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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How should I reference DRAWxtl in my publications?

A: Larry W. Finger, Martin Kroeker, and Brian H. Toby, DRAWxtl, an open-source computer program to produce crystal-structure drawings, J. Applied Crystallography V40, pp. 188-192, 2007.

Q: When I try to run DRAWxtl on my Windows system, it crashes. What is wrong?

A: Some users have noticed this problem due to bugs in their display driver, particularly on Windows 2K. Try reducing the 'Acceleration Level' to see if there is a setting that works. If not, please contact the authors.

Q: I generated a POV diagram but my spheres look squashed. What is wrong?

A: For proper scaling of the POV output, the diagram must be rendered with the same number of points in the horizontal and vertical. The default POV setting for Windows is 320 x 240, which will yield the results described.

Q: When I try to display VRML with my Internet browser, all I see is some funny text. What is wrong?

A: You have not installed a "plugin" module for the VRML protocol.

Q: Do I have to use bright colors for my diagrams?

A: Of course not. I use them in the demo diagrams to enhance the visual effects. For publication in the usual black-and-white diagrams, I use the various shades of gray.

Q: My POV images lack depth, spheres in particular are more like disks

A: The POV lighting calculations do not work too well with the full-intensity "pigments". Try using shades of colors - Scarlet instead of Red, etc.)

Q: How do I manipulate the POV output images?

A: See the 'Hardcopy' section of this Web page.

Q: I refined my structure using SHELX. How do I generate a crystal-structure diagram?

A: The SHELX file contains information about the structure; however, information about the limits of the diagram, bonds and/or polyhedra to be generated, etc. must also be added. To do this, prepare a small 'str' file with an 'include shelx' statement in it, as well as commands for spheres, etc. Alternatively, the 'File' pulldown menu on V5.3 will allow you to import an external format. This code will set reasonable values for the display parameters, and you may use the GUI to change them to your liking.

Q: How might I generate stereo views of my structure?

A: A POV patch for side-by-side stereoscopic images is given at http://stereopov.ichthyostega.de.

Q: Only the source code for the most-recent version is available on-line. How may I obtain an older version?

A: Please send E-mail to Larry Finger.

Please send comments to Larry Finger, Martin Kroeker, or Brian Toby.