CAIROTEP Documentations


General Usage: crtep [ins-file [parameters [out-file]]]

Run "crtep" without arguments for the command-line interactive mode. This does not support all CAIROTEP features and is not recommended.

ins-file: path to the ORTEP-III instruction file.

parameters: colon-separated parameter list, parameters can be identified either by their position or by the keywords.

out-file: path to the output file.

Table.1 CRTEP Parameters:
Position Keyword Value Default Description
0 back [cairo|ps|hpgl] cairo Plotting backend, [cairo] or the legacy [ps/hpgl] plotting routines.
For the cairo backend:
1 type [png|svg|pdf|ps] png Surface/Image type for the cairo backend.
2 dpi integer 72 Resolution (dpi). **
3 cw float (by ins) Canvas width (inch).
4 ch float (by ins) Canvas height (inch).
5 frag [yes|no] yes Fragmentation mode. [yes], fragment path on every pen move, for more editable for vector output; [no], lazy fragementation only when the pen color/width changed.
6 scale integer 100 Canvas scale (%). **
7 fg integer/hex 0 Initial pen color, decimal or hexadecimal. *
8 bg integer/hex 0xFFFFFF Canvas background, decimal or hexadecimal, [-1] for transparent. *
9 pw float 1.0 Initial pen width (pixel). **
For the ps/hpgl backend:
1 orient [portrait|landscape] portrait Orient for the ps/hpgl documents.


* Hexadecimal number notation: 0xHHHHHH or #HHHHHH.
** Pen width is specified in pixels for cairo, while the other dimension-related parameters in inches. Try "dpi" and "scale" for tweaking.

For Help: crtep -h

For Version Information: crtep -v

CAIROTEP Instructions:

Instructions used by CAIROTEP are generally compatible with the original ORTEP-III and "ORTEP-3 for Windows" ones with the exceptions listed below:

1. Pen width is specified in pixels for the CAIRO backend.

2. Pen color: 0 ~ 7, the original ORTEP-III color index (K, K, R, G, B, C, M, Y) or a 24-bit color value,
[-(R*256*256+G*256+B); R, G, B are in the range of (0 ~ 255)]

3. The CAIRO backend needs to know the projection width, height and margin before initialization, to set the right canvas (surface) size. Therefore place the 301 instruction before the 201 one.

CIFTEP: A Simple Python Script For ORTEP-III Instruction File Generation From CIF

General Usage: ciftep [options] cif-files

Table.2 CIFTEP Options:
Short Long Value Default Description


N/A N/A Show this help message and exit.


N/A N/A Show program's version number and exit.


--output string N/A Specify the output instruction file path.
-q --quiet N/A N/A Suppress verbose message printing.


--contents [aunit|grow|cell] aunit Contents scheme, asymmetric unit, growing or unit cell.


--view [std|best|100|010|001] best Initial view scheme, choose from standard view, best view, or the (100), (010), (001) plane.


--normalize-uh float 0.1 Normalize the u values of all H atoms to [value], like "ORTEP-3 For Windows", negative values (e.g. [-1]) mean no normalization.


--no-label N/A N/A Suppress plotting atom labels, (0, 0, 0).
-m --color-map [mono|color|...] color Color map, [mono] for constant pen color, [color] for using the default builtin color map, custom color mapping not implemented yet.

Projection control parameters:

-W --width float 10.7 Canvas width (inch).
-H --height float 8.2 Canvas height (inch).
-M --margin float 0.3 Canvas margin (inch).
-D --distance float 30.0 Viewing distance (inch), [0] for the parellel projection.

Rotations after the initial view:

-X --rotation-x integer 0 Specify the X-Axis rotation (degree).
-Y --rotation-y integer 0 Specify the Y-Axis rotation (degree).
-Z --rotation-z integer 0 Specify the Z-Axis rotation (degree).

CRTEP related:

-t --tep N/A N/A Call CRTEP after instruction file generation.
-p --tep-params string N/A String passed to CRTEP as parameters.
-r --tep-clear N/A N/A Clear the instruction file after the CRTEP execution.
N/A --tep-exec string crtep CRTEP executable path. (The 2nd argument of CRTEP.)
N/A --tep-output string N/A CRTEP output path. (The 3rd argument of CRTEP.)


A valid CIF file is required for the input.