How to update / delete a specific electrostatic potential surface for a compound?

Dear Avogadro community,

I think Avogadro is a great tool and i have been using it to try to visualize the distribution of charges around compounds.

One of the easiest ways to do so I found is to generate electrostatic potential surfaces for the compounds (at Extensions > Create Surfaces > Surface type: Van der Waals, Color by: Electrostatic Potential).

I have trying to insert and take out charges from atoms (at View > Properties > Atom Properties > Formal Charge) in these compunds and see the difference in these surface, but apparently the surface does not change its distribution automatically after the change in formal charge.

Also, when i just go and delete the molecule completely (in order to make a new surface, as automatic updating doesnt happen), the surface remains there, even without any atoms.

Now, my quetions are then two:

  1. Is there a way to enable these surfaces to be updated together with the choices in formal charges for individual atoms in the molecule as decribed?

and 2. Is there a way to specifically delete one such surface together with the molecule or mainting the molecule?

Thanks for the help and congratulations for the great tool!


This is not how formal charges work. They’re a “bookkeeping” thing. A \ce{CO2-} group doesn’t actually have a -1 charge on an oxygen. I’m not aware of a partial charge / electrostatics model that actually considers formal charges on individual atoms.

I think you’re using Avogadro 1.2, correct?