Panoply netCDF, HDF and GRIB Data Viewer

Download Panoply

The current version of Panoply is 4.6.0 released 2016-08-31.

Panoply 4 for macOS requires a computer with a Java SE 7 or 8 runtime environment installed.

Installing Panoply on macOS

Installing Panoply should just be a simple matter of double-clicking the Panoply.dmg icon on your desktop. Then drag the Panoply application to where you keep applications, probably either your user Applications folder or else the system-wide Applications folder.

The Panoply package for macOS folder holds the following items:

  • Double-clickable Panoply application.
  • A README file.

To run Panoply on macOS, just double-click on the Panoply application.

The Panoply package will also notify macOS that it can open files with .nc, .nc4, .hdf, .hdf4, .hdf5, .grib, and other filename extensions. This means that unless another application has also done so, double-clicking a netCDF, HDF or GRIB desktop file icon named which has one of these extensions should cause Panoply to launch (if it's not already running) and automatically open the file.

Installing Panoply on Windows

The Panoply for Windows download is a "universal" version that should run on both 32- and 64-bit Windows. The package comes as a ZIP archive. You must manually extract this archive. Some versions of Windows allow you to run programs from a zipped archive without extraction, but if you try that with Panoply, it won't work.

The Panoply for Windows archive contains a folder called PanoplyWin which holds the following items:

  • Double-clickable Panoply.exe application.
  • Application code files in a folder called "jars".
  • A README file.

The folder called "jars" must remain in the same location as the Panoply.exe application. Also, all .jar files in the jars folder must remain there. If you move or remove that folder or any of its contents, Panoply will not work.

To run Panoply, just double-click on the Panoply.exe application.

Debugging Installation Problems:
You must extract Panoply from the ZIP archive before you try to run it. If you simply open the ZIP file and then double-click on the Panoply icon, you will get a class-loader error because it cannot access some files.

If you find that after download and installation, Panoply for Windows won't start, a possible reason might be that you don't have a Java Runtime Engine (JRE) installed on your computer. To check for this, use the Sun utility that looks for Java on your desktop and automatically downloads it if necessary. Go to the website and click on the "Free Download" button.

Note: It is possible to have a Java plugin enabled in your web browser which allows you to run applets, but not have a JRE installed which allows you to run Java applications.

Installing Panoply "Generic" on Linux, etc.

The Panoply "generic" package is for computers not running the macOS or Windows operating system. This includes Linux, OS/2 and other platforms.

The Panoply archive contains a folder called PanoplyJ which holds the following items:

  • Panoply launcher in a shell command file called "".
  • Application code files in a folder called "jars".
  • A README file.

On many platforms, you may be able to launch Panoply by double-clicking on the Panoply.jar icon on the desktop. However, doing so means that Panoply will not be allocated enough memory when it is started, and it will likely not work correctly.

Instead, you should run Panoply from the shell command line; 'cd' into the directory where the above files are located and then type:


This will execute a one-line command in the shell file that starts Panoply and also allocate additionalmemory.

If you would like to customize your Panoply set-up and are conversant with editing shell scripts, then modifying the file is the place to do it.

Color Tables and Map Overlays

Beginning with version 4, Panoply's "standard" selection of color tables and map overlays is built into the application. Additional color tables and map overlays may be opened for a single session or added to your favorites library for continued use. See the Panoply website for these optional support files.

For additional scale colorbar palettes, J.J. Green's cpt-city website includes many CPT format files that are compatible with Panoply.

Return to Panoply homepage