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1.4 Overview of the CSD Interactive Graphics Software System


All CSD searches, information retrieval (including geometrical tabulations), and some visualization and data analysis tools are available in QUEST3D. This program also creates the subfiles of database search hits that are required by VISTA and PLUTO.

A major part of this Guide is concerned with the operation of the interactive graphics search and display menus of QUEST3D.


The principal purpose of VISTA is to perform numerical, statistical and graphical analyses of geometrical information for subsets of CSD entries located using QUEST3D. VISTA also contains the same facilities as QUEST3D for the display of crystal and molecular structures, so that geometrical results can rapidly be related back to their chemical and structural context.

VISTA is the interactive graphics successor of the GSTAT program which is operated via an alphanumeric instruction document. GSTAT remains available within the CSD System, but is not covered by this Guide. Interested users are referred to Volume 4 of the main documentation set.


PLUTO is well known to crystallographers as a stand-alone package for the display of crystal and molecular structures. Within the CSD System, PLUTO provides significant extensions to the display facilities available within QUEST3D and VISTA. These extensions concern the style (line, ball-and-spoke, space filling, stereo, etc.) and content of the visualizations, particularly with respect to the depiction of hydrogen-bonded and non-bonded interactions.

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