes