Crystallographic Information Framework



CIFPARSE is a C-language function library providing convenient and efficient access to mmCIF 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 Web site is not available. However, they may be out of date and lack the full functionality of the latest version.


CIFPARSE is distributed from the Rutgers site of the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) and forms an important component of the software systems used in the Protein Data Bank. Comments should be directed to

Language and platform

The software is written in C and should run on versions of Unix with suitable C compilers and with GNU flex and bison.


  • Installation: For Unix-type installations, copy the gzipped tar file cifparse-v3.101-prod-src.tar.gz into an empty directory; ungzip and extract files using the Unix tar utility. Build the CIFPARSE library using the make utility; run the example programs with 'make test' and 'make test2':
     cp cifparse-v3.101-prod-src.tar.gz /g/h/i; cd /g/h/i
    gunzip cifparse-v3.101-prod-src.tar.gz; tar xvf cifparse-v3.101-prod-src.tar
    cd cifparse-v3.101-prod-src
    make test
    make test2
    If gzip or tar are unavailable, individual source files may be saved to the build directory.
    For more details see the Installation Notes
  • CIFPARSE Reference Guide ( HTML | PostScript | PDF format )

Terms and conditions of use

Copyright in the software © Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey
Authors: Olivera Tosic and John Westbrook

The software is distributed here under licence from the Protein Data Bank/RCSB. Use of the software is governed by the PDB software licence. Queries concerning any other use should be directed to