Spartan automatically examines models for symmetry. When it finds symmetry elements, it applies these in subsequent calculations. For example, if you build ‘flat’ NH3 (possible point groups: Cs, C3v, D3h, etc.) and calculate its equilibrium geometry, you will end up with a flat ‘minimum’. In other words, your final model won’t be a minimum at all. Here are some tips for dealing with symmetry, wanted and unwanted:

- turning off symmetry constraints
- uncheck the
**Symmetry**box in**Setup: Calculations** - adjust an atom (or group) position so that the initial model is less symmetric (if Spartan lists the point group as C1, no symmetry has been detected)

- uncheck the
- “<point group> slipped through” error message prevents the desired calculation – either uncheck the
**Symmetry**box (see above) or**Minimize**a few times to reach a higher symmetry model (this can be a disaster so remember that you can use**Undo**to reverse one**Minimize**)