Create Plate Map Tool

How to create one or more plate maps that define the assignment of materials to plates’ wells.

Written by Tiffany Dai
Updated over a week ago

The Create Plate Map tool allows the user to create one or more new plate maps. A plate map defines a mapping between materials and the wells of a plate. In other words, a plate map specifies which material is held in which well of a plate. The user selects the plate map format, the materials to be held in the plate map, and the distribution of those materials across the plate map. 

Input: List of Materials

Output: New plate map(s)

You can find more detailed definitions of the terms mentioned in this article in the glossary.


  • (required) The materials must exist in a materials library (Materials > DNA Materials, Microbial Materials, Cell Cultures, Protein Materials, Reagents)

  • If the materials do not exist yet, go to Materials > DNA Materials, Microbial Materials, Cell Cultures, Protein Materials, or Reagents > New or Upload. 

You can find the Create Plate Map tool under Tools > Tool Library. Click on ‘Launch Tool’ to start using the tool. 

The tool will walk you through several steps to generate one or more plate maps. You need to complete each step before proceeding to the next. After completing a step, the completed step mark (circle) will turn green with a checkmark. You can always use the ‘previous’ button to go back to a previous step. 

1. Plate Map Settings: This step requires you to specify a plate format and the source materials 

1a. Select Plate Format: Select a plate format for the outputted plate map. The default format 96 Well Plate. 

1b. Choose Item Type: Select the item type that you wish to populate the plate maps from the drop down list. (Options: Material, Reagent, Reagent Lot, and Sample). 

1c. Select Chosen Item type: Once you have chosen the Item Type you will be able to select the items that you wish to apply to the output plate map. You can do this either by using the drop-down menu at the bottom or populating the plate map with a filled out CSV file.

If you are satisfied with the selection, click ‘Next’ to go to the next step. 

2. Plate Map Configuration: This step allows you to name your plate map group and configure one or more plate maps. 

2a. Name Plate Map Group: Give your plate map group a descriptive name. 

2b. Name Plate Maps: Give your plate map (or maps) a descriptive name.

2c. Distribute Materials: Drag the selected materials from the list on the left of the screen and drop them onto the wells of the plate on the right of the screen. 

Click on the dotted lines to the left of a material name in the list and drag the material to a specific well of the plate map. As shown as an example in the image above, ‘Sample1’ was assigned to well B2 of the plate for ‘Plate Map 1’. To drag and drop multiple materials, follow the following steps:

  • Click on a material and command-click or shift-click (an)other material(s) to highlight the selected materials. 

  • Select a ‘Fill Direction’ from the drop-down menu (Right, Left, Up and Down)

Fill direction (Eg. Right Direction): By picking "Right" from the drop-down list to the left of the clear plate button, the tool now fills the wells with selected materials in the order of appearance in the selection list and to right of the chosen well on which the materials are dropped.

In the example below, CC0003, CC0005, CC0008, CC0010, CC0013, CC0015, and CC0014 are selected and dragged to well A1. The tool automatically fills wells A2 through A7 with the materials.

If you want to unassign all materials on a plate map, click ‘Clear Plate’. Alternatively, you can delete the mapping of a particular well by right-clicking that well and click ‘Delete’. 

 When satisfied with the plate map configuration, click ‘Create Plate Map(s)’

To view the plate map group that you have created, click on ‘Plate Map Group’. You can click on the → arrow to scroll through other plate maps in the group. 

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