Comprehensive Manual

I have been using cryosparc for about a year now, and I like the program a lot. I just have one gripe and this is probably going to come off a little like a rant, so I apologize in advance, and sorry if this has been brought up before.

I think cryosparc has the potential to be the Phenix of EM packages… with one glaring difference that leaves me at a total loss, the lack of any truly comprehensive documentation. The tutorials are akin to here’s how to solve the structure of lysozyme, now good luck solving the structure of your semi-stable membrane protein complex. Many descriptions are non-informative, or job pages are blank in the resources. Some of the job building descriptions are blank or about as informative as “probably shouldn’t change this”. Why? What does it do if I do? Why do I have to spend so much computational time figuring out all of these features? If cryosparc is billed to be easy for anyone to pick up, shouldn’t there be better documentation? 90% of the time I can find the question I have on the discussion boards, but 90% of those questions are ignored or the person says figured it out and doesn’t reveal how. It just seems if a program is really going to shine, and more crystallographers like myself that have made the leap to cyro-EM to tackle difficult to crystallize proteins, it would help to not feel like all of the information is some guarded secret. The creators of cryosparc have spent countless hours curating a nice program, and from what I can tell seem to really listen to the suggestions of users in adding features and helping with issues. Could not a little of that time be used to curate comprehensive documentation (also thinking of Phenix) to go what all of features actually do? This would definitely make learning the software more attractive to a wider audience as more an more members of the structural biology community are using EM.

Please make a complete comprehensive manual. I think it would really help users have a better understanding of what they are doing, and be a general benefit for attracting users.


Hi @J_Fin,

Thanks for posting your honest feedback - we are definitely aware of the room for improvement in our docs and this is an area that is now one of our team’s highest priorities. We have been working on a thorough and complete guide to cryoSPARC covering algorithmic/data processing aspects and software system usage. Any particular suggestions you (or anyone reading this!) has about what should be included or what parts of the workflow are most unclear would be very much appreciated.

CryoSPARC v2 has been rapidly evolving since the initial public release only 18 months ago - our team is also eager to have the writing of docs catch up to development! Hopefully we can keep making cryoSPARC more powerful and easier to use for everyone.


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