Wallpaper patterns

This applet requires the Java package to run: GetJava Download Button

Click and drag the green, red or blue dots to change the pattern. Choose the type of pattern from the menu on left.

Load other images


Upload your own image:

The best size for images is 640 by 480, other images may be too big or too small. Images should be less than 200K and in gif, jpeg or png format. inappropriate images will be removed. By uploading and image you release them into the public domain.

The patterns

This applet draw a set of set of wallpaper pattern, which are repeating patterns which fill the plane and exhibit certain mathematics symmetries. There are only 17 different possible types which fill the plane and the different patterns have been known for quite a long time now.

See mathematical description for more details.

P1 patternP1 P2 patternP2 CM patternCM CMM patternCMM
PM patternPM PG patternPG PMG patternPMG PGG patternPGG PMM patternPMM
P4 patternP4 P4M patternP4M P4G patternP4G
P2 patternP3 P2 patternP31M P2 patternP3M1 P2 patternP3 P2 patternP3M

The patterns are made by combination of different types of symetry including, Translation (All patterns have this), Reflection (M), Glide-Reflection - translate a bit and then reflect (G) 180° rotation (P2), 120° rotation (P3), 90° rotation (P4), 60° rotation (P6).

Full application

A full version of this applet is available, which additional features:



Explore animated symmetry patterns of your own images with the wallpaper-screensaver. The screensaver runs on windows and unix and can loop through a selection of images and symmetry patterns.

The screensaver has been made using the Java Saverbeans library. See the FAQ and Screensaver pack for other java screensavers.


The screensave will run on:

It requires Java 1.5 or later, download from http://java.com/en/ and adminstrator accesss to install.

Readers comments


Tom Jackson Thu Apr 26 2007

I was wondering if the source was still available I notice its been taken down, I'm interested in experimenting with these formula in actionscript 3 to see if it can cope with a real time version like this, if you could send the source I'd be much appreciated!

Very Cool!

harold shoemaker Sat Oct 6 2007

Will this stuff work with Vista?


Rich Sat Oct 6 2007

Yes it should work with vista. It is built using java and will run everywhere where java runs.

full aplication

Sat Nov 17 2007

if i buy it, can i put it on my site?

The best thing i have seen in ages!

The Reveller Wed Apr 2 2008

I have been looking for Photoshop pattern plugins without success but this is so much cooler.


jose fox Thu Jun 25 2009

Can you use the applet on a mac?


jose fox Thu Jun 25 2009

does the applet also work on a mac?

Re Macs

Rich (webweaver) Thu Jun 25 2009

I think it should work fine for macs but some people have had problems. One fix might be to install the latest version of Java for a Mac as of June 15 2009 the you can up date this at http://support.apple.com/downloads/Java_for_Mac_OS_X_10_4__Release_9 (OS X 10.4) or http://support.apple.com/downloads/Java_for_Mac_OS_X_10_5_Update_4 (OS X 10.5).


Sun Aug 16 2009

Are the wallpaper patterns available for purchase as a download or they come as a CD? Thank you!

Appropriate images

Sam Hyun Fri Oct 16 2009

Hi, guys I love this applet. I am a 7th grade math teacher in New Hampshire and I would love to use this program in my geometry unit, but unfortunately I'm afraid to because of some of the images people have uploaded onto your server. If I was teaching high school or college I wouldn't think twice about the content, but since I am working with 12 and 13 year old kids I wanted to ask if it is possible to filter / block some of the images? Do you guys have a general rule of thumb or a filter for appropriate content? I am also in a Masters program at Lesley University in Technology in Education and I would love to showcase your website, but I suspect many of the teachers would have their reservations about using your site because of some of the uploaded images. If you guys view it as artistic, I can understand that and if that is the case, can you send me a little blurb stating that's your policy in regards to uploaded images? Basically, I am trying to find a way to use your site without getting myself into trouble with parents and administration. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Sam Hyun

Marcus du Sautoy: Symmetry, reality's riddle

Rich (webmaster) Sat Nov 7 2009

Marcus du Sautoy: Symmetry, reality's riddle A great explination of some of the ideas behind symmetry


Wed Feb 10 2010

i think there should be more choices in wallpapers that people can choose from

Two buttons missing

Ossi Sat May 7 2022

I noticed the buttons for p3 and p6 are missing. I managed to get to those randomly by first choosing some of the groups from the drop down menus and then choosing the title again. That way it throws a random wallpaper group or sometimes some other group. Really cool app by the way.


Richard Morris Sat May 14 2022

Thanks Ossi, well spotted, I'v now fixed the bug.

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