Technical Specifications

Program features and operating requirements.

Mac System Requirements

CrystalViewer 11 for Mac is a Universal Binary which runs natively on Apple Silicon as well as older, Intel-based Macs.

As a bundled application all program resources, online help, tutorial and user's guide are saved inside a single application icon, making for easy drag-and-drop installation.

  • macOS 13 "Ventura"
  • macOS 12 "Monterey"
  • macOS 11 "Big Sur"
  • macOS 10.15 "Catalina"
  • macOS 10.14 "Mojave"

Minimum Requirements:

  • Apple Silicon or Intel Mac running macOS 10.14 or later
  • 1 GB disc space.
  • 4 GB RAM.

Windows System Requirements

CrystalViewer 11 for Windows is distributed as a compressed Microsoft-Installer package, ready for auto-run.

  • Windows 11 (recommended)
  • Windows 10 (recommended)
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7

Minimum Requirements:

  • 64-bit PC running Windows 7 or later.
  • Graphics card with OpenGL 3.2 (or later) capability.
  • 1 GB free disc space.
  • 4 GB RAM.

Genuine 100% Native Software. We do not use "lowest-common-denominator" cross-platform porting technologies. Instead, we develop native applications for each platform, using the official developer tools, designed to take full advantage of your hardware and operating system, to deliver an elegant, rich and seamless user experience.

Integrated Structures Library

  • Comprehensive materials library with ca. 1400 structures, grouped into "Hybrid Materials", "Inorganics" and "Organics" - and further sub-divided chemically and structurally.

  • Direct access to Minerals: standard mineralogical classification into Silicates (organised structurally) and Non-Silicates (organised by chemical group) - as per Deer, Howie & Zussman.

  • Navigational sidebar and "Go" menu.

  • Browser interface with resizable structure thumbnails (animated for multi-structure documents) and folder notes.

  • Optional list view; click column headers to sort.

  • Optional "flat view": shows all folder and sub-folder contents.

  • Additional Gallery of showcase materials.

Teaching Collection

  • Atomic Radii: Periodic Tables of the Elements showing atomic, ionic, covalent, van-der-Waals radii.

  • Lattice Types: Rotatable models of each of the 14 Bravais Lattices, plus Hexagonal/Rhombohedral comparison model.

  • Lattice Defects: 3D models showing twins, polysynthetic twinning, edge & screw dislocations; dislocation loop; Frenkel, Schottky defects; stacking fault.

  • Polyhedra: Coordination polyhedra found in typical crystals.

  • Building Crystals: Self-guided tutorials introducing fundamentals of crystal chemistry. Each multi-structure document provides a unique tour of a key structure, building on concepts such as close-packing, interstices, polymerization and the use of structural motifs to represent coordination units or molecular groups and simplify visualization.

    1. Close Packing: Introduction to Close Packing; Hexagonal Close Packing; Cubic Close Packing.

    2. Filling Interstices: Introduction to Interstices; Wurtzite; Sphalerite; Halite; Olivine; Spinel; Hematite.

    3. Silicates: Introduction to Silicate Polymerization; Garnet; Pyroxene; Amphibole; Mica; Kaolinite; Feldspar; Quartz; Zeolite ZK5.

    4. Non Silicates: Calcite.

    5. New Materials: YBCO Superconductor; ZIF8.

  • Crystal Chemistry: Crystallographic "Type Structures", organised by anion/cation ratios, e.g., "AB, AB2, AB2X4, etc.". Includes animated teaching models of cubic close packing, hexagonal close packing, diamond and graphite, etc.

  • Quiz: Learn crystallography with these exercises on Lattice Types, Miller Indices and Basic Structure Types.


A selection of general-interest structures, cross-referenced from the main Structures Library, and arranged thematically.

  • Health & Environment: Agriculture, Food, Medicines, Narcotics.

  • High-Tech: Battery Materials, Hydrogen Storage, Semiconductors.

  • Geology: Extraterrestrial, Gemstones, High-Pressure Crystals, Magnetic Materials, Ores.

  • Topical: Asbestos, Chemical Weapons, Explosives, Pigments, Radioactive.

Powerful Search & Indexing

  • Smart search.

  • Search overrides: by location, filename, composition, keywords, notes.

  • Searchable indexes of: Chemical Formulae, Structure Names, Minerals.

Interactive Viewer

  • Spectacular "Retina" graphics.

  • Instant 3D Stereo: in colour! Breathtaking "out-of-the-screen" visualization - customize depth and toggle between colour or greyscale modes.

  • Multi-Touch rotation and scaling (plus mouse-, keyboard- and menu-driven commands).

  • Measurement Mode: show atom info, bond distances and angles.

  • Informative Notes and Crystallographic Summary (symmetry, cell parameters, density, etc.).

  • Optional Legend, Scale Bar and Axes.

  • Auto Rotation.

  • Full-screen playback mode: watch sequences of rotating structures.

  • Navigation controls: skip to previous or next file in the current folder, or click a File Strip thumbnail to jump to load its structure(s).

  • Change model type: ball-and-stick, space-filling, wire frame, stick, polyhedral, ellipsoids (where relevant).


  • Multi-structure documents include alternative views to highlight salient structural features: "see the wood for the trees" and understand fundamental building blocks.

  • Self-running animations of phase transitions and structural behaviour.

  • Use the Viewer's View Strip to rapidly "scrub" across an animation, or click on View Strip thumbnail to jump to that view.


  • Add your own structures by dragging-and-dropping documents and folders into the User Files collection.

  • Add new folders, rearrange content, rename entries.

  • Keep track of your recently-viewed structures.

  • Favourite files.

  • Preferences Panel lets you configure program and window settings.


  • Copy graphics

  • Print

  • Share images via Air Drop, Messages, Mail or Photos (Mac).

  • Open any structure in CrystalMaker, CrystalDiffract and/or SingleCrystal.

  • Export a list of the currently-displayed files and and contents of any subfolders.

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