Crystallographic Information Framework

vcif version 1.2.2


vcif is a simple syntax checker for files in CIF format, including data and dictionary files. It may be used to scan any text file and outputs informative messages about apparent errors in CIF syntax.



Version 1.2.2 supports CIF specification 1.1. Version 0.58 (see Other versions below) is compatible with the CIF specification 1.0 and has some extensions allowing validation of some STAR File features found in CIF dictionary files. Version 1.2.2 is a minor upgrade to version 1.2 that correctly handles certain strings containing hash characters, and reads properly from stdin if no filename is given. Bug fixes and requests for enhancement should be directed to

Language and platform

The software is written in ANSI C and should compile and run in a command-line environment on any common operating system with an ANSI C compiler.


  • Installation: Copy the compressed tar file vcif-1.2.2.tar.gz into an empty directory; uncompress and extract files using the Unix tar utility. Then use the make utility to build the application:
    cp vcif-1.2.2.tar.gz /a/b/c; cd /a/b/c
    gunzip vcif-1.2.2.tar.gz; tar xvf vcif-1.2.2.tar
    cd ./vcif-1.2.2
  • man pages:

Other versions

Terms and conditions of use

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

This version of vcif is distributed under the GNU General Public License.