cif2xml (Bernstein, 2000) is a program to copy a CIF on standard input to an equivalent XML representation on standard output, while checking data names against dictionaries and reformating numbers with standard uncertainties to conform to the rule of 19. A QUASAR-style request list may be specified, otherwise the entire CIF is copied. The XML output may be literally derived from the CIF input, or transformations may be specified in a dictionary. The declarations required for the XML document may either be embedded in the new document, written to an external DTD, or referred to an existing file.


If you wish to install and use this software you should download the most up-to-date version from the above Web site. The links below are to copies which are suitable for browsing or for use if the primary Web site is not available. However, they may be out of date and lack the full functionality of the latest version.


This is Version 0.1.0 of July 2000. The software is provided as a demonstration program with the CIFtbx distribution.

Language and platform

The software is written in Fortran77 and should compile and run in a command-line environment on any common operating system with a suitable Fortran compiler.


  • Installation: The application requires CIFtbx. It is provided as part of the standard distribution of CIFtbx and may already have been installed when the library was installed. If not, copy the selected archive (cif2xml.cshar.Z or cif2xml.shar.Z - only one is required) into the parent directory of the ciftbx.src directory that stores the CIFtbx source files. In this directory, uncompress the selected archive and execute it with the C or Bourne shell as appropriate. Unpacking the archive creates a source directory; change to this and make the library.
     cp cif2xml.shar.Z /x/y/base
    cd /x/y/base
    uncompress cif2xml.shar.Z
    sh cif2xml.shar.Z
    cd cif2xml.src
    make all
    make test
  • General information: README file (HTML format)

Terms and conditions of use

Copyright in the software © the author.
Author: H. J. Bernstein

The software is distributed here under an open-source license. Queries concerning any use not covered under this license should be directed to


Bernstein, H. J. (2000). xmlCIF: a proposal for faithful representation of Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents within Crystallographic Information File (CIF) data sets.

Hall, S. R. & Bernstein, H. J. (1996). CIF applications. V. CIFtbx2: extended tool box for manipulating CIFs. J. Appl. Cryst. 29, 598-603.