Organization of the User's Guide

This manual is organized into four sections. The first section covers installation of OpenSim. The next section describes how to use the basic components of the OpenSim graphical user interface (GUI). The third section covers the tools available within OpenSim, including plotting, scaling, inverse kinematics, inverse dynamics, forward dynamics, and computed muscle control. The last section describes how to prepare your data for use within OpenSim. The OpenSim Developer's Guide (available from the OpenSim webpages on, provides examples and tutorials for using OpenSim's C++ API.

Conventions in the User's Guide

Below are some of the conventions used within this document: 

  • <- Arrows are used to indicate cascading menu selections 
  • bold Bold-faced text is used to highlight menu choices, mouse button selections, and other actions 
  • italics Names of panels and sections within an OpenSim window appear in italics 
  • brown italics Brown italics are used to identify new vocabulary 

Many of the OpenSim files use an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file format. In describing these files, the following formats are used: 

  • <TagName> Tags appear in brown text surrounded by blue brackets 
  • attribute Attributes associated with XML tags appear in red text 
  • value Valid values for a set of tags are indicated in bold green