Safely check and edit crystallographic information files (CIFs) without compromising the syntax


The Crystallographic Information File (CIF) is the internationally agreed standard file format for information exchange in crystallography. The CIF standard is supported, maintained and developed by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) and most major journals require electronic data depositions in CIF format.

EnCIFer enables users to validate CIFs and ensure their files are format-compliant for deposition with journals and databases or for storage in laboratory archives. enCIFer should also be used to add information safely to CIFs without corrupting the strict syntax.

EnCIFer operates on single or multi-block CIFs allowing you to:

  • Identify and correct syntax/format violations
  • Safely edit information to your CIF without corrupting the strict syntax, for both single data items and data loops
  • Supplement the data in your CIF via two data entry wizards, one for publication details and the other for chemical, physical and crystallographic properties
  • Select from a choice of CIF dictionaries and check against a user-customisable list of mandatory data items
  • Visualise structure(s) in a CIF, including displacement ellipsoids

The enCIFer Editor interface

The enCIFer Visualiser interface

Images of the enCIFer interface on the Editor view with syntax issues highlighted and the Visualiser view

EnCIFer is available to the scientific community, free of charge, as a part of Mercury. Please note that as a free service, CCDC may be unable to provide support for enCIFer.