Proposal Planning Video Tutorials

This article provides a complete tabular listing of all of the JWST video help and tutorials that are available for topics related to proposing support and proposal tools. The JWST-specific videos are hosted on the JWST Observer YouTube channel. Also, some generic legacy video help is provided in a separate table below. Links to many of these resources are also linked directly into JDox articles at the point of need. Video help related to JWST data, data processing pipeline, and data analysis tools are hosted in JWST Science Data Overview and other articles in the JDox Data section.

Looking for Data Pipeline Video tutorials?  See JWebbinars.

On this page

See also: Exposure Time Calculator Overview and JWST Astronomers Proposal Tool Overview
See also: The JWST Observer YouTube channel (linked outside of JDox)

Due to the dynamic development environment and the effort required to remake videos, you might see small differences between the displays in some help videos relative to the released versions of the planning tools. Most of the help being provided in the videos is general in nature and does not depend on the specific tool versions. If you detect any serious problems due to versions that would cause a video to be incorrect, please help us by contacting the JWST Help Desk.

The tables below include links to both videos that have been posted to the JWST Observer YouTube channel as well as existing video help (made for HST, but with relevance to JWST) that are still hosted locally at STScI. These legacy videos are listed in a separate table toward the bottom of this page.  

Video help is linked directly into many proposal planning and proposal tools articles where it is relevant. Look for the JWST video icon: 

YouTube features

For the YouTube videos, users should be aware of some nice features provided by the controls at the lower right corner of the video window. These include the ability to go to full screen (to better see details), the "CC" button, which provides automatic closed captioning of the audio stream, and the Setting–Quality option, that permits the user to control the resolution and file size that fits their needs. Controls at lower left allow the user to start and stop the video and mute the sound if needed.

Master list of available proposal planning and proposal tool video help

Table 1 lists the video tutorial help available in support of JWST proposal planning and proposal development tools along with short descriptions for each video. Links on the video titles in the first column will connect you to each video directly. Any videos that link elsewhere than the JWST Observer YouTube channel are indicated in the "Description" column.

Note: the JWST Observer YouTube channel also hosts webinars, recorded JWST town halls from AAS meetings, and other recordings not listed here. When you go to the JWST Observer channel, be sure to subscribe to it to see updates.

Table 1. Videos on JWST proposal planning and proposal development tools

General interest videos


STScI OPO Field of Regard2:00This video gives an overview of the JWST field of regard and how it changes over the course of a year. This link goes to the JWST science website and not to the JWST Observer YouTube channel. Also refer to this JDox article.

APT and Aladin video help


5:07This video walks through the basics of the APT user interface and describes each of the tools within APT that are needed to prepare and submit JWST proposals.


This video provides examples of various tasks performed with the Visit Planner tool within APT, including the use of diagnostics to fix various problems you may encounter. It concludes with an example of running Smart Accounting to minimize overheads in your proposal.


This video provides examples of entering and editing special requirements in APT, including for both fixed and moving targets.


This video demonstrates the ways of defining and manipulating mosaics within APT. Advanced sections include adding and removing tiles from a mosaic as well as other special cases.

3:06This video highlights the various ways you can get diagnostic information about errors and warnings in APT as you develop a proposal for submission.
6:21This video describes the functionality of the graphical timeline tool within APT.

 9:14This video walks through the basic functionality of the Aladin visualization tool within the APT environment, and provides several examples of interactions between Aladin and APT itself.
5:00This video shows how Aladin and the Visit Planner in APT can be used together to help prepare your proposal.
9:54This video demonstrates how APT highlights observations impacted by the defined micrometeoroid avoidance zone, with tips on how to resolve any warnings and errors before submitting your proposal.

ETC video help

3:49This video provides a good entry point for learning how to use the JWST Exposure Time Calculator (ETC). It presents the different options available on the home page for working in the ETC and provides guidance for obtaining additional information.
5:51This video is a walkthrough that briefly presents the capabilities and layout of the JWST Exposure Time Calculator (ETC).
4:36This video discusses how to create a new ETC workbook, load existing example workbooks to use as starting point, and share ETC workbooks with other MyST users and collaborators.
6:27This video demonstrates how to create scenes, add sources, and modify sources as part of performing calculations in the ETC.
3:15This video describes the various ways to specify a background in the ETC.
2:52This video describes the process of adding, updating, and removing emission lines to a source continuum in the ETC.
3:40This video describes how to upload user-supplied spectra to the ETC, including the proper file format to use.
4:50This video describes how to use the batch expansion feature to quickly explore a range of instrument or exposure parameters in the ETC.
3:52This video describes the 2 observing strategies for the MIRI MRS and NIRSpec IFU backgrounds and how to quickly fix errors when switching strategies in the ETC.

NIRSpec tools video help

8:23This video provides a summary of topics covered in more detail in an accompanying longer video demonstration (see below), as well as a number of pointers and helpful hints that NIRSpec MOS proposers will want to know. Refer to NIRSpec MOS documentation for detailed information.
1:00:21This video tutorial combines an overview of the NIRSpec multi-object spectroscopy mode with an actual demonstration of using the MSA Planning Tool within APT. Use the extensive table of contents at the beginning of the video to jump to the desired subtopic within the overall presentation. Refer to NIRSpec MOS documentation for detailed information.

List of available legacy video help (hosted locally at STScI)

Table 2. Links and short descriptions for each legacy video

Legacy APT and Aladin video help (produced for HST but with some application to JWST users)


5:30This tutorial describes using the differencing tool in APT to compare 2 proposals. It was made for HST but has relevance to JWST users.
3:30This tutorial describes how to use the "Find" functionality in APT. It was made for HST but has relevance to JWST users.
2:30This tutorial demonstrates accessing orbital elements for known moving targets from within APT. It was made for HST but works exactly the same way for JWST.
7:00This tutorial demonstrates how to access and use the MAST Discovery Portal interface from APT. It was made for HST but works exactly the same way for JWST.
 1:30 This video demonstrates the multiview functionality of Aladin.
4:13This video shows how to use APT to make target confirmation charts.

If you have questions beyond the information covered in these help videos, please search elsewhere in the JWST user documentation or contact the JWST Help Desk.

Latest updates

  • Added APT MAZ help video.

    Clarified that this page is for planning and planning tools videos only; data pipeline and analysis videos are in various JDox Data articles.

    Added section of General Interest Videos at top of Table.

  • Added links to new NIRSpec MSA video tutorials.

    Updated JDox video for Cycle 1.

    Updated Listing for JWST Cycle 1 videos and current tool versions.
Originally published