This version of the documentation is NOT an official release. You are reading the documentation version which is in active and ongoing development.

User guide

The user guide provides detailed documentation of the GUI of NEST Desktop.


If you want to see a quick start guide for in NEST Desktop, we have prepared a video showing the steps how to Step 1: Construct and Step 3: Analyze.

How to use NEST Desktop

Setup guide

Learn how to install NEST Desktop

Basic usage

Learn the basic steps how to use NEST Desktop

Advanced guide


Project view

Allows users to construct networks and analyze activity

Model view

Contains different components to explore models


Network graph

Shows nodes and connections in the network editor

Activity chart graph

Activity can be displayed in a chart graph for spikes and analog signals

Activity animation graph

Animated activity graph for the spatial network of neurons with geographical positions


Copy model

The user learns how to copy a model

Compartmental neuron

The user learns how to create a compartmental neuron

Synapse model

The user learns the implementation of a synapse model in a simulation

External software

Simulate with Insite

Learn how to use NEST Desktop with Insite

NeuroRobotics Platform

Learn how to use NEST Desktop with NRP


Learn how to use NEST Desktop with ViSimpl

LibreOffice extension

Create publication-ready network graphs