Using Tablet for visual exploration of second-generation sequencing data

Brief Bioinform. 2013 Mar;14(2):193-202. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbs012. Epub 2012 Mar 24.


The advent of second-generation sequencing (2GS) has provided a range of significant new challenges for the visualization of sequence assemblies. These include the large volume of data being generated, short-read lengths and different data types and data formats associated with the diversity of new sequencing technologies. This article illustrates how Tablet-a high-performance graphical viewer for visualization of 2GS assemblies and read mappings-plays an important role in the analysis of these data. We present Tablet, and through a selection of use cases, demonstrate its value in quality assurance and scientific discovery, through features such as whole-reference coverage overviews, variant highlighting, paired-end read mark-up, GFF3-based feature tracks and protein translations. We discuss the computing and visualization techniques utilized to provide a rich and responsive graphical environment that enables users to view a range of file formats with ease. Tablet installers can be freely downloaded from in 32 or 64-bit versions for Windows, OS X, Linux or Solaris. For further details on the Tablet, contact

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Graphics*
  • Data Display*
  • Databases, Genetic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Genomics / statistics & numerical data
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Sequence Analysis / statistics & numerical data
  • Software