Crystallographic Information Framework



CBFlib is a library of ANSI-C functions providing a simple mechanism for accessing Crystallographic Binary Files (CBF files) and Image-supporting CIF (imgCIF) files. The CBFlib API is loosely based on the CIFPARSE API for mmCIF files. Like CIFPARSE, CBFlib does not perform any semantic integrity checks and simply provides functions to create, read, modify and write CBF binary data files and imgCIF ASCII data files.


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 However, they may be out of date and lack the full functionality of the latest version.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 of 20 June 2008. The library is under active development and a revised version is envisaged to accommodate the CIF 1.1 specification.

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: Copy the compressed tar file CBFlib-0.7.4.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 CBFlib-0.7.9.tar.gz /x/y/z; cd /x/y/z
    uncompress CBFlib-0.7.9.tar.gz
    tar xvf CBFlib-0.7.9.tar
    If compress or tar are unavailable, individual source files may be saved to the build directory.
    For more details see the README
  • User manual ( HTML | PDF | RTF format )

Terms and conditions of use

Copyright in the software © the authors.
Authors: Paul J. Ellis and 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