publCIF - free software to edit and preview a CIF for publication


publCIF takes a crystallographic information file (CIF) and prepares a formatted paper (Preprint) in the style of Acta Crystallographica Sections C and E.

The CIF and the Preprint are presented side-by-side and are both editable. Changes made to one are applied to the other as you type.

screenshot of publCIF

data input wizard

Starting with a CIF resulting from a structure refinement, use publCIF to:

  • Add data items required for publication, using simple wizards that check your input and access both dictionary information and data used in previous CIFs
  • Prepare standard and customized geometry tables using simple spread sheets
  • Write your paper using a word-processing environment
  • Check your CIF, for both syntax and completeness
  • Print or export a Preprint of your paper

publCIF employs extensive CIF syntax and dictionary compliance checking, both as you type and when specifically requested. In addition, it provides a number of editorial tools to help you write your paper in the style required by IUCr journals.

publCIF is described in J. Appl. Cryst. (2010), 43, 920–925 [doi:10.1107/S0021889810022120]

New in this version

New paper categories for Acta Crystallographica Section E

This release of publCIF extends the use of _publ_body_ items to all IUCr CIF-based articles, allowing numbered sections and subsections rather than fixed headed sections, and thus fully supporting the new Acta E Research Communications category. The changes to Acta E are described in an Editorial and the Notes for Authors.

Example of _publ_body usage for Acta E...

Example of _publ_body usage for Acta C, B...

Table numbering

The order of tables can now be changed and the main table of experimental details can be customized to a certain extent.

As this new functionality requires more complex CIF structures, it is recommended that you work in the 'preprint only' mode when writing your article.


To download a free copy of publCIF, please fill out your email address and click on the download button below. We will use the email address to notify you of new releases of the program.

Windows version 1.9.18 (XP, Vista, Windows 7)

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Please note: problems have been reported relating to missing libraries on Windows - if publCIF will not start, it may be necessary to install the Windows runtime libraries available from Microsoft: Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86)

Linux version 1.9.18 (info)

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MacOS X version 1.9.18 (Mac OS X 10.6 onwards)

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