Getting Started

Welcome to the 3D Slicer community. Here you will learn the basics of using Slicer including installing 3D Slicer, the basics of the main application GUI, how to use Slicer and where to find tutorials and more information.

What is Slicer ?

3D Slicer is:

  • A software platform for the analysis (including registration and interactive segmentation) and visualization (including volume rendering) of medical images and for research in image guided therapy.
  • A free, open source software available on multiple operating systems: Linux, MacOSX and Windows
  • Extensible, with powerful plug-in capabilities for adding algorithms and applications.

Features include:

  • Multi organ: from head to toe.
  • Support for multi-modality imaging including, MRI, CT, US, nuclear medicine, and microscopy.
  • Bidirectional interface for devices.


There is no restriction on use, but Slicer is NOT approved for clinical use and intended for research. Permissions and compliance with applicable rules are the responsibility of the user. For details on the license see here.

Hardware Requirements

3D Slicer is an open-source package that can be used on Mac, Linux and Windows. In order to run 3D Slicer your computer must have the graphics capabilities and memory to hold the original image data and process results. A 64-bit system is required. Click here more information.

Installing 3D Slicer

To install Slicer, click here.

The Nightly version of 3D Slicer is updated nightly as groups of developers make changes. The Stable version of 3D Slicer is not updated nightly and is more rigorously tested.

Once downloaded, follow the instructions below to complete installation.

Further Documentation

If you’re interested in extending your knowledge, access the User Manual. See also the archives of the users mailing list. The archive is searchable so most answers to questions can be found there.

If you’re a developer looking for more information, access the Developer Manual. See also archives of the developer’s mailing list. Similar to the Users Mailing List archive, it is searchable.

User Interface Overview

3D Slicer is built on a modular architecture. The Main Application GUI is divided into six components: the Application Menu Bar, the Application Toolbar, the Module GUI Panel, the Data Probe Panel, the 2D Slice Viewers, and the 3D Viewer.

This section will introduce you to the basic functions on the main application’s GUI. If you require detailed information, visit this page.

Open 3D Slicer and load your own data or download sample data to explore. Go ahead and click around the user interface.

From the Welcome panel, you can load your own data or download sample data. Sample data is often useful for exploring the features of 3D Slicer if you don’t have data of your own.

Click on the push pin in the top left corner of each of the Slice Viewers or the 3D Viewer to see more options. In the Slice Viewers, the horizontal bar can be used to scroll through slices or select a slice. You can explore the various options using your loaded data or downloaded sample data.


The 3D Slicer documentation has an abundance of tutorials to help you familiarize yourself with the basics of 3D Slicer and with specific modules.

Try the Welcome Tutorial and the Data Loading and 3D Visualization Tutorial to learn the basics of using 3D Slicer.

  • To learn about using Slicer for 3D Printing, visit this tutorial.
  • To learn about Neurosurgical Planning with Slicer, visit this tutorial.
  • To learn about DTI, visit this tutorial.

For more tutorials, visit the Tutorial page to see a comprehensive list. Additionally, visit our YouTube page for video tutorials.

If you would like to see a list of example cases with data sets and steps to achieve the same result, visit the Registration Library.



Use Cases