In CASP7, protein structure prediction targets that lacked substantial similarity to a protein in the PDB at the time of assessment were considered to be free modeling targets (FM). We assessed predictions for 14 FM targets as well as four other targets that were deemed to be on the borderline between FM targets and template based modeling targets (TBM/FM). GDT_TS was used as one measure of model quality. Model quality was also assessed by visual inspection. Visual inspection was performed by three independent assessors who were blinded to GDT_TS scores and other quantitative measures of model quality. The best models by visual inspection tended to rank among the top few percent by GDT_TS, but were typically not the highest scoring models. Thus, visual inspection remains an essential component of assessment for FM targets. Overall, group TS020 (Baker) performed best, but success on individual targets was widely distributed among many groups. Among these other groups, TS024 and TS025 (Zhang and Zhang server) performed notably well without exceptionally large computing resources. This should be considered encouraging for future CASPs. There was a sense of progress in template FM relative to CASP6, but we were unable to demonstrate this progress objectively. Proteins 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.