Tables for
Volume G
Definition and exchange of crystallographic data
Edited by S. R. Hall and B. McMahon

International Tables for Crystallography (2006). Vol. G, ch. 2.4, p. 45


F. H. Allen,a* J. M. Barnard,b A. P. F. Cookb and S. R. Hallc

aCambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, 12 Union Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EZ, England,bBCI Ltd, 46 Uppergate Road, Stannington, Sheffield S6 6BX, England, and cSchool of Biomedical and Chemical Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
Correspondence e-mail:

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Brief overview of the MIF syntax

A text string is a string of characters bounded by white space, single or double quotes, or semicolons in column 1.
A data name is a text string bounded by white space starting with an underline.
A data value is a text string not starting with underline, preceded by an identifying data name.
A list is a sequence of data names, preceded by `loop_' and followed by a list of data values.
A save frame is a collection of data within a data block, preceded by `save_framecode' and closed with `save_'.
A data block is a collection of data, preceded by `data_blockcode'.
A global block is a collection of data, preceded by global_, that is common to all subsequent data blocks.
A file may contain any number of data blocks or global blocks.
A data name must be unique within a data block.