KnotPlot 1.0 Available Now!

Hypnagogic Software is pleased to announce that KnotPlot 1.0, the World's most elaborate knotting software is now available for the low price of only $35.00 (Canadian dollars). Buy now and enjoy the following advantages:

If you wish to evaluate the software before purchasing it, just download it using one of the links below. The evaluation version of KnotPlot is completely free, but many features have been disabled. You can always upgrade your KnotPlot version by simply returning to this web page and purchasing a key later. The free evaluation version becomes the full version when the key is installed.

KnotPlot 1.0 is available now for all Windows platforms, MacOSX (both PowerPC and Intel), Linux, and IRIX. Click on the button below to purchase KnotPlot using PayPal (you can use a credit card). All transactions are secure.

You don't need a PayPal account, most credit cards are accepted. After you purchase KnotPlot, you will receive an email from with your key. Just install the software and your key, and you will be set to start plotting knots!

University and college departments may wish to purchase a departmental site license. Please visit to find out how.

To see what KnotPlot can do, check out the KnotPlot Site where all images (except a few) were generated with KnotPlot.

NEW! Join the KnotPlot Site Bulletin Board and post your questions on how to run KnotPlot, on knot theory or on knots in general!

Rob Scharein (
Hypnagogic Software
January 2012

Installing KnotPlot

Installing KnotPlot is easy, just click on one of the links below to install the software. When you first install KnotPlot, it will be the free evaluation version (which has features disabled). If you wish to have the full version of KnotPlot, purchase a key using the Buy now button above. Fairly soon after you make the purchase, you will receive an email from with a key and instructions on how to install it. After the key is installed, you will be up and running KnotPlot with all features enabled.

KnotPlot download

Here are the downloads for KnotPlot. KnotPlot needs two components, the executable, which is the program itself, and the KnotPlot distribution, which is the approximately 5,959 files that KnotPlot just can't live without. If you're installing on a Windows or MacOSX machine, you only need one file, which contains both the executuable and the distibution. The MacOSX distribution is provided in two versions, one for the older PowerPC Macs, and one for the new Intel-based Macs. The Intel Macs will actually run both versions, but performance is much better if you use the version compiled for Intel. On Linux platforms, you need to download the executable and the distribution separately. NOTE: Some browsers may strip the file name extensions (such as .gz) without actually gunzipping the file. If you're downloading one of the files below, make sure that your browser saves it with the correct file name.

One thing to make sure of is that you have the proper OpenGL driver installed! On Macs, this is always the case, but many Windows machines with good graphics cards sometimes do not have the OpenGL driver installed, and may be using software rendering (i.e., no hardware acceleration). A similar situation exists for Linux platforms.

Platform Executable Distribution
  Download File size (kilobytes) Last updated (UTC) Download File size (kilobytes) Last updated (UTC)
Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10 InstallKnotPlot.exe

MD5 file hash: 9dde9862b455f31b506d90413c68616f
12322 16h35m 10Mar17 included with executable
Apple MacOSX for newer Intel Macs
compiled for Intel
(iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook etc.)
This version should work on 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan) or 10.12 (Sierra) for any 64-bit capable Mac.

MD5 file hash: e40ee554ab7578003e155d96222808bf
14840 16h41m 10Mar17 included with executable
compiled for 64-bit machines

MD5 file hash: 2dfef7281141d3845e6da32eca62a1e6
687 16h19m 10Mar17 kpdist.tar.gz

MD5 file hash: 00515273c568f20ee6bf340ee74f821d
11305 20h20m 31May16

KnotPlot installation and distribution files are copyright © 2017 by Rob Scharein. All rights reserved. See below for terms of use.

Note: In the above, the term kilobyte means exactly 1,000 bytes (and not 1,024 bytes). For more information, see the page on SI prefixes at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Installation Instructions

Information on installation is available for the following platforms:

Installing the Key

To access all the features of KnotPlot, you will need to install a key. This key will be emailed to the address you supplied when you purchased KnotPlot using PayPal. This will happen fairly soon after purchase, usually within a few hours. Instructions on what to do with the key will also be provided.

Notes for Mac Users

The MacOSX version has a few oddities that deserve mentioning. In general, you should ignore all the standard Mac menus, use the KnotPlot menus instead (right-click or control-click on the KnotPlot Control Panel).

Secondly, I recommend reading the Read Me.pdf file that comes in the distribution. It has a few suggestions, for example placing the KnotPlot application in its own folder. For Snow Leopard (MacOSX 10.6) or Lion (MacOSX 10.7), there are also some small utilities that are useful when working on different projects. These utilities help in getting KnotPlot to save files to a specific folder/directory.

KnotPlot Manual

A hopelessly out of date (and sometimes wrong) version of the manual is available. The good news is that if you want to create light weight EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) pictures with KnotPlot, there is an up to date (but small) PSexamples manual as well as an extensive web page of PostScript and PDF examples, together with the KnotPlot commands used to create them.

HTML version (for online viewing)      PDF version (for printout)

The PDF version (updated 15 October 2002) is much more up to date than the HTML version, although it is still incomplete. I recommend you download the PDF version instead of consulting the HTML version.

A quick startup guide to using KnotPlot is also available (handout.pdf), as are five small tutorials (ex1.pdf, ex2.pdf, ex3.pdf, ex4.pdf, ex5.pdf).


This section is of interest to those using KnotPlot to study DNA topology. Included in the KnotPlot distribution is the Topological Interactive Construction Engine, or TopoICE, which implements Isabel Darcy's algorithms for solving tangle equations. TopoICE comes in two flavours TopoICE-X and TopoICE-R. The following support files for TopoICE are provided.

TanglePrimer.pdf A primer on rational tangles (preliminary version, 140 kilobytes)
TopoICE-Xmanual.pdf TopoICE-X manual (247 kilobytes)       TopoICE-Xexamples.pdf TopoICE-X examples (882 kilobytes)
TopoICE-Rmanual.pdf TopoICE-R manual (175 kilobytes)       TopoICE-Rexamples.pdf TopoICE-R examples (343 kilobytes)


I would like to thank the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, the Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics, and the Department of Computer Science at UBC for previously hosting the KnotPlot web pages.


KnotPlot and the KnotPlot installation and distribution files are copyrighted by Rob Scharein. Unauthorized hosting of any of the installation or distribution files, on any web server for any purpose, is expressly forbidden.

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