Questions & Answers

Answers to your questions about ordering and our sales policies

We're pleased to offer direct sales throughout the world: this means lower prices, better service, and faster delivery. This page explains how you can order from us, the payment methods we accept, our support for educators plus our privacy and returns policies. Click here to contact us.

How to Order

Order With a Credit Card ← Recommended!

By far the best way to order any of our products is online , using our award-winning secure eCommerce system, now with Barclaycard ePDQ, and featuring multi-currency support. You can choose Standard or Education sales, browse all software products, and choose additional items such as a printed user's guide, or packs of 3D glasses.

How to Use the Online Store:

  1. Choose Standard or Education Sales. Choose between Standard or Education sales, or use the tabs at the top of each online sales page to switch between the two.

  2. currency popup menu

    Choose Your Currency. You can choose to pay in U.S. dollars, Euros, or British Pounds Sterling. Simply choose your currency from the currency popup at the top of each pricing table, and all prices will be updated: these are what we will charge you (excluding VAT, if applicable). Please note, however, that some banks may impose additional fees, which are outside our control. (We are a British company, registered as a UK merchant in the European Union.)

    USA Customers Please Note: It has come to our attention that some U.S. banks have taken to charging "foreign currency transaction" fees on credit card purchases made outside the USA, even when billed in U.S. dollars (e.g., transactions in Europe or even in US territories such as Puerto Rico). They try to justify this on spurious "security" grounds - but have been known to back down when challenged. Please check with your bank before you purchase.

  3. Choose Your Product(s). Each online sales page uses tabs to list our different products, so you can see the relevant pricing options, with less clutter. When you've found what you want to order, click the price to focus on that product and reveal an Order button. You can order multiple items, and Checkout when you're ready.

Save up to 15% online! We offer a volume-based web discount on all eligible software products: 5% for each product, up to a maximum 15% discount. For example, if you wanted to buy CrystalMaker, CrystalDiffract and SingleCrystal online (i.e., 3 products in one transaction) you would save 15%. (This offer applies to software products only and excludes student licences.)

Order Without a Credit Card

Please use our award-winning, secure online store for the fastest and most-efficient way of ordering. It will save you time and money.

1. How to Order

If you really, really, can't order online, then we can accept orders the old-fashioned way:

  • Official Orders (on behalf of a company or institution). Please send us an official "Purchase Order": that is, an approved order, with an official purchase order number, which will guarantee payment. We can then despatch your order and send our invoice for payment. (We provide up to 30 days for payment, after which an administration fee and interest charges will apply.)

  • Personal Orders. If you are ordering for yourself, and not through an institution, then we strongly recommend that you order online, with a credit card. If that isn't possible, then we ask that you provide payment in advance (see below), before we despatch your order.

2. How to Pay

We accept payment in U.S. Dollars, Euros or British Pounds Sterling (GBP). You can pay us in one of two ways:

  • By international bank transfer (please contact us for our banking details) - you must pay all fees.
  • By sending a cheque or banker's draft (in British Pounds Sterling, U.S. Dollars, or Euros).
Order in Japan, via our Japanese Reseller

Japanese customers are very welcome to order direct from us. However, should you wish to order through a reseller, we can heartily recommend Hulinks Ltd, with whom we have a very long-standing and successful relationship:

Hulinks Inc. (Science Software Sales)
THE SHORE Nihonbashi Kayabacho 6F
1-2 Nihonbashi Hakozaki-cho
Tokyo 103-0015, Japan

Telephone: 03-5642-8380 (in Japan)
Fax: 03-5642-8381 (in Japan)


Education/Student Pricing

We offer highly-discounted Education prices to schools, colleges and undergraduate-degree-granting universities. These low-cost annual department/site licences include all our products, on all platforms, available for all staff and students to use on their own computers: an ideal way to combine effective teaching as well as research.

Unsure of Status? If in any doubt about your eligibility for education pricing, please ask yourself the question: "is my organization a teaching organization?" - but do also feel free to contact us before placing your order.

Students: We recommend using the software as part of a larger, Group or Site licence. That way colleagues - and supervisors - can have access to the software too. Other options, including "pay-as-you-go" licensing, are also available.

Web/Quantity Discount

Save up to 15% off your online order!

Our online store provides an automatic web discount that increases as you add more items. For each eligible item you get 5% off the price of your order. The discount works for any combination of software products (excluding student licences), up to a maximum of 15% off.


  • If you wanted to buy CrystalMaker, CrystalDiffract and SingleCrystal online (i.e., 3 products in one transaction) you would save 15%.

Additional Information

Digital Delivery

We provide digital delivery for all our products: this is more reliable, faster, and more environmentally friendly than physically shipping the software on CD. Software products are available for immediate download, and their Full Feature mode can be activated by entering your licence code.

Please note that we can only supply licence codes to the end user of the product, and not to a third party such as a purchasing agent. To prevent delays, please ensure that you specify the end user's name and e-mail address when you place your order.

VAT in the European Union

European Union customers (outside the UK) are reminded that they must include their VAT numbers (Value Added Tax = TVA = Umsatzsteuernummer) on their purchase orders, otherwise we are obliged to add VAT.

New VAT Rules From 1 January 2015: We are now obliged to charge VAT at your local, country rate, instead of the UK rate.

Privacy Policy

When you order from us, your details remain fully confidential. We do not sell or share personal information about you with other people or companies, except to provide products or services that you have specifically requested.

When ordering online with a credit card, your card and other details are protected by secure encryption techniques, and are processed on a dedicated, secure server. The card details are verified by Barclaycard, but are not disclosed to ourselves or to other agencies.

Returns Policy

Please note that - in common with most other software vendors - we cannot accept any returns for electronic software downloads.

We believe you will be delighted with our products. We go out of our way to ensure they are designed to provide the best-possible user experience and performance - but the final decision rests with you. We provide the following facilities to help you evaluate our products:

  • Free demo versions of all our software for you to evaluate before you place your order.
  • Sample files, designed to illustrate the range of program features
  • Full documentation (online help, user's guide, tutorials)
  • Additional website resources.

Finally, our sales and technical staff are always on hand to answer any queries you might have about the software, prior to completing your order.

Frequently-Asked Questions ← Please check these before you contact us!

Purchasing. The best way to purchase our software is online, but we can also accept institutional puchase orders...
  1. Do you accept purchase orders?

    Yes - we accept official purchase orders from accredited institutions, including schools, universities and corporations. For fastest service, please fax or e-mail your order to us (see our contact details).

  2. What type of credit cards do you accept?

    Our online store accepts Visa, Mastercard and JCB (Japan Credit Bank) cards. Sorry, we do not accept American Express cards.

  3. Can I order with my American Express card?

    Sorry, we do not accept American Express cards. These cards are not so widely used outside the USA - and we feel that their handling charges (approximately 7% of the order total!) is just too high, especially when one considers that they also demand a setup fee from small companies.

  4. Can you charge my credit card in U.S. dollars or Euros?

    Yes, if you order online you choose your currency: we accept payments in U.S. dollars (USD), Euros (EUR) or British Pounds Sterling (GBP).

  5. My credit card has been declined; how should I proceed?

    If you card has been declined, this is most likely because either:

    • You have insufficient credit to cover the intended purchase; or

    • Your bank has not authorized your card for this transaction.

    USA Customers Please Note: In our experience, most US Government and corporate purchasing cards are limited to domestic transactions only. If your card is rejected, please liaise with your card provider (bank) and ask to have any international and/or internet blocks removed. Once this has been approved, please try your online order again.

    Sorry, we cannot manually authorize your credit card or speak with your bank on your behalf! Our system is automated, and unless your bank is prepared to authorize your transaction (via Barclaycard, our card processor), then the transaction will fail. Please also note that because Barclaycard uses a secure payment system, we never get to see your card details - which means that if your transaction is rejected by your bank, there's no way we can process it retrospectively. You would need to submit a new order (once any blocks on the use of your card have been lifted).

Shipping. All our software is available online, for download. Licensing data are sent via e-mail to a named end user...
  1. How do you ship?

    Our software products are only available for electronic delivery: we supply a download link to the named end user, as specified in your order. It is then the responsibility of that user to download the software and keep a backup.

    Hardware items, such as packs of stereo postcards, 3D glasses, or printed user's guides, are shipped internationally via expedited airmail (Royal Mail "Airsure"), or first-class post (within the UK).

  2. Can I download your software?

    Yes. All our software is now supplied electronically, for download: You can download all software from our website. Programs will run in "Demo" mode until activated, using your licence code.

  3. Will you ship me a CD?

    Sorry, no: our software is now only available electronically (via download links at the time of ordering). We cannot supply CDs or DVDs.

Pricing. We offer workstation-class software at low desktop prices - with generous multi-user, education and student discounts...
  1. How much does your software cost?

    We provide a wide range of licensing options, from Personal licences through to Campus-wide licences. The price you pay will depend on which product(s) you require, how many users - and whether the intended users are teachers and/or students.

    For up-to-date pricing information, please refer to our Licensing Guide & Ordering page.

    Web/Quantity Discount. Our online store provides an automatic web discount that increases as you add more items. For each eligible item you get 5% off the price of your order. The discount works for any combination of software products (excluding student licences), up to a maximum of 15% off.

  2. Is there a discount if I buy all three software products?

    Yes, if you order online!

    Web/Quantity Discount. Our online store provides an automatic web discount that increases as you add more items. For each eligible item you get 5% off the price of your order. The discount works for any combination of software products (excluding student licences), up to a maximum of 15% off.

    • If you were to buy all three software products you would save a total of 15%.

    Please note that web discounts are only available for orders made through our online store, and paid with a credit card. These discounts are not available for purchase orders.

  3. Is there a discount if I buy software for both Mac and Windows?

    Yes, if you buy the equivalent licence for both platforms. For example, if you purchase a Group licence for Windows, then you qualify for the same, Group licence for Mac, at the upgrade price.

    Please note that you cannot mix different licence types (e.g., "Group" for Windows and "Personal" for Mac).

  4. I'm from a not-for-profit research institute. Do I qualify for the education price?

    Only if you are a full-time student or educator.

    Please help respect our support for education. If you're not involved in education, we ask that you purchase a standard licence.

    Note that our "standard" prices are just that: they're set at very-reasonable levels, and designed for a wide range of researchers in government and other laboratories. Please don't confuse these prices with the outrageous "commercial" prices demanded by some other vendors.

  5. I'm at a government research laboratory, but it's operated by a university. Do I qualify for the education price?

    Sorry, no. In order to keep our education prices as low as possible, they are only available to students and faculty directly involved in teaching.

    Note that our "standard" prices are just that: they're set at very-reasonable levels, and designed for a wide range of researchers in government and other laboratories. Please don't confuse these prices with the outrageous "commercial" prices demanded by some other vendors.

  6. Do I have to add VAT to my order?

    VAT ("Value-Added-Tax") is applicable for any orders in the European Union ("E.U.") - so if you are outside the E.U. (e.g., in North America or Japan), then you do not have to pay VAT. You may, however, be liable for local and/or national taxes in your own country.

    We are obliged, under E.U. law, to charge VAT on all European Union orders (at your local, country rate) - unless you supply your organisation's VAT number. (Note: UK customers have no choice: VAT is charged on all orders, unless you have a medical research exemption.)

Licensing. Choose between perpetual Personal or Group licences - or for the best value and flexibility, choose an annual site licence...
  1. What is your Software Licence Agreement?

    We have a formal software licence agreement which users must agree to, before they can install or run our software. If you wish to preview this, prior to purchasing the software, it is available here.

  2. Is it ok to share my personal licence with my student/post-doc?

    No. The personal licence must only be used by yourself. If you need to share the software with other users you can upgrade to group licence.

    For example, you could upgrade to a Group licence - which allows up to 10 users - for the cost of one additional personal licence(*): that's great value and offers you considerable flexibility.

    (*) A Group licence, when purchased on its own, costs the same as two Personal licences. When upgrading your licence, you pay the difference between what you have, and the new licence cost - assuming that you have a current-version licence. If you have a licence for an older product, you will need to upgrade this to the current version first.

  3. I need to use your software for research, but also need student access. What should I buy?

    A site licence licence: this allows all members of the department to use the software, including full-time graduate students. Undergraduates can use the software in the department - a great way for them to advance their understanding.

    Leverage your institution's annual IT budget and be seen to "give something back" to your fee-paying undergraduates!

  4. Can we share a Group licence across the department?

    No; the Group licence is for a coherent research group, headed by a named individual - who should be the person who licences the software (the "end user" specified in your order). Individuals outside that group are not licensed to use the software, and would need to purchase their own copies or,

    - for the maximum flexibility across an academic department, we recommend a site licence.

  5. Does a site licence cover undergraduate students?

    YES! Any full-time undergraduates are allowed access to the software.

    We think it is a vital part of the learning experience for students to have access to our software. They then have the flexibility to engage with the software in their own time, to improve their visualization skills, and understanding of diffraction.

    Please note the emphasis on full-time students. Site licences are designed for conventional colleges and universities, and not for more diffuse "distance-learning" institutions.

  6. Can I put the software on our server, so my students can use it?

    If you have a site licence, you can distribute licensing information to your staff and students - as long as this information is restricted to authorised staff and students at the side (e.g., a password-protected intranet). You must not "share" Personal or Research Group licences over a network.

  7. With a Site Licence, can I use the software away from my institution - e.g., at home?

    Absolutely. We offer the most-flexible "site" licensing in the industry, letting you use the software on any of your machines, wherever you need to do so, be this at home, on vacation, during a conference, in the classroom, or your office - provided the software is only ever used by you, or other members of the licensed site.

  8. I have a Group licence, but am about to move to a different institution. Can I take my licence with me?

    Normally, multi-user licences remain the property of the original department, and you would be expected to purchase a new licence for your new institution. However, in certain cases, it may be possible to transfer your licence to your new institution - please contact us for more information.

  9. Can I split a Group licence across platforms, e.g., 5 users for Windows and 5 users for Mac?

    Our new Small Group licence includes software for both platforms: Mac and Windows, but also has a hard-wired user limit: a maximum of five named users in total. So, whilst you can have Mac users and Windows users, the total number of users is capped at 5 (e.g., 2 Mac + 3 Windows, or 5 Mac + 0 Windows, but not 5 users on each platform!).

Upgrades. Learn the difference between an update and an upgrade, and how to purchase the latter...
  1. What is your upgrade policy and how do I upgrade?

    We don't charge for upgrades until we release a major new version (i.e., with a higher first-digit version number). For example, upgrading from CrystalMaker 7.1 → 7.2 is free, whilst 7.x → 8.2 would require payment.

    Upgrades are typically half the price of a new (equivalent) licence. However, if your licence is very old, you may not be eligible for upgrade pricing, and will be expected to purchase a new licence. For example, we no longer accept upgrades for pre-2007 products.

    Upgrades are accepted from the following products:-

    • CrystalMaker
      • Version 9 for Mac or Windows (Education or Standard upgrades)
      • Version 8 for Mac / Version 2 for Windows (Standard Upgrade fee applies)
    • CrystalDiffract
      • Version 5 for Mac / Version 1 for Windows
    • SingleCrystal
      • Version 2 for Mac or Windows (Education or Standard upgrades)
      • Version 1 for Mac or Windows (Standard upgrade fee applies)

    Existing, registered users can download free incremental updates from the updates page on this site. To purchase a major upgrade, please refer to our sales page, or use the online sales links on this site.

  2. How do I add more users to an existing Group licence?

    Your best option is to upgrade to a site licence. It doesn't cost much more - and allows greater flexibility, including in teaching.

  3. We have an up-to-date site licence; how can we get hold of the latest software?

    When you begin, or renew your site licence, we send your official contact a link to the latest software and the appropriate licensing codes. In addition, during the period of your site licence, you are welcome to download our free, incremental product updates.

    From time to time, we also produce major new product versions, e.g., from, say "CrystalMaker 3 to CrystalMaker 4". These are paid upgrades, and are not available for free download - but you will of course receive the latest software when you renew your licensing agreement. You will not automatically receive new software before that date, and your existing licence codes will not automatically work with newer versions.

    If you really cannot wait for the major upgrades, we may, at our discretion, make the upgrades available to you, subject to a formal request from your official contact, made to our sales department (sorry, but we cannot respond to potentially thousands of requests from individual users at the licensed site). We should emphasize, however, that this is not guaranteed, and goes well beyond our terms of service. We do endeavour to accommodate our users' requests, subject to our current workloads, but the annual site licensing is designed on the basis of providing latest software on an annual basis.

  4. I recently purchased an earlier version of the software; do I still have to pay for an upgrade?

    CrystalMaker X for Mac and Windows was released in July 2017, featuring major new functionality and a slightly higher price. We offered all recent customers the option of upgrading to the newer version on payment of the difference in price.

    In general, when we release a major new version, we offer customers who purchased the software in the previous three mnths the option of an upgrade for the difference in price (which is sometimes zero), subject to the following conditions:

    • The customer must have provided full registration details, prior to requesting the upgrade.
    • Full - and timely - payment must have been received, for the earlier version.
  5. When is the next version of your product coming out?

    When it's ready.

    Unlike certain corporations, we don't seek to crank out fee-generating upgrades to a pre-set timetable. Instead, we continually update and improve our products, releasing a regular flow of free incremental updates to all registered users. Of course, from time-to-time we do release major upgrades - but we do this only when we're ready - which isn't easy to predict - hence we don't comment on work in progress.

    By way of reference, we supported the CrystalMaker 8 for Mac, for six-and-a-quarter years with over 40 free updates! We supported version 9 for Mac and Windows for almost 4 years with over 30 free updates.

    You can rest assured that, if you do buy a new licence shortly before we bring out a major new version, we do offer registered users the option to upgrade for the difference in price (if any) - see note above.

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