ciftools is a single distribution comprising the programs CIFEDIT, a program for viewing and editing CIFs, and pdCIFplot, a program for inspecting Rietveld fits from pdCIF.


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 However, they may be out of date and lack the full functionality of the latest version.


The package is maintained to support powder-CIF related work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Comments should be directed to

Language and platform

The software is written in Tcl/Tk and should run on most current operating systems that support Tcl/Tk. The BLT graphics package is required for pdCIFplot; this package may not be available for as wide a variety of platforms.


  • Installation: For Windows installation, run the self-installing executable file ciftools.exe.

    For Linux or Silicon Graphics installations, copy the relevant gzipped tar file into an empty directory; gunzip and extract files using the Unix tar utility.
     cp ciftools.tar.Z /d/e/f; cd /d/e/f
    uncompress ciftools.tar.Z; tar xvf ciftools.tar

    For generic Unix-type installations, copy the gzipped tar file ciftools.tar.gz into an empty directory; gunzip and extract files using the Unix tar utility.
     cp ciftools.tar.Z /d/e/f; cd /d/e/f
    uncompress ciftools.tar.Z; tar xvf ciftools.tar
    If gzip or tar are unavailable, individual source files may be saved to the build directory.

    The Mac OS X distribution is a compressed disk image file. Mount this file by double-clicking on it. This should create a new volume in your top-level ("Computer") called "CIFvol"; clicking on this device will open a finder window with a single folder ("ciftools") present. (Some browsers will automatically perform this mount step for you.) It is possible to run CIFEDIT and pdCIFplot directly from the compressed disk image. However, it is recommended that you copy the entire package to your computer by dragging the gsas folder icon to another finder window, or by clicking on it and using Copy and Paste.

    For more details see the Installation Instructions
  • Using CIFEDIT to view and edit CIFs
  • Using pdCIFplot to display Rietveld refinement results

Terms and conditions of use

The author of the CIFTOOLS programs is a US Government employee, which means that the codes are not subject to copyright.
Neither the US Government nor the author makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any liability or responsibility for the use of this information or the software described here. Brand names cited herein are used for identification purposes and do not constitute an endorsement by NIST.
Author: Brian Toby.

Some files accompanying the software as part of the installation are distributed under the GNU General Public License or other open-source licenses. Please see the licensing information in various subdirectories for details.


Toby, B. H. (2003). CIF applications. XII. Inspecting Rietveld fits from pdCIF: pdCIFplot. J. Appl. Cryst. 36, 1285-1287. [details]

Toby, B. H. (2003). CIF applications. XIII. CIFEDIT, a program for viewing and editing CIFs. J. Appl. Cryst., 36, 1288-1289. [details]