Getting Started with MacVector

MacVector has a vast array of tools for working with protein and DNA sequences. But since MacVector is designed with the Mac’s simplicity in mind, getting started with simple tasks is quick. However, getting familiar with MacVector’s full range of tools does require more help. Nobody has time to read manuals nowadays and so here’s an overview of various resources we have to help new users get up to speed quicker, but also help more advanced users know tools they may not be that familiar with.

But before you read further, please remember that the MacVector Support Team is only ever an email away. We will always reply back within a working day, generally much quicker than that! There is no such thing as a stupid or trivial question and we genuinely enjoy hearing from users. Even if you just want to tell us about your work, and ask how MacVector can help!


Getting Started guide

The first document that new users should turn to is the Getting Started with MacVector guide. This document is geared for both new users and introduces you to the new functions and features in recent versions.


In the documentation folder right in the MacVector application folder you will find some PDF tutorials. All these tutorials are based on using sequence files that you will find directly in the “Tutorial Files” section of the MacVector application folder.



  • In MacVector click HELP > TUTORIALS

The full paths are:

Applications > MacVector > Documentation

Applications > MacVector > Tutorial Files

Up to date tutorials are always available on our website.


Here are some workflows that your average molecular biologist can use MacVector for.

How Do I? Menu

The menu bar of MacVector contains a menu which lists common workflows that a molecular biologist may need. Each topic has a short video and/or a short step by step guides. Plus every tool in MacVector has a link to a video tutorial from its dialog.

MacVector Help

For specific and up to date information turn to the MacVector Help directly within the MacVector Application itself. Either search for a specific function or select the main menu to browse functionality


MacVector dialog

Weekly tips email newsletter

We have a short weekly email with tips on using MacVector. Most of the tips are answers to questions that have recently been asked by users. We think that if someone has a question about it, then others probably do too! We will never forward your information on to a third party and you are able to easily unsubscribe from these emails.

Every email is meant to be read in a few minutes or quickly skipped if it is not relevant. They rarely have more than three short paragraphs. You can view past posts and subscribe here

MacVector Blog

Our blog has regular articles, both short and long on MacVector’s features.


Sometimes a video is more instructional than text. There are short video tips on using MacVector on our blog and our YouTube channel
These cover subjects as diverse as adding primers to the Primer database, or aligning large sequencing reads datasets against a genome. Each one is less than 2 minutes and generally shorter than that!


We will come and run real live workshops for your research group or institute. Email MacVector Support to find out about workshops in your area.

What’s New in MacVector

Here’s a list of all new features over the many versions.

Before you go…

…. watch this video on how to directly download a sequence into MacVector from the Entrez database. If there’s a gene or plasmid that you regularly use then all you need is its accession number to download a fully annotated copy directly into MacVector It’s always better to learn with your own sequences!