Freiburg Vision Test (‘FrACT’)
by Prof. Michael Bach – Downloads

Download options

(This is free software. There is no warranty for anything.)
These apps do not contain any code to monetize their use (e.g. sell your location).


MacOS universalZIP MBThe app is unsigned, so after un-zipping do a right-click to open and then allow open (→explanation). The very first start needs not only these extra clicks but is also very slow (OS check for malware ≈½ minute); from then on it behaves like any app.
Disk ImageFrACT10.dmg151 MB
(10, 11)
Setup as ZIP archiveFrACT10-Setup.exe.zip66 MBNeed to bypass the warning dialog and allow it to run (→explanation).   Deinstaller included.
Any / AllOn-line→FrACT₁₀This will run FrACT₁₀ directly in your browser.

“Classic” FrACT3.10.5 (don’t use for new projects)

MacOSApp for Intel CPU, MBMust right click, open and confirm, →explanation. If you just double click, MacOS suggests to trash, don't :) !
(95, 10, 11)
Application (exe), zippedFrACT3.10.5.exe.zip5 MBYou will see a dialog "…unknown publisher…". This message is normal, allow it, →explanation.
With the latest Windows, you need to: right click, open, and allow.


Download problems?

Very occcasionally there have been download problems. If so, don’t hesitate to contact me, we’ve always found a work-around. If the downloaded version does not work, it might be a security setting, easy to circumvent if you persist.

The Manual

All options and default settings and more is described in the FrACT₁₀ Manual (online) or the “classic” FrACT3.x Manual [PDF]. I am happy to help in any way, but please be so kind to read the checklist and to peruse the manual before sending me questions.
[The manual is occasionally out of step with the very latest FrACT release…]

Face Files

Face files” as used in McCulloch DL, Loffler G, Bruce N, Dutton G, Bach M (2011) The effects of visual degradation on face discrimination. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 31:240–248.

Usage: Download “”, decompress, store folder at any convenient location. Tick “allow experimental Face acuity” in Settings. Press “Faces” on the main screen. Navigate to the faces folder, select ALL and load all of them at once. Then the Faces test proceeds; the task is to select the odd-one-out from the four faces, actually quite difficult.

Sufficient distance from the screen is necessary to avoid distortion, just as for normal acuity assessment. Thus if you are testing subjects with normal vision, ≥2 m (for typical screenw resolutions) is fine. If you are testing subjects with low vision, reduce the screen distance proportionally to avoid limitations by total screen size.

Works in FrACT versions 3.7.x – 3.10.x.

Security issues

This could be a “trojan”, like any program, yes, but it is not to the very best of my knowledge.

For the downloaded stand-alone version of FrACT, you do not need to have any Flash plugin or player installed. It is self-contained.

As to viruses: Macintosh users need not be very concerned, there are still (nearly) none for that platform. For Windows, I can state that I personally compiled this progam (using Flash CS4 on a Mac) with no malicious code and placed it on this site myself.

To store the settings, classic FrACT uses Flash’s “Local Shared Objects”, putting a file containing settings and temporary run results on your computer. Visit the Adobe Flash online settings manager to restrict how Flash stores these files; you can completely disallow such files to be saved, but then your settings won’t stick.

Using and citing

If you were using FrACT, please cite it when publishing.

Classic FrACT Versions (→full history)
DateVersionMacOS AppWindows EXESWF
(last PPC version)
2004-08-045.6.2FrACT (MacOS 9)

Footnote on security warnings

FrACT is free, so I’m not paying developer fees (99$ per year on the Mac platform). Consequently, I can’t “sign” the FrACT application, and it will be considered as “application from an unidentified developer” by the “Gatekeeper” on a Mac or as “publisher unknown” on Windows. More in Apple’s help article →Open an app from an unidentified developer.

These security warnings are getting worse every year (but serve a valid purpose). Now the operating system claims the file is “damaged”, which it isn’t (just not signed); it even suggests to trash the file! Luckily, it is still easy to open the app with the means described below and staying persistent through the dialogs.


Solution (only needed once)

If anyone has ideas how to make this easier on any platform, I would warmly welcome all advice.