ciftex was developed to create files suitable for typesetting by the journal Acta Crystallographica using the text-formatting language TeX.



The program version is rather stable, but was updated in October 2004 to accommodate some of the syntax changes introduced in the CIF specification version 1.1. The ancillary files distributed here are current as of December 2004. Ancillary files are frequently updated in-house as part of the journal production system, and are not normally distributed; updates may be requested by email from

Language and platform

The software is written in Kernighan & Ritchie C and should compile and run in a command-line environment on any common operating system with a K&R C compiler.

The programs QUASAR and Star_Base are needed for some of the demonstrations included in the distribution; the typesetting system TeX is required to process the output.


  • Installation: Copy the compressed tar file ciftex.tar.Z into an empty directory; uncompress and extract files using the Unix tar utility. Then use the make utility to build the application:
     cp ciftex.tar.Z /a/b/ciftex; cd /a/b/ciftex
    uncompress ciftex.tar.Z; tar xvf ciftex.tar
    If compress or tar are unavailable, individual source files may be saved to the build directory.
  • More details: README
  • man pages:
    • proof.1 (the proof generation script) (HTML | text | nroff format)

Terms and conditions of use

Copyright in the software © International Union of Crystallography.
Author: Brian McMahon.

This program and its attendant documentation may be used, copied, modified or distributed within the academic community for any purpose and without any fee, provided that the copyright notice in the source files be retained in all copies. Queries concerning any other use should be directed to