[Chimera-users] solvent exposed surface area

Elaine Meng meng at cgl.ucsf.edu
Sun Nov 15 09:12:17 PST 2020

Hi Jordan,
Showing a molecular surface automatically creates surface-area attributes of residues and atoms (areaSES and areaSAS), as described here:


These  values are NOT automatically saved to a file, however.  To save an attribute to a file you need to use the Render by Attribute tool.  Use main menu: Tools... Depiction... Render by Attribute, and then from the menu of that tool, File... Save Attributes.  See "Saving Attributes" section at the bottom of this page:


In the attribute-saving dialog, choose the level "residues" and attribute name "areaSAS"  or "areaSES" depending on which you want.  There is a diagram explaining the difference between SAS and SES in the surface help page, the first link in this message.

I hope this helps,
Elaine C. Meng, Ph.D.                       
UCSF Chimera(X) team
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California, San Francisco

> On Nov 14, 2020, at 10:41 PM, Jordan Alexis Gewing-Mullins <JGewingM9030 at scrippscollege.edu> wrote:
> Hi there! 
> I hope you're doing well. I am trying to calculate the solvent exposed surface area for each amino acid in a protein, and from the tutorial it says that once I create a surface it should automatically generate a text file with the areaSAS information, but I have no clue where to find that file. Where does it get saved?
> Thanks,
> Jordan 

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