Using XtalDraw to Save Crystal Structures as "Unknowns"

Kent Ratajeski, Montana State University

It is fairly easy to use XtalDraw to remove mineral names and other identifying metadata from crystal structure files. Just follow the directions below.

Note: Removal of name + reference metadata from structure files compatible with XtalDraw is most easily done for individual AMC files downloaded from the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database. The mineral structures included in the XtalDraw folder include much longer composite files containing multiple structural determinations published by different authors. Removal of name + reference metadata is more difficult for these files.
  1. Open the downloaded AMC file in XtalDraw.
  2. Choose Edit > Data File.
  3. Drag your cursor over the first few lines of text where the mineral name and reference is listed. Press Delete.
  4. Choose File > Save As to save the file under a different filename (e.g., "unknown.amc"). It is recommended that you keep the .amc extension so XtalDraw can recognize it as an AMC file. If prompted, save the file with "All Files" formatting, not as a textfile.
  5. The new file will not contain name and reference metadata, but its chemical formula will still be available by clicking on Edit > Chemical Formula.