Synthetic Biology Open Language Visual

SBOLVisual The Synthetic Biology Open Language Visual (SBOL Visual) is an open-source graphical notation that uses schematic “glyphs” to specify genetic parts, devices, modules, and systems.

Normative definitions

SBOL visual is defined in a set graphical notations used to described genetic parts, devices, modules, and systems.

The latest specification are:


SBOL Visual development is coordinated by an editorial board and the chair elected by the community.


SBOL visual development is executed by the SBOL Developers Group and the SBOL Visual Group through discussions on the group mailing list, in virtual meetings, and at biannual in-person workshops.

To join the SBOL Developers Group and SBOL Visual Group, contact the SBOL Editors.

Software support

Many software tools support SBOL Visual, including SBOL APIs, SBOL helper tools and end user software supporting SBOL.

SBOL Visual are supported by many software tools.

The SBOL visual glyphs are supported in a variety of formats and are freely available for download.


For information about SBOL Visual, contact the SBOL Editors.

How to cite SBOL

Quinn JY, Cox III RS, Adler A, Beal J, Bhatia S, Cai Y, Chen J, Clancy K, Galdzicki M, Hillson NJ, Le Novère N. SBOL visual: a graphical language for genetic designs. PLoS biology. 2015 Dec 3;13(12):e1002310.


SBOL Visual was conceived and presented as an RFC in 2010, inspired by the need to represent designs in software user interfaces. SBOL Visual 1.0.0 was published as an RFC in 2013, providing a cleaner symbol set and more formalized symbol definitions via the Sequence Ontology.

The development of SBOL Visual 2.0 and corresponding visual notation is currently underway. To join the discussion, contact the SBOL Editors.